As of 2019, the British Council estimated that the English language was spoken by nearly 1.75 billion people across the world; this figure encompasses both native speakers and individuals who have adopted English as a Second Language. The British Council expects that the number of English speakers will rise to 2 billion by the year 2020, roughly a full third of the global population. Within this projection, the levels of English fluency vary, but there is a growing consensus about ESL learners eventually becoming fully bilingual by virtue of the verbal and written communications they practice at work and in their communities.
Even though languages such as Spanish and Mandarin are experiencing considerable growth, linguists believe that English will retain its status as the international lingua franca for decades to come. To this effect, English has largely displaced French, a language that enjoyed de facto status during the formational years of the United Nations. Bilingualism is also on the rise; even traditionally monolingual nations such as Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States are experiencing significant growth in their bilingual populations.
English is not only the global language of business; it is also the unofficial language of the internet, and it has also conquered the coveted position of being the tacitly agreed-upon language of international travel and tourism. It should be noted that even with the Brexit referendum that will separate the UK from the European Union, English will still be the working language of the bloc even though it will lose its official status. If you need more reasons to motivate you into making English your second language and becoming bilingual, consider the following:
- A 2017 survey among users of the Babbel learning app shows that nearly two-thirds of English speakers believe that bilingual people are smarter, more attractive and desirable.
- You can obtain an English as a Second Language (ESL) certificate from Florida National University.
In South Florida, ESL is taught at many public schools, and institutions such as Coral Way School in Miami are often recognized for their commitment to advancing bilingualism. Spanish and Haitian Creole speakers in South Florida stand to benefit the most from studying ESL. Employers in the region do not necessarily take bilingualism for granted, but they strongly prefer to hire candidates who have a good command of English plus another language. Here are some tips on how you can get started on your ESL journey today:
At Florida National University (FNU), everything starts with an English Placement Test; the goal is to establish a general measure of your ESL skills in terms of comprehension, grammar, and vocabulary. To take this test, please contact one of our admissions advisers today. FNU is an accredited institution of higher learning that offers financial assistance and scholarships to qualified students; many of its academic programs can be completed online, and this includes the ESL Basic Level Certificate.
What the FNU ESL Basic Level Certificate Program Entails
If the results of your English Placement Test determine that you should start at the basic level, you will have the choice of completing the program online or at the FNU campus locations in Miami and Hialeah. Students with a busy work-life schedule stand to benefit the most from online classes; however, many feel that live classroom instruction will work out better for their ESL learning goals. To get your certificate, you will have to earn 18 credits in the following courses:
- Basic Speaking, Reading, & Writing Skills I-II
- Basic Speaking, Reading, & Writing Skills III-IV
- English Structural Patterns I – II
- English Structural Patterns III-IV
Aside from getting your online ESL certificate, you will want to show proficiency beyond the fourth level so that you can advance to the Intermediate ESL program. Keep in mind that FNU offers many undergraduate and graduate degree programs that can boost your professional career as well as your employment opportunities; you will need to complete the Intermediate Level ESL program so that you can take a diagnostic test and start pursuing a formal career.
Taking Your ESL Skills to the Next Level
Let’s say your high score on the English Placement Test puts you in a position to enroll in the ESL High Intermediate Level program; in this case, you will have to complete classroom instruction for courses such as Public Speaking Techniques and Idioms in Context. Once you get your certificate at this level, you will likely find the diagnostic exam for enrollment in FNU careers easier, and you may feel comfortable enough to take the road towards bilingualism. If you make a commitment to seek full immersion in the language, you could find yourself thinking in English and understanding sooner than expected. Make it a point to fully understand what you see, hear and read; understanding will always be the key to proper learning.
ESL can open many doors in your personal and professional life. To learn more about online ESL certificates at FNU, please contact one of our admissions counselors today.