3 Challenges ESL Learners Face

There are over a million international students in the United States, and more international students are enrolling in prestigious universities in the U.S. each year. Most of these students come from non-English speaking countries and are ESL (English as a Second Language) learners.

While learning a second language has numerous benefits for both the academic field and the professional field, learning another language is never easy. It’s especially difficult to learn English as a second language due to complicated grammar rules and confusing syntax.

Here are some of the most common hurdles faced by ESL learners on the path to English language proficiency and education:

Culture Shock

The culture shock faced by ESL learners often impedes their progress and education. Cultural shock occurs from losing signs and symbols used for social intercourse that were familiar in the students’ native language. Other factors of cultural shock include social isolation, communication barriers, unfamiliar surroundings, and food, change in living status, and more. All these factors can increase the confusion an ESL learner is already facing and deter them from becoming proficient in the language.

Time Constraints

ESL learners have to deal with a lot of unrealistic expectations regarding their learning of a second language. They also have to juggle multiple responsibilities, such as going to work, taking care of the family, and keeping up with the academic assignments. This makes it difficult for them to take out the time to learn the language. The unrealistic expectations cause them to become distressed when they’re unable to learn various aspects of the language fast enough. The fact is that everyone has a different pace of learning the language, and it’s not something that you can speed through.

Writing Coherent and Grammatically Correct Sentences

A lot of ESL learners have trouble with pronunciations, which makes it difficult for them to correctly spell and write certain words. They often come across words that are said one way but spelled in a different way. Similarly, there are sounding words that are spelled in multiple ways. This makes it particularly challenging for them to write coherent and grammatically correct sentences that convey their ideas clearly.

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