TOEFL vs IELTS

What is the IELTS?

IELTS is an abbreviation for International English Language Testing System. The test is available in two formats: ‘IELTS Academic’, for those planning to study at a higher education level abroad; and ‘IELTS General Training’, which focuses on social skills and workplace contexts.

What is the TOEFL?

TOEFL is an acronym for Test of English as a Foreign Language. It is an English proficiency test, developed by an American company, ETS, to measure an individual’s reading, speaking, writing, and listening proficiency in American English. TOEFL scores are a requirement for over 900 universities and other institutions in more than 130 countries. There are two methods of taking this test; it can be taken as a Paper-Based Test (TOEFL PBT) or an Internet-Based Test (TOEFL IBT) which is more popular.

These tests are standardized and this simply means that the scores are consistent all over the world . Both of them will test you on four main language skills and that is listening, speaking, reading and writing .

What is the difference between Toefl and ielts?

The major difference between these two tests is in speaking. While in TOEFL you have to talk to a computer, the IELTS requires you to talk to a real person. Many people find talking to a computer very strange and that is why they prefer the IELTS test.

Which test requires more preparation?

While both IELTS and TOEFL require basic preparation at least , many takers felt that to prepare for TOEFL was harder. But that varies with each individual. The difference in the test patterns may give rise to tasks that need more preparation.

How to speak English fluently

When you learn any language you need to practice speaking it beside studying it’s strucures and vocabulary, so you need daily plan to improve your fluency, so here are some important tips to speak English fluently :

1-Stop learning English as just a “textbook subject”

Try to view English more as a way of life and less as a school subject. Any contact with the language will help you to speak English more fluently over time so why limit yourself to just traditional classrooms and textbooks? Taking a broader perspective is likely to make the learning process far more interesting.

2-Make learning English funny and interesting for you

English is never boring if you study with material that is relevant and interesting to you. Take a piece of paper and write down a list of all the hobbies and interests that motivate and stimulate you in your daily life. Now think of ways to connect each of these with English. For example, if you love tennis and read about this sport in your native language each week, stop doing this and start reading in English. Also you need to avoid using textbooks and materials that you find boring. Many learners fail to develop a love of English at school because they find the lessons and textbooks boring. Don’t make this mistake again! Try using a wide variety of different material and see what works best for you.

3-Build your other English skills to help with your spoken fluency

Fluent spoken English comes from having abroad vocabulary, good listening comprehension skills and a solid understanding of grammar. Therefore, it is a mistake to focus 100% on just speaking. so always keep working to improve your vocabulary Having a large vocabulary gives you greater flexibility and power of expression in English. Remember that listening is half of the conversation If you want to know how to speak English fluently, then first learn how to be a good listener. Fluency is often gained by listening to and then copying the language used by others.

4-Use modern English produced by native speakers

In order to speak fluent English, you need a correct model to follow and this should be representative of the modern language as it is spoken today. Even if you live outside a majority English speaking country, the internet still provides fantastic access to learning opportunities: news websites, forums, social networks, Skype tutors, study websites, etc. There is no excuse for using outdated textbooks or focusing on material that does not reflect how natives speak the language today.

5-Use technology and apps to learn

Technology is changing the way we access and acquire knowledge. Learners across the world are using the internet to improve their fluency in English through study websites, social networks, webinars, Skype lessons and more. Mobile phone usage is on the increase and many choose to install apps for learning English on the move. This can be a great idea because it allows you to fit more English practice into your daily routine, without the need to carry bags of books around!

6-Take English lessons with a native speaker

Although many skills in English can be improved through self-study, spoken fluency is seldom achieved in isolation due to the need for regular interaction and error correction. Having a native English tutor can help provide a focal point for your day-to-day studies. This should be a qualified teacher with appropriate experience who can provide guidance and practical training a couple of times a week.

Apps for language exchange

What is the language exchange??

If you want to have an English speaker partner, and you want to teach some one your native language, so you may need to check language exchange websites like Conversation Exchange , so this way enables you to chatting, texting, or correcting mistakes with your partner.

Best language exchange apps :

Hinative

Hinative is simple and easy platform specializes in getting your questions answered by the most competent speakers of your target language. and the button you’re going to use the most is the “Ask” button. Also this app provides tamplates and categories like “How do you say this?”, or “Ask something else?”, This is usually where cultural queries and opinion questions find room. So this is a language exchange, you can and should help out others by taking the time to answer some of their questions.

Hellotalk

This app has Translation, Transliteration, Voice-to-Text and Text-to-Voice features. interactions are a bit slower, which is really a good thing since nobody expected to be suddenly fluent in the target language. HelloTalk is a standalone app that can do so much more than just connect you with someone who speaks your target language.

