The importance of TOEIC, TOEFL, and IELTS

This article discusses 5 questions about these tests: How accurate are these tests? How useful are they? How does one best prepare for them? Who should take them? How accurate are TOEIC, TOEFL and IELTS? You can also listen to a reading of the article. The Linguist. No date. Read all of this article.

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Examining university English entrance exams

This article by Michael Guest discusses what the purpose of English entrance exams should be and suggest some ways to improve them by making them test real world English competence, ability to communicate, a range of language skills, academic ability and creativity. Daily Yomiuri, Jun. 27, 2011. Read all this article.

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Not guilty as charged: Do the university entrance exams in Japan affect what is taught?

This short academic article by Michael Stout argues that although English entrance exams for university have often been blamed for causing problems with English teaching in Japan, entrance exams these days actually have little negative or positive effect on the way English is taught. The article looks briefly at the history of English exams and criticisms of them before arguing they have little impact on teaching. ELT Journal, spring 2003. Read all this article.

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TOEIC’s popularity on the rise

This article looks at the increasing numbers of people taking the TOEIC test, as it challenges Eiken, at companies that use TOIEC as a measure of English ability, and at universities that support their students in studying for or taking the test. The article is mainly positive about TOEIC but does include some reservations about the growing focus on TOEIC at the end. Daily Yomiuri, April 15, 2012. Read all this article.

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TOEIC revisions mean big change in English study

This article looks at changes to the TOIEC test in 2006, mainly including British, American, Canadian and Australian accents, and the argument that this makes the test more authentic, as well as the increasing use of TOEIC by companies in Japan for assessing English ability. Japan Times, May 1, 2006. Read all this article.

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Why do English teachers have to be native speakers?

In Japan, North -American and British varieties of English, and exams largely based on then such as TOEIC and TOEFL have been the standard for learning English. This article looks at how English teachers from India and the Philippines are challenging the stereotype that only Western native-speakers can be good English teachers. Japan Times, April 15, 2010. Read all this article.

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A response to Kumiko Torikai’s Asahi News interview

Kumiko Torikai’s interview with the Asahi newspaper regarding a ‘new English education paradigm’ has generated a fair bit of discussion. Today, I offer my two cents (Oops! Sorry for the American colloquialism!)…  ELT News.com, 11 April, 2011.

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