English in Focus: Conversation Starters

English in Focus: Conversation Starters

This Conversation Starters section of the Everyday English in Conversation is developed to engage you in meaningful situations as happens in our daily conversation. It is recommended that you first attempt to develop a response and then compare your answers with the sample responses. We believe by paying attention to the native-speakers' oral responses, you'll learn how to express your feelings and ideas properly and idiomatically.

Now, begin surfing into Conversation Starters.

Everyday English in Conversation

Everyday English in Conversation

Does it happen to you that sometimes you feel frustrated because you find yourself unable to express yourself clearly and yet when you hear native speakers, you feel that it is so simple and easy? In this section, we will focus on learning idiomatic and everyday expressions to help us deal with daily conversational situations. As each dialogue is accompanied with carefully designed exercises, follow the recommended steps and practice at your own pace.

Now, surf into Everyday English in Conversation!!!

Introducing Yourself

Introducing Yourself


Hello. My name's Peter. What's your name?
Where are you from Janet?
I'm from Seattle. Where are you from?
I'm from Madrid.
Are you American?
Yes, I am. Are you Spanish?
Yes I am.
Key Vocabulary

My name is...
What's (is) your name ...
Where are you from?
I'm from... Are you (Spanish, American, German, etc.)

Hello and Goodbye - Three Short Conversations

Hello, Peter. How are you?
Fine, thanks. How are you?
I'm fine, thank you.

Goodbye, Janet. See you tomorrow!
Bye bye, Peter. Have a nice evening.
Thanks, you too!
Key Vocabulary
Hello... How are you?
I'm fine, - OK, - well, thank you
Goodbye, - bye bye
See you tomorrow
Have a nice evening, - day

Today's Special

Today's Special

(in a restaurant)

Waiter: Good afternoon, how can I help you today?
Jennifer: I'd like a table for one, please.

Waiter: Right this way. (walks to table) Here you are.
Jennifer: Thank you. Can I have a menu?

Waiter: (hands a menu) Here you are. My name's Alan and I'm your waiter today. Would you like to hear today's specials?
Jennifer: Certainly.

Waiter: Well, we have a wonderful mushroom soup to start off with. Today's main course is fish and chips.
Jennifer: Fish and chips? Is the fish fresh?

Waiter: Certainly, madam. Fresh off the docks this morning.
Jennifer: Alright, I'd like the fish and chips.

Waiter: Would you like to have a starter?
Jennifer: hmmm, I'm not sure.

Waiter: Our salads are excellent, madam.
Jennifer: I'd like a green salad.

Waiter: Very good. Would you like something to drink?
Jennifer: Oh, I'd like some mineral water, please.

Waiter: OK. So that's a green salad, fish and chips and mineral water.
Jennifer: Yes, that's right.

Waiter: Thank you and enjoy your lunch.
Jennifer: Thank you.


Multiple Choice Questions

1. Who is Jennifer gong to have lunch with?


2. What is today's special?

Vegetable soup
Fish and Chips
Green salad

3. Jennifer is _________

going to have a starter and a main course.
going to have only a starter.
going to have a main course.

4. Is the fish fresh?

Doesn't say

5. What is Jennifer going to have to drink?

Mineral water

English Grammar Explanations

Comparison of adjectives
Sentences with comparisons
The adverbs
The comparison of adverbs
Position of adverbs in sentences
Adverbs of frequency
Adverbs and adjectives have the same form
Adverbs - the basis is not the adjective
Adverbs with two forms


The articles "a" and "the"
The articles "a" and "the"

Gerund - Use, Form
Gerund after adjectives and prepositions
Gerund after nouns and prepositions
Gerund after verbs and prepositions
Gerund after special verbs
Gerund after special phrases
Gerund after prepositions

Gerund and Infinitive

Gerund and Infinitive - no difference in meaning
Gerund and Infinitive - difference in meaning

If-Clauses (Conditional sentences)
If-Clauses - Conditional sentences - Type I
If-Clauses - conditional sentences - Type II
If-Clauses - conditional sentences - Type III
Mixed Conditionals
Replacing if - Omitting if - if vs. when - in case vs. if
when or if
will and would in if-clauses

Infinitive with to
Infinitive without to

Modals, Modal Auxiliaries
do/does in questions
Modal auxiliaries can, must
to be able to - can
Long- and short forms
What are modal auxiliaries?

Countables and uncountables

's or of-phrase

Passive Voice
Active and passive forms in the most common tenses
How to form the passive
Important forms

Phrasal verbs, Prepositional verbs
List with sentences A-H
List with sentences I-R
List with sentences S-Z

Prepositions of time
Prepositions of place and direction (in, at, on)
Prepositions of place and direction

Personal pronouns, Possessive determiners, Possessive pronouns
Relative pronouns
self/each other (Reflexive pronouns)



much/many - a little/a few

How to form a question - Summary
Question tags
Questions without question words and the verb to be
Questions with question words and the verb to be
Questions with the word to have
Questions in the Past Progressive
Questions in the Present Progressive
Questions in the Simple Present
Questions in the Simple Past
Questions with who and what

Reported Speech

Contact clauses
Position of adverbs of frequency
Position of time in statements
Relative clauses
that and which in restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses
Verbs with two objects
Word order - statements
Word order - questions

Tenses (short explanations)
Conditional Simple
Conditional Progressive
Conditional Perfect
Conditional Perfect Progressive
Past Perfect Progressive (Continuous)
Future Progressive (Continuous)
Future Perfect
Future Perfect Progressive (Continuous)

Tenses (detailed explanations)
Past Perfect
Past Perfect - Diagram
Past Perfect - Form of affirmative, negative sentences, questions
Past Perfect - Short and long forms
Past Perfect - Signal words
Past Perfect - Spelling
Past Perfect - Special verbs
Past Perfect - Summary
Past Perfect - Use

Past Progressive/Past Continuous
Past Progressive/Continuous - Diagram
Past Progressive/Continuous - Form of affirmative, negative sentences, questions
Past Progressive/Continuous - Short and long forms
Past Progressive/Continuous - Signal words
Past Progressive/Continuous - Spelling
Past Progressive/Continuous - Special verbs
Past Progressive/Continuous - Summary
Past Progressive/Continuous - Use

