An Overview: ESL, IELTS, & TOEIC


English as a Second Language is a general term for the use of the English language by people who possess a different mother tongue. It rings the same with the language education called English as a foreign language (EFL), English as an additional language (EAL), or English for speakers of other languages (ESOL).

Various systems of learning are tailored to the level and needs of the students, and these are done in academies, specialized centers, or even at home. Some of these training methods include repetitions oriented with insights and recasts. The standards of learning rooted from the US and UK, the countries which used the English language for a very long time. Variants like Australian English and African-American are also considered for learning basis.


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The most popular and complex English language proficiency test around the world is IELTS, the International English Language Testing System. Developed by international language assessment experts, it is trusted by more than 10,000 organizations such as educational institutions, employers, and immigration offices. In fact, over 3 million tests were conducted last year.

There are four categories of tests in IELTS, assessing your English skills. These are Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking, all of which tackle how you use English at school, work, socialization, and generally in your life abroad.

IELTS uses a more personal approach in assessing your speaking skills. It uses a one-on-one system, meaning you and the interviewer will have a real-life, real-time conversation as a form of assessment. This proves to be an effective way to test English as it naturally brings out your communication abilities.

There are two types of IELTS tests, and which one you will take depends on your plans for going abroad or the requirement of the organization you are related to. If your purpose is to study below degree level, go into a training, or migrate to another English-speaking country, you should take IELTS General Training. If you intend to pursue higher education or join a professional organization in an English-speaking country, you should take IELTS Academic.


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If you are working in an international environment, even your everyday English skills need some assessment. This specialized test is called TOEIC, or Test of English for International Communication.

The exam has different forms. First is TOEIC Listening & Reading which consists of two tests graded equally. It focuses on comprehension skills with activities that can reach a total score of 990. Another is TOEIC Speaking and Writing which consists of several tasks. Speaking test concentrates on several tasks like pronunciation, intonation, stress, vocabulary, grammar, cohesion, the relevance of content, and completeness of thought. Writing test concentrates on grammar, vocabulary, organization, variety, quality, the relevance of sentences to the pictures, and the depth of the opinion. You can have a score of 0 to 200 for both assessments.


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