With Spanish being the second-most spoken language in the South Florida area, many Latin American international students choose this region as the place to earn a United States (US) college education because it’s a convenient location to transition into a new learning environment and culture. In fact, there are many South Florida residents who may not speak any English at all! As an aspiring professional, this is not an option. It is imperative that you master the English language if you want to earn a college education in the US.
While it’s true that Spanish is the second-most spoken language in the South Florida region, much of the business-to-business and business-to-community relations are conducted in English. That is why Florida National University (FNU) provides three comprehensive levels of English as a Second Language (ESL) courses to prepare non-English speaking students for life in college and beyond. Our ESL programs aren’t just for aspiring college students either. If English isn’t your first language and you feel that you could use a brush-up on your speaking and comprehension skills, then these programs are for you. We offer three different ESL programs to match your proficiency level.
The Importance of Taking an ESL Placement Exam
The higher the level, the more complex the lessons will be. While many students might think that their English-speaking skills are at a satisfactory level, FNU does not prefer to take students at their word! To do so could place them in an ESL level that may be too advanced or not challenging enough. This is why our Department Head requires students to take a placement exam to determine which level ESL program he or she needs to enroll in.
FNU’s 3 Levels of ESL Programs
- ESL Basic Level (18 Credits)
This level focuses heavily on the basic fundamentals of basic speaking, reading, and writing skills. The first part of this program will dedicate 9 credit hours toward this alone—equivalent to two, 4.5-hour courses broken down in levels 1-4. So much time is dedicated to these three fundamentals because it is the foundation to good communication skills. The second half of this program will focus on putting them all together and making them work in comprehensible structural patterns.
- ESL Intermediate Level (18 Credits Minimum)
The intermediate level of our ESL program is where our basic level graduates advance to build on their basic understanding of the English language. Here, they will build on the English structural patterns by reading and writing about topics that are relevant to today’s society. Most importantly, students will strengthen their comprehension skills through a listening and discussion forum amongst their classmates. This course will simply focus more on applying the English language to everyday life based on students’ social and cultural surroundings on a local, regional, national, and possibly even a global level. Graduates of this ESL level will be eligible to apply to an FNU career program.
- ESL High Intermediate Level (18 Credits Minimum)
This high-level intermediate certificate program provides students with the opportunity to further develop their English vocabulary. Here, students will learn more complex grammatical structures. They’ll also learn how to develop communication strategies through linguistic context and get a better understanding of idioms. This is the level where students will practice public speaking techniques and advance their listening and discussion skills. Graduates of this ESL level will also be eligible to apply to an FNU career program.
Good English-Speaking Skills are Vital for Job Interviews
At some point, you will need to prepare for job interviews. If you plan on getting a job anywhere in the US, you will need to speak English very fluently. Your resume must also be well written in the English language. This is something employers expect of all job applicants. Being able to communicate effectively within the workplace is key to running a successful business. If you are not able to communicate well during an interview, then employers will not have much faith in trusting you to communicate well with their own clients.
Why FNU is the Perfect University for Non-English Speaking Students
South Florida is a beautifully diverse place that is full of culture. Many of FNU international students find that they have an easier transition attending our university. With our two campuses in Hialeah and Miami, students whose first language is Spanish tend to feel a bit more at ease being so far away from home.
There’s no better way to practice your ESL learning skills than to dive right into one of our regionally accredited degree programs. Most of them can be earned 100% online. View our online curriculum of degree programs here. For a list of our online degree programs, visit our webpage here.
There are so many opportunities to be gained with a college degree. As an international student, you must first get a handle on the English language. Contact one of our FNU advisors to discuss what steps you need to take in order to take the ESL placement exam today.