Present Perfect
Present Perfect - Diagram
Present Perfect - Form of affirmative, negative sentences, questions
Present Perfect - Short and long forms
Present Perfect - Signal words
Present Perfect - Spelling
Present Perfect - Special verbs
Present Perfect - Summary
Present Perfect - Use

Present Perfect Progressive/Present Perfect Continuous
Present Perfect Progressive - Diagram
Present Perfect Progressive - Form of affirmative, negative sentences, questions
Present Perfect Progressive - Short and long forms
Present Perfect Progressive - Signal words
Present Perfect Progressive - Spelling
Present Perfect Progressive - Special verbs
Present Perfect Progressive - Summary
Present Perfect Progressive - Use

Present Progressive/Present Continuous
Present Progressive/Continuous - Diagram
Present Progressive/Continuous - Form of affirmative, negative sentences, questions
Present Progressive/Continuous - Short and long forms
Present Progressive/Continuous - Signal words
Present Progressive/Continuous - Special verbs
Present Progressive/Continuous - Spelling
Present Progressive/Continuous - Summary
Present Progressive/Continuous - Use

Simple Past
Simple Past - Diagram
Simple Past - Form of affirmative, negative sentences, questions
Simple Past - Signal words
Simple Past - Irregular verbs/Special verbs
Simple Past - Spelling
Simple Past - Summary
Simple Past - Use

Simple Present
Simple Present - Diagram
Simple Present - Form of affirmative, negative sentences and questions
Simple Present - Short and long forms (Contracted forms)
Simple Present - Signal words
Simple Present - Special verbs
Simple Present - Spelling
Simple Present - Summary
Simple Present - Use

going to-future
going to-future - Diagram
going to-future - Form of affirmative, negative sentences and questions
going to-future - Short and long forms (Contracted forms)
going to-future - Signal words
going to-future - Summary
going to-future - Use

will-future - Diagram
will-future - Form of affirmative, negative sentences and questions
will-future - Short and long forms (Contracted forms)
will-future - Signal words
will-future - Summary
will-future - Use

Tenses - Comparison
Future tenses
Past Perfect - Simple Past
Present Perfect - Simple Past
Simple Present - Present Progressive/Continuous

English tenses (diagram)
English tenses (table)
English tenses - The verb to be
Most common English tenses (table)
Different terms for the English tenses
How a sentence can change its meaning.
How to put in tenses correctly.
Irregular verbs (table)
What are signal words?


Irregular verbs
Irregular verbs (most common)
Learn irregular verbs effectively
State verbs, dynamic verbs
Verbs with two objects

Date, Months, Days of the week
English tenses - The verb to be
Long- and short forms (Contracted forms)
's or of-phrase
this, that - these, those

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Representing Language Use in the University: Analysis of the TOEFL® 2000 Spoken and Written Academic Language Corpus

Biber, Douglas
Conrad, Susan M.
Reppen, Randi
Byrd, Pat
Helt, Marie
Clark, Victoria
Cortes, Viviana
Csomay, Eniko
Urzua, Alfredo

Publication Year:

Report Number:
RM-04-03, TOEFL-MS-25

To date, there have been few large-scale empirical investigations of academic registers, and virtually no such investigations of spoken academic registers. Given this lack of basic knowledge, it has been nearly impossible to evaluate the representativeness of English as a second language/English as a foreign language (ESL/EFL) materials and assessment instruments. Specifically in the context of the TOEFL® 2000 effort, we have lacked the tools to determine whether the texts used on listening and reading exams accurately represent the linguistic characteristics of spoken and written academic registers. The TOEFL 2000 Spoken and Written Academic Language (T2K-SWAL) Corpus was constructed and analyzed to help fill this gap. This report describes the design and analysis of the corpus. Two major stages of analysis were completed: First, linguistic analyses of the text categories in the T2K-SWAL Corpus were completed to identify the salient patterns of language use in each academic register (across registers, disciplines, and levels). Then, based on those findings, diagnostic tools were developed to indicate whether the language used in T2K Listening and Reading Comprehension tasks is representative of real-life language use.

Full Report:
View full report

Order printed copy of report (specify title and report number, if any)

Key Word(s):
Academic registers / corpus linguistics / discourse analysis / ESP / multidimensional analysis / register studies

ETS to Offer over 25,000 Additional TOEFL® iBT Seats in Mainland China

Contact: Tom Ewing

Princeton, N.J. (June 19, 2007) —This press release is also available in Korean (PDF).

ETS and China’s National Education Examinations Authority (NEEA) announced today that NEEA will provide 25,000 additional seats for the TOEFL® iBT to students in China from July to December. The added capacity is one of several actions being taken to meet increased demand for the world-leading English-language proficiency exam in China.

“ETS is committed to ensuring that everyone in China who wishes to take the test has an opportunity to do so,” says Paul A. Ramsey, Senior Vice President of ETS’s Global Division. “TOEFL scores are accepted by more than 6,000 colleges and universities in over 110 countries, and the number of TOEFL test takers in China has been growing steadily. We appreciate this high recognition for the TOEFL iBT from Chinese students and remain grateful for their support. We are also deeply grateful to NEEA for their quick response and continuous efforts to improve the delivery of the test.”

ETS and NEEA will offer 14 TOEFL iBT administrations with more than 25,000 test seats by the end of this year. The number of seats will be increased thanks to several actions, including expanding the seat capacity at existing test administrations, opening additional test administrations and gradually increasing the number of test centers.

Further improvements and technological solutions are also being implemented to monitor the TOEFL iBT registration website to ensure an open and fair test registration process.

The new test dates currently available for online registration are as follows:

Month July August September October November December
Date July 21 August 4
August 17 September 8
September 22 October 17
October 27 November 3
November 11
November 24 December 1
December 8
December 10
December 15

For the most up-to-date information regarding test center locations, test dates and seat availability, please visit the NEEA iBT registration website http://toefl.etest.edu.cn or http://toefl.etest.net.cn, or contact the NEEA call center at 86-10-6279-8822.