Tandem

This app has social-networking functions, and you can “Follow” people and check out those who follow you. So you can text, talk or video chat with someone on the other side of the world, the app has a “Tutor” tab, where you can find tutors of the language you want. Or, if you want to earn on the side, you can fill out a profile to become a language tutor.

Bilingua

Bilingua is a language exchange app that is easy and educational interaction for its users. And this is reflected in the features that the app carries

This app has a “smart chat” feature, which gives you suggestions on what to talk about, so you never run out of topics during the exchange. It even recommends specific phrases you could use. Also you can find somebody who shares your hobbies, interests and personality, when you first start using the app, you’re taken through a series of personal questions. Your answers help its algorithm pair you up with somebody similar.

https://www.facebook.com/HowToImprove/

Colour idioms

  • A white lie : A ‘little’ or ‘harmless’ lie told in order to be polite and avoid hurting someone’s feelings.

For example : I just wanted to get out of work so I told my boss a little white lie.

  • White elephant : something that is of no use.

For example : My dad bought a new CD player for me, but it’s a white elephant

  • White as a ghost : someone who is very pale because of pain, fear, shock or illness.

For example : I didn’t think the movie was that scary, but my friend was as white as a ghost!

  • In the black : Meaning successful or profitable.

For example : Their company has been in the black ever since the new CEO took over.

  • Blackball someone : to reject someone socially.

For example : Their hospital has been blackballed ever since that scandal was all over the newspapers.

  • Black sheep : to describe a person who is the ‘odd one out’ of a group.

For example : she has always been the black sheep in her family, she has a completely different personality to all of them.

  • Blue blood : Used to describe someone from a noble, aristocratic or wealthy family.

For example : Many of the blue bloods in our town were invited to the royal wedding.

  • Feel blue : When someone looks or feels depressed or discontented.

For example : You seem really blue. Is there something you’d like to talk about?

  • Once in a blue moon : To occur extremely rarely, or only once in a lifetime.

For example : My brother is working in Africa, he hardly ever has the time to call us. My parents only hear from him once in a blue moon.

  • Blood red : Used to describe the deep red colour of something.

For example : She was wearing a beautiful dress with blood red lipstick to match.

  • To see red : To react with uncontrollable rage against someone or something.

For example : Adam saw red when he heard someone shouting at his mother.

  • Get the green light : When someone receives, or is given, permission to go ahead with something.

For example : We have been given the green light by the Marketing Executive to go ahead with the new advertising campaign.

  • Green belt : An area of fields and trees around a town.

For example : Our city has a policy of increasing the green belt around it.

  • Pink Slip : A termination notice received from a job.

For example : They gave me my pink slip last week, so I’ve got to find a new job now.

  • In the pink of something : Meaning in very good health.

For example : My grandmother looked ever so well when I saw her, she was in the pink of condition.

  • A golden opportunity : An opportunity that may never present itself again.

For example : Think carefully about what you’re going to do, this is a golden opportunity, and you don’t want to mess it up!

  • Golden boy : a young man idolised for a great skill, usually in sport.

For example : By many of his fans, Wayne Rooney is seen as the golden boy of his football team.

How to speak English like a native speaker : 5 easy steps

1- Watching and listening to everything in English

watching everything in English is one of the most helpful things you can do in order to learn faster and develop your accent. So you should watch every program, TV-series, movie or YouTube video in English. Learning new words daily is also very helpful.

2- Speaking everything out loud

The more you practice your English, the better. But If you don’t have anybody to practice with, you can talk to yourself . One of the things that can help you to practice your English is reading English books out loud so you can practice your pronunciation. If you like a specific movie quote, make sure you repeat it in the same way as the actor did in the movie. Also you can repeat the lyrics of your favorite songs again and again out loud.

3-Feeling The Rhythm While You Learn English

Practicing pronunciation is an important step of accent reduction, but it is not the only component. Rhythm is an underrated, although it is the key of sounding like a native English speaker. Watch movies and imitate how the actors are speaking. Pay special attention to which words they stress in a sentence. Typically, you should stress the most important parts of a sentence, but not every word.

4- Focus on the accent you want to speak.

There are many accents to choose from: posh British, cool American, laid back Australian and so on. So choose the accent that you the most, If you decide to have an American accent, try to avoid saying things like “mate” or “trousers”, the British version of “dude” and “pants”.

5- Practicing English in real life.

Basically, the best way to speak better is to, well – speak! Commit to practicing often and with as many different people as possible. Take advantage of the thousands of native speakers in your immediate community, such as your friends, their families, your coworkers, classmates, employees at the coffee shops, supermarket, post-office and other places you visit. If you’re learning in your own country, increase your practice time by meeting your classmates after class, finding an language exchange partner or joining an online community of learners.

