ESL stands for English as a Second Language, and is an acronym that is mainly used in an educational setting. ESL actually refers to teaching English to people who are not native English speakers. These are people whose primary language is not English. Based on the education laws of the United States, schools are required to give ESL instruction to any student who is enrolled in the school who is not a native English speaker.
There is a big need for ESL programs in order to help students get the proper educational proficiency standards in school based on the results of the 2000 census. The census discovered that about 1 in 5 United States citizens spoke another language other than English in their homes. Even though the findings do not imply that these people do not speak English too, the census also revealed that about 10 percent speaks English less fluently or not even at all. The ESL programs in both elementary and secondary schools are trying to address the needs of young people who need to study and learn English in order to achieve success in English proficiency. There are also ESL programs for adults that are constantly being developed and also continuously growing to meet the demands of its target audience. ESL programs in public schools must be able to meet state and federal requirements.
A majority of ESL programs that are geared for early childhood and elementary education give emphasis on phonetics and on the English alphabet. The program does this through the utilization of both visual and auditory presentations. Computers also play a big part in the instruction process because it is a strong tool for instruction.