ETS is a nonprofit organization with the mission to advance quality and equity in education by providing fair and valid assessments, research and related services for all people worldwide. Founded in 1947, ETS designs, develops, delivers and scores more than 50 million tests annually in more than 180 countries, at over 9,000 locations worldwide.

ETS Global, the international arm of ETS, has subsidiary offices around the world organized in four regional divisions: ETS APAC (Asia Pacific), ETS Canada, ETS EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) and ETS Latin America. In serving individuals, businesses, educational institutions, government agencies and membership organizations worldwide, ETS Global offers the same valid and reliable assessments, research and related services as its U.S.-based headquarters. It also provides customized solutions to meet the need for university admissions, student learning, teacher professional development and workforce products and services, and research-based teaching and learning tools. For more information, visit the ETS Global website at www.ets.org/etsglobal.

About TOEFL® iBT
The TOEFL® iBT sets a new standard for measuring communicative English skills by simulating actual academic situations. Backed by 10 years of research, development and testing, the TOEFL iBT redefines the way English is learned and measured. It is the first large-scale, Internet-delivered, English-proficiency assessment to measure test takers' ability to integrate and use all four language skills: listening, reading, writing and speaking. The new test also sets the standard for providing fair, unbiased and objective scoring, building on ETS's record and reputation as the world leader in all facets of educational assessment. More than 6,000 colleges and universities in 110 countries rely on TOEFL® test scores to measure the English-language skills of their students. Visit www.ets.org/toefl for more information.

English language learning and teaching

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

(Redirected from English as an additional language)• Learn more about using Wikipedia for research

ESL (English as a second language), ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) and EFL (English as a foreign language) all refer to the use or study of English by speakers of other languages. The precise usage, including the different use of the terms ESL and ESOL in different countries, is described below. These terms are most commonly used in relation to teaching and learning English, but they may also be used in relation to demographic information.

ELT (English language teaching) is a widely-used teacher-centred term, as in the English language teaching divisions of large publishing houses, ELT training, etc. The abbreviations TESL (teaching English as a second language), TESOL (teaching English for speakers of other languages) and TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) are all also used.

Other terms used in this field include EAL (English as an additional language), ESD (English as a second dialect), EIL (English as an international language), ELF (English as a lingua franca), ESP (English for special purposes, or English for specific purposes), EAP (English for academic purposes), and ELL (English language learner). A somewhat similar term, LEP (limited English proficiency), is also used in this field.

1 Terminology and types
1.1 English outside English-speaking countries
1.2 English within English-speaking countries
1.3 Umbrella terms
1.4 Which variety to teach
1.5 Systems of simplified English
2 Difficulties for learners
2.1 Pronunciation
2.2 Grammar
2.3 Vocabulary
2.4 Differences between spoken and written English
2.5 Varieties of English
3 Exams for learners
3.1 The Common European Framework
4 Qualifications for teachers
4.1 Non-native speakers
4.2 United States qualifications
4.3 British qualifications
5 Professional associations and unions
6 Acronyms and abbreviations
6.1 Types of English
6.2 Other abbreviations
7 References and notes
8 See also
8.1 Language terminology
8.2 General language teaching and learning
8.3 English language teaching and learning
8.4 Contemporary English
8.5 Other
9 External links

Terminology and types
The many acronyms used in the field of English teaching and learning may be confusing. English is a language with great reach and influence; it is taught all over the world under many different circumstances. In English-speaking countries, English language teaching has essentially evolved in two broad directions: instruction for people who intend to stay in the country and those who don't. These divisions have grown firmer as the instructors of these two "industries" have used different terminology, followed distinct training qualifications, formed separate professional associations, and so on. Crucially, these two arms have very different funding structures, public in the former and private in the latter, and to some extent this influences the way schools are established and classes are held. Matters are further complicated by the fact that the United States and the United Kingdom, both major engines of the language, describe these categories in different terms: as many eloquent users of the language have observed, "England and America are two countries divided by a common language." (Attributed to Winston Churchill, George Bernard Shaw, and Oscar Wilde.) The following technical definitions may therefore have their currency contested.

English outside English-speaking countries
EFL, English as a foreign language, indicates the use of English in a non-English-speaking region. Study can occur either in the student's home country, as part of the normal school curriculum or otherwise, or, for the more privileged minority, in an anglophone country which they visit as a sort of educational tourist, particularly immediately before or after graduating from university. TEFL is the teaching of English as a foreign language; note that this sort of instruction can take place in any country, English-speaking or not. Typically, EFL is learned either to pass exams as a necessary part of one's education, or for career progression while working for an organisation or business with an international focus. EFL may be part of the state school curriculum in countries where English has no special status (what linguist Braj Kachru calls the "expanding circle countries"); it may also be supplemented by lessons paid for privately. Teachers of EFL generally assume that students are literate in their mother tongue.

English within English-speaking countries
The other broad grouping is the use of English within the Anglosphere. In what theorist Braj Kachru calls "the inner circle", i.e. countries such as the United Kingdom and the United States, this use of English is generally by refugees, immigrants and their children. It also includes the use of English in "outer circle" countries, often former British colonies, where English is an official language even if it is not spoken as a mother tongue by the majority of the population.

In the US, Canada and Australia, this use of English is called ESL (English as a second language). This term has been criticised on the grounds that many learners already speak more than one language. A counter-argument says that the word "a" in the phrase "a second language" means there is no presumption that English is the second acquired language (see also Second language). TESL is the teaching of English as a second language.

In the UK, Ireland and New Zealand, the term ESL has been replaced by ESOL (English for speakers of other languages). In these countries TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) is normally used to refer to teaching English only to this group. In the UK, the term EAL (English as an additional language), rather than ESOL, is usually used when talking about primary and secondary schools.[1] In the United States, the term English language learner (ELL) is used by governments and school systems. It differs from the other terms above because it refers to learners rather than the language.