The differences between (need, must, have to)

1-Need

Need is used for necessity.

Examples :

  • In summer we need to drink water more often.
  • We nneed to eat in order to survive.

Don’t need to:

Not to do something, because there is no need for it.

Examples :

  • I don’t need to take my passport, ID card is accepted.
  • You
  • You don’t need to enter the code before 6 pm.

Needn’t have :

For something was done but turned out to be unnecessary.

Examples :

  • I needn’t have taken warm clothes, it was hot.
  • He needn’t have worn a tie. It was a casual event.

2- Must

An obligation or rule.

Examples :

  • Pupils must wear a uniform. It’s a rule.
  • Seat belts must be worn by all passengers.

Must

For deduction when we are certain that something is true.

Example:

  • John hasn’t eaten anything today, he must be hungry.

Mustn’t

Obligation not to do something.

Examples :

  • Students mustn’t talk during the exam.
  • You mustn’t tell Mom about the gift, it is a surprise.

3- Have to

An obligation from an external source.

Examples :

  • Lisa has to wear a uniform, the rule says so.
  • He has to exercise more, the doctor says so.

Note: have to has the same meaning of have got to. But have got to is more informal.

  • She has got to take the car to the garage today.

Don’t have to

No necessity to do something.

Examples :

  • We don’t have to take notes, we will get a summary.
  • Men don’t have to wear a tie, but they can wear one if they like.

English Idioms you need to know in 2021

It’s very important to be updated with the trends that are going on, and to understand the daily life communicative words as well, so here are a list of idioms and salngs you need to add to your dictionary this year :

1) CEO of

something that you’re very good at, hence making you the CEO of it. This is a big one on Tiktok and is commonly a comment on what someone did in the video.

2) HANGRY

This new English word was first used by the millennial generation, and means becoming angry because you are feeling hungry.

3) To CHILLAX

This new English word is a mix of the terms “chill out” and “relax”. If you put them together we get “chillax”.

4) NO BIGGIE

This phrase is used to say that something is not a serious problem.

5) BINGE WATCHING

This is when you watch several episodes of a series in quick succession over an extended period of time.

6) Cringe

To feel embarrassed or ashamed about what someone is doing or saying.

7) Froyo

A frozen dessert made with yogurt.

8) Glamping

This idiom comes from two words which are camping and glamorous, that means camping which comes with all the modern facilities.

9) Staycation

A holiday spent involving day trips to local attractions, which basically means going out of your city just nearby to like.

10) Stan

To idealize, love obsessively, or to be a big fan of something

How to start think in English

Speaking English in your head is a great way to practice English. You don’t have to worry about saying things right or being understood by others. You can make mistakes and still understand. Also thinking in English is an excellent way to build your vocabulary with words you actually use. Here are some steps to avoid translating in your head and to start think in English.

1- Thinking in individual words

You have to think of individual words that you use daily. For instance, if you are at home you can think of these words : Door, table, chair, window, kitchen. You can practice English language by using words for everything you see, you hear or you do.

2- Thinking in complete sentence

When you used to think in English words, then you have to go to step 2 by making simple sentences. For example, when you are listening to music you can say I like this song or I am listening to classical music, or if you watch a football match you can say The score is 2-1 or this match is amazing.

3- Talking to yourself in English

you will imagine having a conversation with someone in the real life.

For example, when you go to book store. You ask the seller for a book about title, price , pay and you leave. After you leave, try to think of how you would say it if you were speaking English with the book seller. For example, How much is this book? or can I pay by credit card? . So if you do this always you will develop your ability to speak English anytime you need.

4- using the vocabulary as soon as possible

Never stop learning new words or phrases , and keep use them in your daily life and keep practice speaking by using them , or use new words in writing, because practice makes perfect, even if you make mistakes at first you will be finally think in English.

5- Using an English to English dictionary

The less you translate, the easier it will become to just think and speak in English. Every time you search for a word you will feel more comfortable thinking in English, make sure to do this in your daily life whenever possible. This includes looking up words in an English to English dictionary.

English vowels and consonants.

Sounds in English consist of two types : vowels and consonant.

What is the vowel ???

It is sound that comes out of the mouth without being stopped.

How do we pronounce the vowels???

 the tongue, the lips and the teeth do not get in the way of the mouth making a flowing sound.

The vowels letters are : (E, A, I, Y, O, U)

Examples:

Cat, bike, home, cute.

What is the consonant???

It is a sound that cut off by the mouth in some way.

How do we pronounce the consonants???

the lips, the tongue, the teeth or the back of the mouth bend and twist the air to make a specific sound.

Here are some consonants with examples:

/s/

The /s/ sound is made by putting the tip of the tongue close to the front top of the mouth (not touching it) and blowing air out.

