Preparing for College As an ESL Student

Students learning English as their second language will have an advantageous skill as they prepare to pursue higher education in the U.S. As ESL students work to apply for college in the states, it is important for them to have a solid understanding of the English language as they make this next step. Students working to learn English must find the right college, apply, then take the TOEFL to begin their higher education journey.

Finding the Right College

A group of students in an auditorium

The U.S. university system is complex, so it’s no surprise that many non-English speakers don’t know where to begin. There are thousands of colleges and many degrees to choose from, from two-year associate degrees at community colleges to four-year bachelor’s degrees at state universities. Plus, each college has its own specific entrance requirements. There are tons of helpful guides online that explain these requirements, and the admissions department at each college can answer any questions you have. Our student services department can also assist in helping you understand the entrance requirements.

Applying to College

Applying can be just as difficult as finding the right college for non-native English speakers. Official test scores from the SAT, TOEFL, and other standardized tests must be sent to the college, and transcripts may be needed from previous educational work. Many colleges require students to write essays, and some colleges ask students to provide recommendations from a previous teacher. Applying for college is a lot of work, but the payoff is immeasurable.

Preparing for the TOEFL

The English learning phase of your educational career wraps up with the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), which is a test measuring a student’s ability to succeed in an English-language college. It assesses a student’s ability to read, understand, speak, and write in English. Many students spend up to six months preparing for the TOEFL, but often busy students need more time to prepare. Leading up to the test, students should learn the format of the test and good test-taking strategies as well as practice their English language weaknesses. The TOEFL should be taken several weeks before college applications are due to allow adequate time for schools to receive the student’s scores.

Students at ALCC American Language spend their time studying and preparing for the TOEFL to pave the way to a brighter future through higher education. To discover how our programs can help you learn English, call us at (212) 736-2373 or register online now.

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