Typically, this sort of English (called ESL in the United States, Canada, and Australia, ESOL in the United Kingdom, Ireland and New Zealand) is learned to function in the new host country, e.g. within the school system (if a child), to find and hold down a job (if an adult), to perform the necessities of daily life. The teaching of it does not presuppose literacy in the mother tongue. It is usually paid for by the host government to help newcomers settle into their adopted country, sometimes as part of an explicit citizenship program. It is technically possible for ESL to be taught not in the host country, but in, for example, a refugee camp, as part of a pre-departure program sponsored by the government soon to receive new potential citizens. In practice, however, this is extremely rare.

Particularly in Canada and Australia, the term ESD (English as a second dialect) is used alongside ESL, usually in reference to programs for Canadian First Nations people or indigenous Australians, respectively.[2] It refers to the use of standard English, which may need to be explicitly taught, by speakers of a creole or non-standard variety. It is often grouped with ESL as ESL/ESD.

Umbrella terms
All these ways of teaching English can be bundled together into an umbrella term. Unfortunately, all the English teachers in the world cannot agree on just one. The term TESOL (teaching English to speakers of other languages) is used in American English to include both TEFL and TESL. British English uses ELT (English language teaching), because TESOL has a different, more specific meaning; see above.

Which variety to teach
It is worth noting that ESL and EFL programs also differ in the variety of English which is taught; "English" is a term that can refer to various dialects, including British English, American English, and others. Obviously, those studying English in order to fit into their new country will learn the variety spoken there. However, for those who do not intend to change countries, the question arises of which sort of English to learn. If they are going abroad for a short time to study English, they need to choose which country. For those staying at home, the choice may be made for them in that private language schools or the state school system may only offer one model. Students studying EFL in Hong Kong, for example, are more likely to learn British English, whereas students in the Philippines are more likely to learn American English.

For this reason, many teachers now emphasize teaching English as an international language (EIL), also known as English as a ­lingua franca (ELF). Linguists are charting the development of international English, a term with contradictory and confusing meanings, one of which refers to a decontextualised variant of the language, independent of the culture and associated references of any particular country, useful when, for example, a Saudi does business with someone from China or Albania.

Systems of simplified English
For international communication several models of "simplified English" have been suggested:

Basic English, developed by Charles Kay Ogden (and later also I. A. Richards) in the 1930s; a recent revival has been initiated by Bill Templer[3]
Threshold Level English, developed by van Ek and Alexander[4]
Globish, developed by Jean-Paul Nerrière
Basic Global English, developed by Joachim Grzega[5]
Furthermore, Randolph Quirk and Gabriele Stein thought about a Nuclear English, which, however, has never been fully developed[6].

Difficulties for learners
Language teaching practice often assumes that most of the difficulties that learners face in the study of English are a consequence of the degree to which their native language differs from English (a contrastive analysis approach). A native speaker of Chinese, for example, may face many more difficulties than a native speaker of German, because German is closely related to English, whereas Chinese is not. This may be true for anyone of any mother tongue (also called first language, normally abbreviated L1) setting out to learn any other language (called a target language, second language or L2). See also second language acquisition (SLA) for mixed evidence from linguistic research.

Language learners often produce errors of syntax and pronunciation thought to result from the influence of their L1, such as mapping its grammatical patterns inappropriately onto the L2, pronouncing certain sounds incorrectly or with difficulty, and confusing items of vocabulary known as false friends. This is known as L1 transfer or "language interference". However, these transfer effects are typically stronger for beginners' language production, and SLA research has highlighted many errors which cannot be attributed to the L1, as they are attested in learners of many language backgrounds (for example, failure to apply 3rd person present singular -s to verbs, as in 'he make').

While English is no more complex than other languages, it has several features which may create difficulties for learners. Conversely, because such a large number of people are studying it, products have been developed to help them do so, such as the monolingual learner's dictionary, which is written with a restricted defining vocabulary.

Consonant phonemes
English does not have more individual consonant sounds than most languages. However, the interdentals, /θ/ and /ð/ (the sounds written with th), which are common in English (thin, thing, etc.; and the, this, that, etc.) are relatively rare in other languages, even others in the Germanic family (e.g., English thousand = German tausend), and these sounds are missing even in some English dialects. Some learners substitute a [t] or [d] sound, while others shift to [s] or [z], [f] or [v] and even [ts] or [dz]).
Speakers of Japanese, Korean and Chinese varieties have difficulty distinguishing [r] and [l]. The distinction between [b] and [v] can cause difficulty for native speakers of Spanish, Japanese and Korean.

Vowel phonemes
The precise number of distinct vowel sounds depends on the variety of English: for example, Received Pronunciation has twelve monophthongs (single or "pure" vowels), eight diphthongs (double vowels) and two triphthongs (triple vowels); whereas General American has thirteen monophthongs and three diphthongs. Many learners, such as speakers of Spanish, Japanese or Arabic, have fewer vowels, or only pure ones, in their mother tongue and so may have problems both with hearing and with pronouncing these distinctions.

