Important Information about IELTS and TOEFL
A couple of acronyms that you are likely to come across as a TEFL teacher are IELTS and TOEFL. IELTS stands for International English Language Testing System and is a United Kingdom and Commonwealth based test of English language skills. Whereas TOEFL stands for Test of English as a Foreign Language and is a United States based English language skills test.
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Why people need a TOEFL or IELTS test
These two are the main international English-language tests and are used by universities, governments and employers to assess the English proficiency of international students, immigrants and potential employees from all over the world. If a person wishes to live, study or work in the United States or the United Kingdom and other English-speaking countries, they will most likely have to take one of these tests. Other instances when a TOEFL or IELTS test may need to be taken include applications to universities in non-English speaking countries where a certain level of competence in English is required or when non-native TEFL teachers want to teach English.
Also read: 3 Important Problems Facing Students of Different Nationalities
What do the different tests contain?
TOEFL tests are mainly aimed at foreign students looking to study in U.S. universities and a Junior TOEFL test is also offered for middle school children. IELTS on the other hand has two types of test, there is an academic test for students and a general test aimed at immigrants and job seekers. Both tests aim to assess the test taker’s skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
IELTS and TOEFL preparation is a good way to make extra money
As more and more people around the world look to attend universities in English speaking countries the demand for tutors to help students prepare for their IELTS or TOEFL exams is increasing. TEFL teachers can find work in this area can easily be found either in language schools offering preparation programs or as a private tutor and working part-time as an IELTS or TOEFL tutor is a great way to supplement your income.
Also read: Evaluation and Testing in EFL and ESL Classrooms
Where to find resources for teachers and students
There is a wide range of resources available for both teachers and students including old tests and study strategies. These can often be found in the English language learning section of your local bookshop and there are plenty of resources available online. The official sites of IELTS and TOEFL contain both complimentary and paid for resources for students and teachers, and there are plenty of websites where suitable materials can be found for free. Additionally, any language school offering IELTS or TOEFL preparation courses should have all the resources a teacher or student should need in order to effectively prepare for the tests.
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