11 Best Language Schools to Learn English in New York City

Are you ready to speak English like a native? Do you want to travel and make friends in the United States? Learning English in New York City can make it happen. We researched the best language schools to learn English in NYC so you don't have to.

English is truly a global language. According to Infoplease, 378 million people speak English as their primary language and 743 million speak it as their second language. That's over a billion people! No other language opens as many possibilities for travel and professional advancement.

The English language is evolving at a rapid pace. According to Factretreiver, a new word is created in English every 98 minutes. William Shakespeare added 1,700 words to the English language during his lifetime. New York rappers like Jay-Z and Tupac have contributed to keeping the language fresh.

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Manhattan Language

Manhattan Language is located near the New York Stock Exchange and the Staten Island Ferry. The classrooms are modern, clean and offer excellent views of the Statue of Liberty. A student lounge brings together people from Japan, Brazil, China, Taiwan, Korea and many other countries.

Having visited the school, I can attest to the positive energy about the place. The staff sits in an open space in the middle of the classrooms. The Program Administrator, Maggie Holy and owner, Bonita Vander, are in constant contact with the students.

Bonita started the school in 2000 and continues to read all the exit surveys. According to Bonita, "Students often cite the attentive staff and family like atmosphere. They are happy with other students they meet and the activities inside and outside of the classroom." Bonita attributes much of this to a loyal teaching staff that has been with the school for over 10 years on average. Many of them are writers, actors, comedians and musicians which brings a creative approach to teaching English.

Rennert International

César Rennert, a faculty member at New York University, founded Rennert International in 1973. His mission was to create a high quality language school that offered small classes and focused on conversational teaching methods. "We wanted an alternative from the way languages were taught at the university level," Mr. Rennert says. "We were forced to teach lots of grammar there, there was very little conversation in class, and the large number of students in classes made learning a language difficult."

Professor Rennert is the founder of International Association of Language Centers (IALC). The missions of IALC is to foster a dynamic community of language centers delivering high-quality learning experiences worldwide. IALC is comprised of hundreds of high schools from over 40 countries. They adhere to strict standards of academic standards.

According to Dawn Henning, Vice President of Sales and Business Development, some of the most popular courses at Rennert are the English + series. In addition to learning a common foundation for english as a second language, students learn specialized vocabulary in areas such as Dance, Fashion, Music and Aviation. Other courses specialize in preparing students to enter University or to succeed in business.

Brooklyn School of Languages

The Brooklyn School of Languages (BSL) is a boutique institute in Brooklyn Heights, just one subway stop away from Manhattan. The school is located on the 34th floor and offers stunning views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.

Classes have a maximum of 12 students and an average of 7-8 students. A friendly team gives personal attention to every student. According to Lauren Wyner, Academic and Programs Manager, students appreciate the friendly atmosphere and field trips to places like the DeKalb Market Hall and the Brooklyn Courthouse.

One distinguishing feature of BSL is their ability to organize accommodations. Students can choose from homestays and house-shares operated by the school. They have the opportunity to form close friendships by studying and living together.

New York Language Center

New York Language Center (NYLC) is one of the bigger schools on our list. They have classrooms in Midtown Manhattan, Uptown Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx. The Midtown location is a few blocks from the New York Public Library and Bryant Park.

NYLC's mission is to provide high quality, affordable English classes to international students and to expose them to American culture. According to the founder, Barbara Dick, NYLC provides good value for the money to students of all ages, nationalities and professional backgrounds. Cassandra Wong, the Director of Student Life, organizes weekly activities to insure students get the most out of their time in New York City.

NYLC has over 34 years of experience teaching English as a second language. They work hard to provide a friendly and supportive environment so students can focus on their studies. All of the instructors at NYLC have a baccalaureate degree, ESL certification training, or a Masters in TESOL. Many of them have obtained a Certificate in English Language Teaching (CELTA).

New York English Academy

New York English Academy (NYEA) is located in downtown Manhattan, a short walk from Wall St., South Street Seaport and One World Trade Cent. The classrooms are colorful and contemporary. Class sizes average 5 students so everybody gets personalized attention. The Academy provides comprehensive programs approved by ACCET and BPSS.

NYEA's teachers are native English speakers, have decades of experience and have taught in some of the world's most prestigious universities. NYEA offers an active teaching training (TESOL) program, taught by a TESOL PhDs. Every Friday afternoon there is a school activity and a wine reception once a month. In addition, NYEA provides special scholarships for refugees.

According to Assistant Director, Amy Nagy, what sets NYEA apart is small class sizes and service oriented support staff. Student can request help with visas, housing and other issues. They build close relationships thanks to monthly parties and weekly field trips.

St Giles International

St Giles is an English language school in an art deco office block on Fifth Avenue, in the very heart of Manhattan. The Empire State Building, Macy's department store and Greenwich Village are moments away. In addition to teaching students, St Giles offers Cambridge CELTA courses for those who want to become teaches.

Zoni Language Centers

Zoni Language Centers was founded by Zoilo C. Nieto in 1991. Over 500,000 students have studied English at Zoni campuses with cafés, lounge areas free wifi. Zoni's curriculum combines learning techniques such as Direct Method, Total Physical Response, Communicative Approach and Cooperative Learning. Classes take place in learning studios which are a new type of classroom that is open and interactive.

LSI New York

LSI New York language school provides facilities with bright, airy classrooms with views of Battery Park and the Hudson River. Facilities include a computer lab, executive meeting room and a student lounge where you can relax when not studying for exams. LSI New York is one of the designated ESL programmes for students taking classes at MCNY. You receive a certificate when completing the course as proof of your language competence.

English Language Institute, LIU Brooklyn

The English Language Institute at LIU Brooklyn offers students the opportunity to improve their English in all skill areas: Conversation & Listening, Reading & Vocabulary, Grammar, and Writing. They offer nine Levels of English, from Beginner to Advanced to University preparation as well as Exam Preparation Courses for TOEFL and IELTS. LIU is located in downtown Brooklyn, only minutes away from the Brooklyn Bridge, the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, the famous Barclay’s Center, and Brooklyn Museum, as well as just a short train ride from Manhattan.

English Language Institute, Pace University

The English Language Institute at Pace University provides wide ranging American English language programs in the heart of New York City. You can take intensive English language courses if you want to improve your general English or academic English for students planning to study in an American university. Pace also offers business English and cross-cultural training for professionals.

If we missed one of your favorite New York City language schools, even if it's your own, don't hesitate to email us at outreach@vidalingua.com.

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Would you like to write an article about language or travel as a Vidalingua guest blogger? Please email outreach@vidalingua.com to let us know.

Enjoy the Big Apple!

Marc Bolh
Founder, Vidalingua

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