Syllable structure
In its syllable structure, English allows for a cluster of up to three consonants before the vowel and four after it (e.g., straw, desks, glimpsed). The syllable structure causes problems for speakers of many other languages. Japanese, for example, broadly alternates consonant and vowel sounds so learners from Japan often try to force vowels in between the consonants (e.g., desks /desks/ becomes "desukusu" or milk shake /mɪlk ʃeɪk/ becomes "mirukushēku").
Learners from languages where all words end in vowels sometimes tend to make all English words end in vowels, thus make /meɪk/ can come out as [meɪkə]. The learner's task is further complicated by the fact that native speakers may drop consonants in the more complex blends (e.g., [mʌns] instead of [mʌnθs] for months).
Unstressed vowels - Native English speakers frequently replace almost any vowel in an unstressed syllable with an unstressed vowel, often schwa. For example, from has a distinctly pronounced short 'o' sound when it is stressed (e.g., Where are you from?), but when it is unstressed, the short 'o' reduces to a schwa (e.g., I'm from London.). In some cases, unstressed vowels may disappear altogether, in words such as chocolate (which has four syllables in Spanish, but only two as pronounced by Americans: "choc-lit".)
Stress in English more strongly determines vowel quality than it does in most other world languages (although there are notable exceptions such as Russian). For example, in some varieties the syllables an, en, in, on and un are pronounced as homophones, that is, exactly alike. Native speakers can usually distinguish an able, enable, and unable because of their position in a sentence, but this is more difficult for inexperienced English speakers. Moreover, learners tend to overpronounce these unstressed vowels, giving their speech an unnatural rhythm.
Stress timing - English tends to be a stress-timed language - this means that stressed syllables are roughly equidistant in time, no matter how many syllables come in between. Although some other languages, e.g., German and Russian, are also stress-timed, most of the world's other major languages are syllable-timed, with each syllable coming at an equal time after the previous one. Learners from these languages often have a staccato rhythm when speaking English that is disconcerting to a native speaker.
"Stress for emphasis" - students' own languages may not use stress for emphasis as English does.
"Stress for contrast" - stressing the right word or expression. This may not come easily to some nationalities.
"Emphatic apologies" - the normally unstressed auxiliary is stressed (I really am very sorry)
In English there are quite a number of words - about fifty - that have two different pronunciations, depending on whether they are stressed. They are "grammatical words": pronouns, prepositions, auxiliary verbs and conjunctions. Most students tend to overuse the strong form, which is pronounced with the written vowel.
Connected speech
Phonological processes such as assimilation, elision and epenthesis together with indistinct word boundaries can confuse learners when listening to natural spoken English, as well as making their speech sound too formal if they do not use them. For example, in RP eight beetles and three ants /eɪt biːtəlz ənd θriː ænts/ becomes [eɪtbiːtl̩znθɹiːjæns].

Tenses - English has a relatively large number of tenses with some quite subtle differences, such as the difference between the simple past "I ate" and the present perfect "I have eaten." Progressive and perfect progressive forms add complexity. (See English verbs.)

Functions of auxiliaries - Learners of English tend to find it difficult to manipulate the various ways in which English uses the first auxiliary verb of a tense. These include negation (eg He hasn't been drinking.), inversion with the subject to form a question (eg Has he been drinking?), short answers (eg Yes, he has.) and tag questions (has he?). A further complication is that the dummy auxiliary verb do /does /did is added to fulfil these functions in the simple present and simple past, but not for the verb to be.
Modal verbs - English also has a significant number of modal auxiliary verbs which each have a number of uses. For example, the opposite of "You must be here at 8" (obligation) is usually "You don't have to be here at 8" (lack of obligation, choice), while "must" in "You must not drink the water" (prohibition) has a different meaning from "must" in "You must not be a native speaker" (deduction). This complexity takes considerable work for most learners to master.
Idiomatic usage - English is reputed to have a relatively high degree of idiomatic usage. For example, the use of different main verb forms in such apparently parallel constructions as "try to learn", "help learn", and "avoid learning" pose difficulty for learners. Another example is the idiomatic distinction between "make" and "do": "make a mistake", not "do a mistake"; and "do a favour", not "make a favour".
Articles - English has an appreciable number of articles , including the definite article the and the indefinite article a, an. At times English nouns can or indeed must be used without an article; this is called the zero article. Some of the differences between definite, indefinite and zero article are fairly easy to learn, but others are not, particularly since a learner's native language may lack articles or use them in different ways than English does. Although the information conveyed by articles is rarely essential for communication, English uses them frequently (several times in the average sentence), so that they require some effort from the learner.

Phrasal verbs - Phrasal verbs in English can cause difficulties for many learners because they have several meanings and different syntactic patterns. There are also a number of phrasal verb differences between American and British English.
Word derivation - Word derivation in English requires a lot of rote learning. For example, an adjective can be negated by using the prefix un- (e.g. unable), in- (e.g. inappropriate), dis- (e.g. dishonest), or a- (e.g. amoral), or through the use of one of a myriad of related but rarer prefixes, all modified versions of the first four.
Size of lexicon - The history of English has resulted in a very large vocabulary, essentially one stream from Old English and one from the Norman infusion of Latin-derived terms. (Schmitt & Marsden claim that English has one of the largest vocabularies of any known language.) This inevitably requires more work for a learner to master the language.

Differences between spoken and written English
As with most languages, written language tends to use a more formal register than spoken language. The acquisition of literacy takes significant effort in English.

Spelling - Because of the many changes in pronunciation which have occurred since a written standard developed, and the retention of many historical idiosyncrasies in spelling, English spelling is difficult even for native speakers to master. This difficulty is shown in such activities as spelling bees that generally require the memorization of words. English speakers may also rely on computer tools such as spell checkers more than speakers of other languages, as the users of the utility may have forgotten, or never learned, the correct spelling of a word. The generalizations that exist are quite complex and there are many exceptions leading to a considerable amount of rote learning. The spelling system causes problems in both directions - a learner may know a word by sound but not be able to write it correctly (or indeed find it in a dictionary), or they may see a word written but not know how to pronounce it or mislearn the pronunciation.

Varieties of English
There are thriving communities of English native speakers in countries all over the world, and this historical diaspora has led to some noticeable differences in pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar across different regions, as well as that which exists across different social strata within the same country. The world holds over 7000 languages, and most exist within only a small geographic area; even most of the top 100 are limited to a small number of countries or even a single state. Some of the more well-known languages are to some degree managed by a specific organisation that determines the most prestigious form of the language, e.g. French language and the Academie de la langue française or Spanish language and the Real Academia Española. Since many students of English study it to enable them to communicate internationally, the lack of a uniform international standard for the language poses some barriers to meeting that goal.

