Stand-Alone English Course

In the past, English courses have been limited mostly to literature courses taken by high school or college students. Today, however, there are all types of English courses designed to meet the needs of a variety of students, including working adults, international students, and non-native English speakers.

If you did not grow up speaking English or if you spoke English at school but another language at home, you might benefit from taking an English as a Second Language (ESL) course. (This may also be called an English as a Foreign Language course). An ESL/EFL course can help you learn conversational English or more formal, academic English. You can often find ESL/EFL courses offered through your city’s parks and recreation department or through a local community college. These classes are also frequently offered online at a minimal cost.

Even if English is your primary language, an English course can still help you. If you are a professional, a Business English/Grammar course can improve your language skills in work and social situations. You will learn the most professional way to conduct business calls, interact during meetings, and even talk to your boss. A business English course can even help you be a better manager by teaching you how to talk to employees in a positive, encouraging way.

Other English courses can help you pass English proficiency tests such as the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), or the General Educational Development (GED) test. You must pass the GRE to be admitted to many graduate and business schools, and colleges, graduate schools, and businesses will often require a passing TOEFL score as proof that you can speak, write, and read English fluently, especially if you are applying to teach English in a foreign country. The GED measures high-school level English skills and is taken by people who did not earn a high school diploma.

Undoubtedly, the most common type of English course is that which focuses on literature. Once only offered as part of diploma and degree programs, you can now take these English courses individually. Literature-based courses are similar to the ones you took in high school and will require you to read and analyze plays, novels, and poetry. You can find courses that broadly survey American or British literature or courses may be highly specific, such as courses that study Irish-American literature or works written by soldiers during the Vietnam War.

Stand-Alone English Course

One specific type of English course, the comparative literature class, will familiarize you not only with the literature of a country, but its art, history, and culture, as well. This can be especially helpful if you intend to work or study internationally.

Some English courses focus less on reading and more on helping you improve your writing skills. Composition courses, also called rhetoric and composition courses, are designed to help you write well in an academic environment. There are also more specific writing courses, which can help you write for a particular field. Grant and proposal writing, journalism, technical writing, and screenwriting are just a few areas of writing you can explore in an English course.

English courses are no longer just for high school and college students who need a full spectrum of courses to complete a degree. Now you can take just one course or several, depending on your needs. With so many different types of English courses available, chances are that a specific course exists to help you learn to communicate more effectively at home, at work, or abroad.

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