Author Topic: Overview: How good is your English?  (Read 16668 times)

Joe Carillo

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Overview: How good is your English?
« on: October 24, 2009, 11:29:29 PM »
Overview: Is your English good enough?

The only surefire way to find out if your English is good enough is to have it measured objectively, independently, and professionally.

Several international testing entities administer English proficiency tests for a fee. In the Philippines, the more frequently used are the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for largely academic measuring purposes, and the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), primarily for business hiring but for academic purposes as well. In other non-English-speaking countries like Korea, Japan, and China, another popular test is the multilevel General Test for English Language Proficiency (G-TELP), and in the British Commonwealth—Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand—there’s the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). All of these tests have proven track records in measuring one’s capacity for using English to learn and to do real-world transactions, and are aggressively used by governments, academe, and private enterprises for hiring, admission, placement, and training.

These tests focus on specific areas of English competence, particularly grammar and vocabulary, listening comprehension, and reading comprehension, but the more specialized and comprehensive ones cover writing ability and speaking competence as well. In grammar, of course, you are tested for your depth in using the various parts, functions, structures, and uses of English, which of course include vocabulary, the various parts of speech, and the formation of coherent and meaningful sentences. In listening comprehension, you are tested for your capacity to make sense of spoken English such as monologues, lectures, and conversations. In reading comprehension, you are tested for how well you can understand printed English and its permutations into coherent written paragraphs and passages. Finally, in the more specialized English tests for writing and speaking, you are tested for how well you can capture in writing your own perceptions, ideas, and opinions, and for how well you can give utterance to them.

When governments, companies, and schools administer these English proficiency tests, they do so largely with a selfish motive. Because of trade and business globalization for which English is the lingua franca, they naturally want to admit or hire—all things being equal—people with demonstrably higher English skills than the usual, and to routinely weed out those whose English doesn’t meet their standards. This is where you should not allow them to catch you unaware and unprepared. Your company, your school, and your relatives will rarely be of help here, so you just need to aggressively help yourself. The idea is not to wait for these tests to be foisted on you blind but to put yourself in an excellent position not only to pass but to excel in them.

The best way to start is to find out in what areas of English you are weak, and what the English proficiency tests look like and feel like. This will give you ample time to hone yourself like an athlete preparing for the Olympics, taking intensive English review lessons or practice tests in the areas where you need improvement. Some of these testing entities will even test you as an individual rather than as part of a herd for mandatory testing, so you can independently establish solid benchmarks for progressive self-improvement long before you take or encounter the required levels of these tests. Later, when you have already attained your own English proficiency goals, you can take the tests again and receive a proficiency certificate acceptable to the institutions that recognize these tests.

So whether your goal is simply to beat the rest of the aspirants in the college entrance tests of the University of the Philippines, Ateneo, or La Salle, get that plum first job in Makati or Ortigas or Alabang, gain admission to graduate or doctoral school in the United States or Canada, or pass that visa or immigration interview for a foreign country of your choice, it will truly be worth your while to polish your English without letup, then to have it measured independently before some interested entity does it on you in those make-or-break ways where there are rarely any second chances.

« Last Edit: October 25, 2009, 07:51:10 AM by Joe Carillo »

matthew12

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Re: Overview: How good is your English?
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2012, 02:27:14 PM »
Overview: Is your English good enough?

The only surefire way to find out if your English is good enough is to have it measured objectively, independently, and professionally.

Several international testing entities administer English proficiency tests for a fee. In the Philippines, the more frequently used are the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) for largely academic measuring purposes, and the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), primarily for business hiring but for academic purposes as well. In other non-English-speaking countries like Korea, Japan, and China, another popular test is the multilevel General Test for English Language Proficiency (G-TELP), and in the British Commonwealth—Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand—there’s the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). All of these tests have proven track records in measuring one’s capacity for using English to learn and to do real-world transactions, and are aggressively used by governments, academe, and private enterprises for hiring, admission, placement, and training.

These tests focus on specific areas of English competence, particularly grammar and vocabulary, listening comprehension, and reading comprehension, but the more specialized and comprehensive ones cover writing ability and speaking competence as well. In grammar, of course, you are tested for your depth in using the various parts, functions, structures, and uses of English, which of course include vocabulary, the various parts of speech, and the formation of coherent and meaningful sentences. In listening comprehension, you are tested for your capacity to make sense of spoken English such as monologues, lectures, and conversations. In reading comprehension, you are tested for how well you can understand printed English and its permutations into coherent written paragraphs and passages. Finally, in the more specialized English tests for writing and speaking, you are tested for how well you can capture in writing your own perceptions, ideas, and opinions, and for how well you can give utterance to them.

When governments, companies, and schools administer these English proficiency tests, they do so largely with a selfish motive. Because of trade and business globalization for which English is the lingua franca, they naturally want to admit or hire—all things being equal—people with demonstrably higher English skills than the usual, and to routinely weed out those whose English doesn’t meet their standards. This is where you should not allow them to catch you unaware and unprepared. Your company, your school, and your relatives will rarely be of help here, so you just need to aggressively help yourself. The idea is not to wait for these tests to be  foisted on you blind but to put yourself in an excellent position not only to pass but to excel in them.

The best way to start is to find out in what areas of English you are weak, and what the English proficiency tests look like and feel like. This will give you ample time to hone yourself like an athlete preparing for the Olympics, taking intensive English review lessons or practice tests in the areas where you need improvement. Some of these testing entities will even test you as an individual rather than as part of a herd for mandatory testing, so you can independently establish solid benchmarks for progressive self-improvement long before you take or encounter the required levels of these tests. Later, when you have already attained your own English proficiency goals, you can take the tests again and receive a proficiency certificate acceptable to the institutions that recognize these tests.

So whether your goal is simply to beat the rest of the aspirants in the college entrance tests of the University of the Philippines, Ateneo, or La Salle, get that plum first job in Makati or Ortigas or Alabang, gain admission to graduate or doctoral school in the United States or Canada, or pass that visa or immigration interview for a foreign country of your choice, it will truly be worth your while to polish your English without letup, then to have it measured independently before some interested entity does it on you in those make-or-break ways where there are rarely any second chances.



i agree..you need to know your weak points so you will know where to start.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2012, 10:33:50 PM by Joe Carillo »

SexyDeasey

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Re: Overview: How good is your English?
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2012, 06:17:19 PM »
Do you think the only way to measure one's English skills is through exams?

jame22

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« Last Edit: October 18, 2014, 07:50:25 PM by jame22 »