Exams for learners
See a list of exams by clicking on the category "English language" at the bottom of the article, and then on "English language tests"

Learners of English are often keen to get accreditation and a number of exams are known internationally[7]:

Cambridge ESOL General English exams, a suite of five including First Certificate in English (FCE), Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) and Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)
IELTS (International English Language Testing System), accepted by most tertiary academic institutions in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, and by many in the USA.
Trinity College London ESOL offers several sets of exams: Graded Examinations in Spoken English (GESE), a suite of twelve exams. Integrated Skills in English (ISE), a suite of four exams. ESOL Skills for Life and ESOL for Work.
London Tests of English from Pearson Language Assessments, a series of six exams each mapped to a level from the CEFR
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), an Educational Testing Service product, developed and used primarily for academic institutions in the USA, and now widely accepted in tertiary institutions in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, and Ireland. The current test is Internet based, and is known as the TOEFL iBT. Used as a proxy for English for Academic Purposes.
TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication), an Educational Testing Service product for Business English
TSE - Test of Spoken English
TWE - Test of Written English
Many countries also have their own exams. ESOL learners in England, Wales and Northern Ireland usually take the national Skills for Life qualifications, which are offered by several exam boards. EFL learners in China may take the College English Test.

The Common European Framework
Between 1998 and 2000, the Council of Europe's language policy division developed its Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. The aim of this framework was to have a common system for foreign language testing and certification, to cover all European languages and countries.

The Common European Framework (CEF) divides language learners into three levels:

A. Basic User
B. Independent User
C. Proficient User
Each of these levels is divided into two sections, resulting in a total of six levels for testing (A1, A2, B1, etc).

This table compares ELT exams according to the CEF levels:

CEF level ALTE level London Tests of English Trinity College London ESOL GESE Trinity College London ESOL ISE UBELT exam IELTS exam BEC & CELS exams Cambridge General English Pitman ESOL TOEIC* TOEFL*
C2 Level 5 Level 5 Grade 12 n/a 4.0 - 5.0 7.5+ n/a CPE Advanced 910+ 276+
C1 Level 4 Level 4 Grade 10&11 ISE III 3.0 - 3.5 6.5 - 7 Higher CAE Higher Intermediate 701 - 910 236 - 275
B2 Level 3 Level 3 Grade 7-9 ISE II 2.0 - 2.5 5 - 6 Vantage FCE Intermediate 541 - 700 176 - 235
B1 Level 2 Level 2 Grade 5&6 ISE I 1.5 3.5 - 4.5 Preliminary PET n/a 381 - 540 126 - 175
A2 Level 1 Level 1 Grades 3&4 ISE 0 1.0 3 n/a KET Elementary 246 - 380 96 - 125
A1 Breakthrough Level A1 Grade 2 n/a >1.0 1-2 n/a n/a Basic n/a n/a

The TOEIC and TOEFL exams are not part of the Common European framework, and the CEF levels can only be approximately equated to scores in these test. The origin of the scores in this table are uncertain.

Qualifications for teachers

Non-native speakers
Many non-native speaking teachers who only work in their own country are qualified with the relevant teaching qualification of that country. Those who work in private language schools and in other countries often have the same qualifications as native speakers (see below).

United States qualifications
Most U.S. instructors at community colleges and universities qualify by taking an MA in TESOL. This degree also qualifies them to teach in most EFL contexts as well. In some areas of the country, nearly all elementary school teachers are involved in teaching ELLs (English Language Learners, that is, children who come to school speaking a home language other than English.) The qualifications for these classroom teachers vary from state to state but always include a state-issued teaching certificate for public instruction.

Teachers in all states require state licensing, which requires substantial practical field experiences and language pedagogy course work. The MA in TESOL includes both graduate work in English as one of the classical liberal arts (literature, linguistics, media studies) with a theoretical pedagogical component at the tertiary level. Admission to the MA in TESOL typically requires at least a bachelor's degree with a minor in English or linguistics. A degree in a foreign language can sometimes also be considered sufficient for admission.

It is important to note that the issuance of a teaching certificate or license is not automatic following completion of degree requirements. All teachers must complete a battery of exams (typically the Praxis subject and method exams or similar, state-sponsored exams) as well as supervised instruction as student teachers. Certification requirements for ESL teachers vary greatly from state to state. Out-of-state teaching certificates are recognized by other states if the two states have a reciprocity agreement.

British qualifications
Common, respected qualifications for teachers within the United Kingdom's sphere of influence include certificates and diplomas issued by UCLES (University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate) and Trinity International Examinations Board of Trinity College, London.

A certificate course is usually undertaken before starting to teach. This is sufficient for many EFL jobs (see TEFL) and for some ESOL ones. UCLES offers the CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults), perhaps the most widely taken and accepted course for new teacher trainees. It is usually taught full-time over a one-month period; sometimes, part-time over a period up to a year. Trinity offer the CertTESOL (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), which is usually considered equivalent to the CELTA.

Teachers usually have two or more years of teaching experience and have made a decision to stay in the profession before they take a diploma course. Those who want to move into school management or become teacher trainers usually need a diploma. UCLES offers the DELTA (Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults). Trinity offers the LTCL DipTESOL (Trinity Licentiate Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). These are usually considered to be equivalent.

Some teachers who stay in the profession go on to do an MA in a relevant discipline such as applied linguistics or ELT. Note that UK master's degrees require extensive preparation and experience in the field before a candidate is accepted onto the course; in this respect they are truly to master the knowledge and skills that the candidate already has.

The above qualifications are well-respected within the UK EFL sector. However, in England and Wales, in order to meet the government's criteria for being a qualified teacher of ESOL in the Learning and Skills Sector (i.e. adult education), teachers need to have the Certificate in Further Education Teaching Stage 3 and the Certificate for ESOL Subject Specialists, both at level 4. Recognised qualifications which confer one or both of these include a PGCE in ESOL, the CELTA module 2 and City & Guilds 9488.

Teachers of children within the state sector in the United Kingdom are normally expected to hold the Post-Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE). They may choose to specialise in ELT. Teachers of adults (e.g. lecturers at universities or colleges, or teachers in private language schools) do not generally hold the PGCE.

