Whether you are completely new to English, or want to brush up on your language a little bit and improve your pronunciation, ESL schools are a great way to go. An ESL program can run anywhere from a week to a year, but the principle is the same. You are there to learn English, and that is it. Often, classes are held in an English-speaking country to make it more necessary for you to immerse yourself in the culture. ESL classes are taught completely in English, using pictures and symbols, as well as various other props, to help illustrate the words you are learning. Because you have to quickly learn to think in English, English as a second language classes help to develop language skills much more quickly. After all, if you can revert to your native language whenever you feel like it, you won't learn half as quickly.
Of course, ESL school classes are not only for the citizens of non-English speaking countries. Nowadays, with the influx of immigrants from Spanish-speaking nations, ESL public schools are becoming more and more common in the United States. There are actually a number of bilingual public schools where all students are taught both Spanish and English. Not only does this allow them to bridge the gap between two cultures, but it is also good for mental development. Many scientists have noted that people who learn multiple languages develop thinking skills more quickly and are better able to cope with strokes when they get older. Far from being a hassle and inconvenience, going to a public ESL school is actually a privilege!
Of course, picking out the right ESL school can be very difficult. The problem is that there are so many countries with ESL programs nowadays, and not all of them are good. One of the best ways to figure out if a particular ESL program is a good one is to get in touch with one of the big international English as a second language organizations. After all, teaching English as a foreign language is big business nowadays, with millions of students learning it all over the world. There are plenty of good books written to guide you to the right ESL school.