What Former ESOL Students Think about Regular English Classes

by Emmanuel Wehjla

At Montgomery Blair we have ESOL classes for students learning English to help them prepare for regular English (classes for native English speakers). We asked former ESOL students who are in regular English now, how they feel about their new classes.

According to the survey, 75% of former ESOL students said that regular English is harder than ESOL while 20% said that English and ESOL are almost the same. 5% also said that ESOL is harder than regular English.

85% of these students also admit that giving presentations is hard because they never gave presentations in ESOL while 51% said that reading books (stories) are hard for them. They also said that writing compositions and vocabulary are easy. 75% of these students wish they had learned more grammar, pronunciation, reading and presentation. 25% also said that they are satisfied with what they had learned in ESOL.

The question remains how should students prepare themselves for regular English? 90% of the students who returned the survey said that they did not take the special "bridge" class to help them prepare for English. Responses of students who took bridge classes were the same as students who did not take bridge classes.

Babak Ganjavan, a Blair senior who is also a former ESOL student said, "In ESOL we don't learn anything. ESOL is a waste of time." He also added that ESOL is very easy compared to regular English. He said that students are obligated to do more work in English class than ESOL where they do as little as possible.

An ESOL student who did not want her name revealed in the newspaper opposes Babak's point of view. She said that ESOL teachers work very hard to plan lessons for students. She added, "We are learning English and our teachers have to put that into perspective and teach as slowly as possible." She also said that ESOL is a preparation for regular English and it needs hard work and focus.


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