Professional associations and unions
TESOL Inc. is Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, a professional organization based in the United States. In addition, there are many large state-wide and regional affiliates..
IATEFL is the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language, a professional organization based in the United Kingdom.
Professional organisations for teachers of English exist at national levels. Many contain phrases in their title such as the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT) or the Society of Pakistan English Language Teachers (SPELT). Some of these organisations may be bigger in structure (pan-national, such as TESOL Arabia in the Gulf states), or smaller (limited to one city, state, or province, such as CATESOL in California). Some are affiliated to TESOL or IATEFL.
NATECLA is the National Association for Teaching English and other Community Languages to Adults, which focuses on teaching ESOL in the United Kingdom.
National Union of General Workers is a Japanese union which includes English teachers.

Acronyms and abbreviations
See also: Language education for information on general language teaching acronyms and abbreviations.

Types of English
BE - Business English
EAL - English as an additional language
The use of this term is restricted to certain countries. See the discussion in Terminology and types.
EAP - English for academic purposes
EFL - English as a foreign language
English for use in a non-English-speaking region, by someone whose first language is not English. See the discussion in Terminology and types.
EIL - English as an international language
ELF - English as a lingua franca
ELL - English language learner
The use of this term is restricted to certain countries. See the discussion in Terminology and types.
ELT - English language teaching
The use of this term is restricted to certain countries. See the discussion in Terminology and types.
ESL - English as a second language
English for use in an English-speaking region, by someone whose first language is not English. The use of this term is restricted to certain countries. See the discussion in Terminology and types.
ESOL - English for speakers of other languages
This term is used differently in different countries. See the discussion in Terminology and types.
ESP - English for special purposes, or English for specific purposes (e.g. technical English, scientific English, English for medical professionals, English for waiters).
TEFL - Teaching English as a foreign language This link is to a page about a subset of TEFL, namely travel-teaching.
More generally, see the discussion in Terminology and types.
TESL - Teaching English as a second language
The use of this term is restricted to certain countries. See the discussion in Terminology and types.
TESOL - Teaching English to speakers of other languages, or Teaching English as a second or other language
See the discussion in Terminology and types.
TYLE - Teaching Young Learners English
Note that YL Young Learners can mean under 18, or much younger.

Other abbreviations
BULATS - (Business Language Testing Services) An innovative computer-based Business English Test produced by CambridgeEsol. The test also exists for French, German, Spanish
CELTA - Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults
DELTA - Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults
IELTS - International English Language Testing System
NATE - National Association for the Teaching of English
TOEFL - Test of English as a Foreign Language
TOEIC - Test of English for International Communication
UCLES - University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, an exam board

References and notes
^ The Basic Skills Agency [1]
^ Saskatchewan Learning [2]
^ Cf. Ogden, Charles K. (1934), The System of Basic English, New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., and Templer, Bill (2005), “Towards a People’s English: Back to BASIC in EIL”, Humanising Language Teaching September 2005.
^ Cf. van Ek, J.A. / Alexander, L.G. (1980), Threshold Level English, Oxford: Pergamon.
^ Cf. Grzega, Joachim (2005), "Reflection on Concepts of English for Europe: British English, American English, Euro-English, Global English", Journal for EuroLinguistiX 2: 44-64, and Grzega, Joachim (2005), “Towards Global English via Basic Global English (BGE): Socioeconomic and Pedagogic Ideas for a European and Global Language (with Didactic Examples for Native Speakers of German), Journal for EuroLinguistiX 2: 65-164.
^ Cf. Quirk, Randolph (1981), “International Communication and the Concept of Nuclear English”, in: Smith, Larry E. (ed.), English for Cross-Cultural Communication, 151-165, London: Macmillan, and Stein, Gabriele (1979), “Nuclear English: Reflections on the Structure of Its Vocabulary”, Poetica (Tokyo) 10: 64-76.
^ Sources for this are found at the university websites. Given that there are thousands of tertiary institutions that accept one or more of these for entrance requirements, they simply can not be footnoted individually here

about TOEFL

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

• Have questions? Find out how to ask questions and get answers.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (or TOEFL, pronounced "toe-full" or sometimes "toffle") evaluates the potential success of an individual to use and understand Standard American English at a college level. It is required for non-native applicants at many English-speaking colleges and universities. A TOEFL score is valid for two years and then is deleted from the official database.

The TOEFL test is a registered trademark of Educational Testing Service (ETS) and is administered worldwide. The test was first administered 1964 and has since been taken by nearly 20 million students.

1 Formats and contents
1.1 Internet-based
1.2 Computer-based
1.3 Paper-based
2 Criticism
3 See also
4 External links

Since its introduction in late 2005, the Internet-based test (iBT) has progressively replaced both the computer-based (CBT) and paper-based (PBT) tests. The iBT has been introduced in phases, with the United States, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy in 2005 and the rest of the world in 2006, with test centers added regularly.

The demand for test seats remains very high even after almost a year after the introduction of the test: Candidates have to wait for months since short-term test dates are fully booked. The four-hour test consists of four sections, each measuring mainly one of the basic language skills (although some tasks may require multiple skills) and focusing on language used in an academic, higher-education environment. Note-taking is allowed during the iBT.

After each academic reading passage (out of 3–5), questions are posed about content, intent of the author, and ideas inferred from the passage. New types of questions in the iBT require paraphrasing, filling out tables, or completing summaries. Generally prior knowledge of the subject under discussion is not necessary to come to the correct answer, though a priori knowledge may help.

Questions refer to the content and intent of the phrases, as well as to the speakers' attitude and meaning, either in short conversations or in lectures.

New to the iBT, this section contains questions relating to personal experiences or preferences, as well as tasks that also involve reading passages and listening to short conversations and lectures. Test takers are expected to convey information, explain ideas, and defend opinions clearly, coherently, and accurately.

One task requires test takers to defend a position relative to a specified general topic. In the other task, a reading passage and a lecture are presented, and test takers must answer a question relating the main points of both the passage and the lecture.

The computer-based test (CBT) was abolished on September 30, 2006. It was divided into four sections, measuring language proficiency in listening, structure (grammar), reading and writing. Note-taking was not allowed.

Listening Comprehension (45–70 minutes)
Type of Questions: «Conversations between two or more people in academic environments. Short conversations between students and lectures may be possible conversations.» Questions were basically of the who said what type.

