The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) measures the
ability of nonnative speakers of English to use and understand
North American English as it is spoken, written and heard in college
and university settings. Most people who take the TOEFL test are
planning to study at colleges and universities where instruction
is in English. In addition, many government agencies, scholarship
programs, and licensing/certification agencies use TOEFL scores
to evaluate English proficiency.
Currently more than 4,400 two- and four-year
colleges and universities, professional schools, and sponsoring
institutions accept TOEFL scores.
The TOEFL test measures English
language proficiency in reading, listening and writing and is
offered on computer in most regions of the world. In areas where
access to computer-based testing is limited, a paper-and-pencil
version of the test is administered.
Why learn English?
There are lots of facts you can find which help to persuade you
that learning English is a good idea - 400 million first language
speakers, 700 million second or foreign language speakers, over
a billion people learning it right now! And over 80% of the information
stored in the world's computers is in English, more than half
the world's scientific journals are in English, it's the main
language on the internet, and so on*.
The result is that more and more every
day, people expect you to know some English, and it's not only
English speaking people who expect it - another fact often given
is that 80% of the English used in the world is used between non-native
In short, it's become the main way you
get around, the main way you get things done, the way you make
friends, the way you do business with a foreign country, the way
you get information.
If English was just a boring, practical
language for getting business done - a sort of computer programming
language - this growth in its use would be horrible, and we would
all have to fight it. But luckily it isn't only that. It's a rich
language, with many forms and varieties, ever changing to meet
the needs of the modern world, but also with a rich cultural history.
If you learn English well, you have access
to one of the biggest and brightest bodies of literature that
has ever existed, as well as to the many new examples of its power,
as in films and song lyrics. And lastly, it is a rich language.
There are many things which other languages do better, but English
has excellent flexibility and great richness of vocabulary - features
which make it hard to learn but very satisfying when you can begin
to control and use it. So even when you have some English, it's
a good idea to try and get more: learning English is one activity
where you can be sure you will never be wasting your time.