[photopress:toefl.jpg,full,alignright]Educational Testing Service (ETS) reported that the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores for Chinese test takers increased to match the worldwide average in 2007. Which means that Chinese students are making ‘strong progress’ in mastering communicative English skills.
It is sometimes not clearly understood how difficult it is for an Asian student to learn English, certainly well enough to pass the test.
English, as a grammatical language is intensely difficult. Its grammar is complex; its dictionary vastly more extensive and the regional differences massive.
Let us take an example that arose yesterday. This computer needs to be connected with two other computers using a wireless router. Using all the laws of English that is pronounced as it is spelled — router. But not in England. There it is pronounced ‘rooter’ and no, there is no rational explanation available.
It is into this quagmire of a language the students for TOEFL are submerged and that so many survive says much for the assorted TOEFL teaching methods.
The mean score for Chinese test takers was 78 in the year, a two-point increase over 2006, matching the worldwide average of 78.
The official statement said, ‘The results show that the (Chinese) students are making strong progress in mastering the communicative English skills necessary to succeed at the world’s leading universities.’
Paul Ramsey, Senior Vice President of ETS Global, said, ‘These results show that the hard work of intensive study of English and practice by Chinese test takers has had positive results.
‘Chinese students will be able to show that in addition to their very strong academic abilities, they are able to use English for communication at the university level.’
Whether one approves of it or not English is now the language of commerce around the world and mult-lingual companies often chose it as the official language of communiation.
The TOEFL test is the most widely accepted English-language test in the world.
More than 6,000 institutions in 110 countries accept TOEFL scores, including the world’s top universities and institutions in the UK., Europe and all 4,300 colleges and universities in the United States, according to ETS.
In truth, there has always been a slight smell of commercial hustle about TOEFL and its recruiting of teachers sometimes seems a little suss and the scores accepted by many universities very low. But it has become the standard test and seems each year to be further cementing that position.
Source: China View