ESL is a traditional acronym to describe the process of learning English as a second language.

Although English isn't the most commonly spoken language in the world, it is the most commonly learned language for non-natives speakers.

And when it comes to specialist ESL tutors, the experience may differ considerably upon the student. This is because tutors will adopt different techniques and strategies within their teaching styles and this can be beneficial to some students and not others.

There are various strategies involved with effective tutoring, and fostering independence is certainly one of them.

It is up to the tutor to instill a level of belonging and identity within the learner, aiming to foster confidence within the individual so they can begin to develop their skills through talking, reading, listening, and writing during the periods in which they aren't partaking in structured tutoring sessions.

The tutor will not always be there, so he/she must ensure they are building the confidence of the ESL student to experiment and practice their English skills out of teaching and tutoring hours.

Compared to other cultural hubs such as Los Angeles and Chicago, Boston has long been associated with a lack of diversity in the past, yet this has changed considerably over recent years.

According to new census data released in 2017, Boston has now become the sixth most diverse city in the United States compared to the fifty largest cities across the country.

Diversity is what makes cities a great place to live in! The contrast of cultures can offer varying perspectives, generating new traditions and cultures whilst creating a wealth of different and exciting businesses and community links.

For those that are new to Boston, it may well be that you have traveled from a different culture or part of the world in which English isn't used as the main language to communicate.

This could mean that as a relatively new Bostonian, you may require additional support to help develop your level of English speaking!

Across the city, there are several opportunities when on the lookout for such support.

From specialized ESL tutors to structured courses, those looking to improve their English have unlimited options in doing so.

We will begin to have a look at some of these opportunities in more detail whilst analyzing the various options and identifying how they may align with particular learning goals and circumstances of the individual.

ESL One-To-One Tutors

Learning English with a tutor
Specialist ESL Tutors can support early years children to adults of all ages. (Source: Visualhunt)

Positives to one-to-one tutoring

Most students prefer to find one tutor they are comfortable with as it offers a level of continuity and helps to build a rapport and increasing level of confidence!

If you are simply changing tutors every other week, the student may face the potential to stagnate or even regress with their learning achievements.

Therefore, finding that perfect tutor and sticking with them is a great way to develop English learning at a more formidable and quicker rate.

One-to-one tutoring results in the individual receiving undivided attention and support and the tutor is, therefore, able to concentrate solely on that individual and focus their learning strategies explicitly on that individual alone.

Also, the potential for picking up negative learning behaviors will be quickly identified by the tutor and misconceptions can be addressed so such behaviors are soon quashed.

One-to-one tutoring also makes the learning experience more personable and tailored to the individual.

Whole class or group-based learning means that students could be learning at varying rates and as the student does not have the complete attention of the tutor, this can result in the student becoming lost and often producing shortcuts within their learning to maintain at the same pace of learning as the other students.

Transversely, a student could be learning at a quicker rate than the other individuals in the class and their development could be reduced for having to wait for others.

Potential pitfalls with tutoring

The expense. One-to-one tutoring is known to be more expensive than group-based learning. Especially if a tutor is hired to travel to the student's home, they may often include their traveling expenses within their price to compensate for the time and money it takes traveling to and from the student's home.

Compared to structured classes and monthly courses, one-to-one tutoring is not as regular. Usually, these sessions will last between 60-90 minutes and this usually takes place only once a week.

The student will almost always be designated with additional work until the following tutoring session. This means a lot of directed, independent learning will be self-led, leaving the student solely responsible for their progression and input during the time of which the tutoring isn't taking place.

Furthermore, the tutor may have holidays and weeks in which they cannot conduct their lessons.

The clashing of schedules can result in the time of which the student has not partaken in their usual tutoring classes.

Such reliance means there must be a strong element of trust and communication to ensure that the regularity and consistency of lessons will exist between the student and the tutor.

ESL Courses in Boston

A student sits behind a pile of books.
From structured, group-based courses to individual tutoring sessions. Multiple options are available across the city. (Source: Visualhunt)

Signing up to ESL programs and courses is a great way to embed an element of structured learning within your schedule!

Complimentary courses (evening classes) for those still attending elementary, high school, and college programs are available across Boston, but specialist adult programs for those looking to develop their level of English proficiency are also possible!

Based on Tremont St, The English Language Center is a popular destination that offers a range of opportunities for their students including:

  • Intensive & semi-intensive English programs
  • Learning vacation (basic) English
  • Testing & test preparation
  • Various university programs.

They have centers across the United States, including Houston, New York & Philadelphia!

Their prices and availability of upcoming courses can be found on their website.

Boasting a five-star rating from reviews of existing students, Talk English School, located amid the financial district, provides a unique city experience that emphasizes the importance of developing social connections with fellow students.

It's many pro's includes it's central location, interactive classroom technology, flexible course lengths as well as it's exciting and relevant subject areas.

Upon completion of the varying programs, students will receive certification which can be used as evidence for an individual's level of English speaking, reading, listening, and writing proficiency.

Those interested can receive a free quote through their homepage and you can also take a virtual tour of the school's facilities online.

Learning ESL - Why Bother?

A child works through an English textbook.
The younger you start learning the more chance you will have of gaining proficiency. (Source: Visualhunt)

ESL education has an extensive history in the States.

From the 17-18th Century, The US experienced a steady stream of immigration in which around 18 languages were commonly spoken across the country.

Later on, from the turn of the 20th Century, students were then encouraged to assimilate mainly toward the English language and the emphasis of this within the educational system is largely why the language is predominantly spoken across the States.

There are many advantages to learning English, and there are additional advantages to bilingualism.

Coming from a separate culture/country in which English is not the first language, those individuals could find themselves in a beneficial position.

If such individuals go on to learn English to a fluent level, the fact that they can speak more than one language can be more advantageous for certain areas of employment and opportunities moving forward.

Some other reasons as to why it is important to learn English, especially when living in a city in which it is the main spoken language include but are not limited to:

  • English gives you access to some of the most revered college and university establishments in the world
  • English allows more access to popular culture
  • English improves memory retention and helps to keep your mind engaged.

As a platform, Superprof is a fantastic way to find personal ESL Tutors.

With over 60 individuals offering their services as specialist ESL Tutors in the Boston area, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing one most aligned to your preferences.

As well as specialist tutors, there are also almost 300 professionals from varying levels of experience that offer English classes.

Some of those are qualified teachers/tutors whereas some may still be going through higher education - if it is the latter, you will often find that those still in education will advertize a reduced rate for their services.

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Christopher