Structure (grammar) (15–20 minutes)
Type of Questions: «Identify the erroneous word(s) in the sentence. Fill in the blanks using the appropriate word.»

Reading Comprehension and Vocabulary (70-90 minutes)
Type of Question: Questions were posed about content, intent of the author, and ideas inferred from each of the 3–4 passages given.

Essay Writing (30 minutes)
Type of Question: «Write an essay on a given general topic and take a position toward it, e.g., "Is stem cell research necessary? Explain your stance."»
The Listening and Structure sections were computer-adaptive, meaning that the difficulty level of each question depended on the correctness of previous responses.

Three subscores were obtained, each of which were given on a 0–30 scale: Listening, Structure/Writing (combined), and Reading. These subscores were averaged to obtain the final score, which was on a 0–300 scale. The Writing score was reported separately, on a 0–6 scale.

In areas where the iBT and CBT are not available, a paper-based test (PBT) is given. The PBT tests essentially the same skills as the CBT, albeit with some differences, noticeably the number of questions (which is higher in the PBT) and the score scales. The final PBT score ranges between 310 and 677 and is based on three subscores: Listening (31–68), Structure (31–68), and Reading (31–67). Unlike the CBT, the score of the Writing section (referred to as the Test of Written English, TWE) is not part of the final score; instead, it is reported separately on a scale of 0–6.

ETS has released tables to convert between iBT, CBT and PBT scores.

TOEFL, like many standardized tests, has come under increasing scrutiny as a measure of the ability to use English effectively. There is an increasing number of major English speaking universities that now only accept alternate tests [citation needed]or their own test as a measure of whether a student will be capable of using English in an academic milieu. Some of its weaknesses:

Because English exhibits some orthographic patterns (such as the use of -ing on the end of many verbs), test takers can be taught strategies to look for the patterns without having an understanding of the underlying grammar involved.
Native speakers of English who take the test often find themselves with mediocre results, even in multiple choice questions. Ideally, a test for English proficiency should be simple and straightforward for a native speaker. Instead, such tests often focus on obscure rules of grammar and "proper" uses. For example, the use of "can" and "may" does have a formal rule, but native English speakers not only ignore the formal use on most occasions, they are never confused when another speaker switches the two.
Until 2005, TOEFL did not test the ability to speak English. In most environments, the ability to speak intelligibly and without undue delay is vital. Because TOEFL did not measure this, learners may neglect this part of their education to focus on the skills the test does measure. As a result, many universities request incoming teaching assistants who are not native English speakers to take additional tests (such as the Test of Spoken English or university-administered tests) to ensure their ability to communicate with their students. The TOEFL iBT, which does test speaking skills, attempts to address this issue.
Candidates complain about the TOEFL iBT, mainly because of the high noise level during the speaking section: Everyone is responding orally to six questions at the same time. In addition, the number of seats available is limited (usually filled four months before deadline date)[citation needed]. In South Korea for example, all the test seats are booked before they are offered to the public.

Punctuation is used to create sense, clarity and stress in sentences

Punctuation is used to create sense, clarity and stress in sentences.

You use punctuation marks to structure and organise your writing. The most common of these are the period (or full stop in British English), the comma, the exclamation mark, the question mark, the colon and semi-colon, the quote, the apostrophe, the hyphen and dash, and parentheses and brackets. Capital letters are also used to help us organise meaning and to structure the sense of our writing.

You can quickly see why punctuation is important if you try and read this sentence which has no punctuation at all:

perhaps you dont always need to use commas periods colons etc to make sentences clear when i am in a hurry tired cold lazy or angry i sometimes leave out punctuation marks grammar is stupid i can write without it and dont need it my uncle Harry once said he was not very clever and i never understood a word he wrote to me i think ill learn some punctuation not too much enough to write to Uncle Harry he needs some help

Now let's see if punctuation it makes a difference!

Perhaps you don't always need to use commas, periods, colons etc. to make sentences clear. When I am in a hurry, tired, cold, lazy, or angry I sometimes leave out punctuation marks.

"Grammar is stupid! I can write without it and don't need it." my uncle Harry once said. He was not very clever and I never understood a word he wrote to me. I think I'll learn some punctuation - not too much, enough to write to Uncle Harry. He needs some help!

Use the punctuation section to learn how to make your English clearer and better organised.
You'll find lots of information about the English language on this site.

You can learn English words, practise grammar, look at some basic rules, prepare for exams, do tests or just have fun playing games. Enjoy yourself with more than 550 exercises online.

How does it work?

The test program is designed for mulgilanguage vocabulary test and for English exams like TOEFL iBT, GRE, SAT, TOEIC. Currently, there are vocabulary tests for examinations. We are working on structure tests also.

The user chooses one of the tests, number of questions, the speed and the font properties and then clicks on "Start Test" button. Test will start in a new window.

Program randomly chose words and their meanings from English, TOEFL iBT, GRE, SAT wordlists and asks each word with one correct and two wrong answers. You must be quick since you have a little time. By default this time is 7 seconds, but it may set from 1 second to 30. The user must click on one of the three choices. Their backgrounds are in light colors. The right answer will be shown immediately after the users click with dark background.
TOEFL Book Reviews

Everything you need to study!
With audio cassettes and a CD-ROM, this books completes an excellent study guide system. This is a companion book to the first study guide, which includes the first six practice tests. You can study all parts of the test with this book, including new question formats. This is also a good resource for teachers who need extra help for their ESL students or who are teaching students who are studying for the TOEFL. The book is written by a team of writers with experience in the TOEFL and ESL, so the explanations and guides are clear and precise. Students will be pleased with the ease of understanding and with the thoroughness of the guide. This book specifically addresses the CBT, so is an asset for those studying to take the computer-based test. Especially use the CD-ROM, which will help familiarize you with the format of the CBT.

Buy Lingua TOEFL CBT TEST BOOK II: Practice Test 7-12 at Amazon: United States - United Kingdom - Canada - France - Germany - Japan - China
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