Examples : start, sad, pass.

/z/

Like /s/, the /z/ sound is made by putting the tip of the tongue close to the front top of the mouth.

Examples : zoom, zap, buzz, zoo.

/n/

/n/ is pronounced by putting the tongue slightly above the teeth, opening your lips a bit, vibrating the vocal cords and making the air come out of the nose.

Examples : sun, nock, nun.

/ŋ/

It’s a nasal sound too like /n/, so you have to place the back of the tongue to the back of the mouth with your lips parted, force the air out of your nose and vibrate your vocal cords. It’s a difficult sound to make on its own, so try pronouncing this one as part of a word, This sound is written as the “ng”.

Examples : spring, wing, king.

/θ/

The /θ/ sound is called “theta” in English. It is created by putting the tongue between the teeth, just behind them, and blowing air out.This sound is always written as a “th”.

Examples : thin, third.

/ð/

The /ð/ sound is very similar to the /θ/ sound. It is called “eth” in English, and you can make it by putting the tongue between the teeth, blowing air out and vibrating the vocal cords.

Examples : weather, there.

/ʃ/

The /ʃ/ sound in English is made by putting the tip of your tongue close to the top of the mouth, and then blowing out. This sound is written as a “sh” or a “ss”.

Examples : shape, passion, bush.

/zh/

/zh/ is pronounced like /ʃ/, but with the vocal cords vibrating. Put the tip of your tongue close to the top of your mouth a little bit further back than the /s/ position, and then blow out with the vocal cords vibrating. This sound is always written as an “s” or a “g”.

Examples : regime, leisure.

/tʃ/

/tʃ/ is a combination of the /t/ sound and the /ʃ/ sound. Start with a /t/ sound, tapping the tip of the tongue to right above the teeth, and then do an /ʃ/ sound, placing the tongue close to the roof of the mouth slightly further back than /s/. Pronounce it quickly, and then you have /tʃ/.This sound is written as “ch” or in “tch”.

Examples : chat, check.

/dzh/

/dzh/ looks tricky, but it is actually easy, Once you can make the /tʃ/ sound, simply add in the vocal cords and you got /dzh/.This sound is written as “j” or in “dg”.

Examples : June, Judge.

Note : The best way to study English consonant sounds is to hear them clearly and then practice them a lot.

General rules for active and passive voice

  • Active : what subject does.
  • Passive : The focus is on the action.
  • Examples:
  • Active : Tony killed Ravan .
  • Passive : Ravan was killed by Tony.
  • Conclusion:
  • Active = subject + object
  • Passive = object+be+v3+by subject

  • Examples :
  • Active: he is following us.
  • Passive: we are being followed by him
  • Active : I am buying a pen .
  • Passive : A pen is being bought by me.

  • The common rule :
  • Bring the object first.
  • choose correct ‘be’ verb.
  • change the verb into participle.
  • add by + subject .
  • How the subjct and the verb change :
    Subject : I , we , you , they, He , She .
    Object : Me , Us , You , Them , Him ,Her .

  • Note: If there are two objects use any one.
  • For example :
  • She told us a story.
  • 1- we were told a story by her
  • 2- a story was told to us by her .



  • Active rule : have/has/had/is/am/are/was/were +to +v1
  • Passive rule: have/has/had/is/am/are/was/were +to be+ v3

  • For example:
    We have to learn English .
    English has to be learnt.

  • Modal auxilliary verbs: can , could , shall, should , may ,might ,will , would ,must .
    Active rule :Modals + v1
    passive rule : Modals + be + v3
    Examples :
    She can speak French.
    French can be spoken by her .

  • Modals : must have , should have , could have , might have would have .
    Active : Modals + v3
    Passive : Modals + been + v3

  • Example :
    They should have stolen my bag.
    my bag should have been stolen by them.

  • Passive voice for tenses
  • Simple present : obj + is/am/are +v3
  • Example : The poem is written by her.
  • Continuous present : obj + is/am/are+ being + v3
  • Example : Rice is being cooked by her.
  • Perfect present : Obi + have / has + been + v3
  • Example : Homework has been done by him.
  • Simple future : obj + will/shall + be+ v3
  • Example : beautiful poem will be written by her.
  • Perfect future : obj + will/shall + have been + v3
  • Example : Homework will have been done by him.

  • Note : negative sentences remain negative.
  • Example :
  • active : they have not stolen my pen.
  • Passive : My pen has not been stolen.

  • Passive voice of “yes/no” questions :
  • Active rule : did or does + subj + v1 + obj
  • Passive rule : (was/were) or (is/am /are) + obj + v3
  • Examples :
  • Can you speak English?
  • Can English be spoken by you?
  • Did you help him?
  • Was he helped by you?