During my last months in Monol, I felt tired and drained after taking the IELTS course. So I decided to shift to ESL. I think that ESL is more interesting than IELTS. There is no pressure, too! My friend, Guo, also changed her course to ESL. That made her mood lighter compared to when she was an IELTS student. Good thing she did because I thought she was almost about to vomit blood then. Haha~
Because I came from the IELTS course, my level in ESL was Advanced. I was scared to study Writing. That is why I avoided it and took the Discussion class instead. I realized later on that Writing and Pronunciation were packaged together in the course. It was quite a loss because I wanted to take the pronunciation class.
Anyway, it was my fault for not understanding and asking about the subjects. My advice is, read about the curriculum well before making a decision.
My subjects were Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Discussion. Outside of regular classes, I asked my other teachers to help me with my pronunciation.
Listening was my favorite subject because the lessons cover social issues, which are more interesting to me. The teacher also shared trivia about the topic, in addition to what’s already in the book.
ESL Listening is more difficult for me compared to IELTS Listening. Apart from the topics that cover a lot of vocabulary, the speed is also fast – like listening to an English news broadcast. I usually had to listen to it several times before I could understand the audio. Nevertheless, this motivated me to learn more! At the end of each unit, my teacher and I discussed the topic, which was helpful to improve my speaking skills.
Topics in ESL Speaking, on the other hand, focus more on everyday life. We discussed favorite foods, work, places to travel, etc. Meanwhile, in Listening, we talked about more serious matters like child labor or sexual assault. I find topics related to life philosophy more engaging in class.
The textbooks contain simple articles about a subject matter, and during the class, we talked about related issues as well.
The Listening subject also has a portion that tackles pronunciation. After making sure that I had no problems in this area, the teacher discussed how to overcome my weaknesses.
ESL subjects don’t only focus on a particular skill because lessons on vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation are already part of each unit. It is a great course not only to improve English skills but also to broaden knowledge.