English assessments are getting more personalised

Welcome to our feature on English assessments.

English Assessments

These are growing smarter and more personalised as their use booms across education and the workplace, but ensuring results remain trusted is becoming ever more challenging.

After shortening the English TOEFL tests and streamlining the number of tasks to make them more convenient to take, the publisher’s longer-term vision is to move testing away from summative scores to providing universities with a data breakdown of the various skills of the applicant.

English as a Foreign Language teachers and English tutoring guide

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Teaching English / English coaching

Teaching English as a Foreign Language entails:

  • Developing students’ verbal and written comprehension skills.
  • English being one of the most widely spoken languages around the globe makes it the link of communication between people of diverse linguistic skills.
  • Preparing students from non-English speaking nations to effectively shape their academic success.

Find English Coaches



Teacher of English as a foreign language online with phonetics

Free English tips for English IGCSE (international)

IGCSE-English-Revision-Guide-Paper-2 and IGCSE-English-as-a-second-language.


Example English iGCSE question

Recently you witnessed a road accident involving a car, a motorbike and a pedestrian. Write a report for the police describing what you saw. Include the following:

  • where you were and what you were doing
  • a brief description of each vehicle, as well as its approximate speed, direction etc.
  • how the accident happened
  • what happened afterwards

What is the IELTS?

  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System), provider of this commonly recommended English language test, has launched the IELTS Indicator test in response to the pandemic.
  • The IELTS Indicator is a timed online test assessing English language skills in listening, reading, writing and speaking; students take it online from home.
  • Many institutions around the world are accepting IELTS Indicator, and you can use this list to check if your chosen university is among them. Since this is a new test, few universities have announced a minimum score requirement. It’s best to contact your institution’s international office directly for more information.
  • This test is only offered in some countries, and even though it’s taken online from home, you still need to book a place on the test at a specific time. You can check if your home country is offering IELTS Indicator and book your test appointment here.
  • IELTS Indicator is intended to be a temporary alternative to face-to-face exams while test centres are shut and may well be discontinued or updated once Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

English Coaches’ Qualifications

There are various qualifications that an English language teacher needs to acquire before teaching English to people who use it as a foreign language. Some of the qualifications are explained below:

TEFL (Teaching English as a foreign language)

  • TEFL programs are intended for teachers/educators who plan to go overseas for teaching students in a nation where the primary language is not English.
  • The standard requirements for the work in TEFL are a university degree and a teaching qualification.
  • A person needs to have a TEFL certification in order to teach EFL in private language schools overseas and some private language educational institutions in the UK. It is also known that one does not require having any formal experience or qualifications to enrol on a TEFL course. If he/she can speak English well enough they can easily receive a TEFL certificate.

Teacher of English as a foreign language in front of class

  • TESL (Teaching English as a second language)

Similarly, to TEFL, TESL prepares educators to teach English to non-English speakers. To qualify as a TESL, an individual requires a graduate degree in any discipline. Or a degree in language or linguistics. Or a TEFL certification. However, there are no fixed criteria as different countries have different requirements.

  • TESOL (Teaching English to speakers of other languages)

TESOL methodology training is key for non-native English speakers residing in an English-speaking country. To receive a TESOL certificate, an individual will require to complete TESOL training either through online or in-class courses.

Teaching English / English coaching

Certificate of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA)

  • CELTA is a world-class certification related to teaching English
  • The CELTA English language training course enables English language teachers to train Engliush language skills
  • CELTA certification is the highest certification in the field of English language study that anyone will ever ask for.
  • The certificate is offered by any Cambridge University-affiliated programsthrough an assessment. 
  • People can apply for both full-time and part-time degrees and both are equally relevant.
  • There’s no need for prior English teaching experience.

English Language Certification

  • The CELTA certificate is equivalent to many internationally recognized qualification for English teaching.
  • CELTA’s substitute degree (Young Learners Extension) is for younger applicatns. Although CELTA applicants need an English score > C1 (CEPR).
  • You need to be at least 18 years old with a diploma. Or a College degree.
  • There are exceptional circumstances where CELTA aspirants without a formal degree may be accepted – if you’ve exceptional skills to offer.


  • Complete a written test focused on language awareness.
  • Learn effective teaching principles.
  • Are taught practical teaching skills.

Teaching English / English coaching

English language training

English language coaching centres will assist the students through:

  • Supervision of lesson planning.
  • Feedback on teachin.
  • Peer observation
  • Consultation. 

CELTA online allows CELTA courses:

  • Equipped with face-to-face consultations.
  • Additional study materials.
  • Typically have 3 pass grades: A, B, and C. 

Choosing the right ESL teacher

  • Well Qualified

    It is best to check whether the teacher is qualified in TEFL, TESL, etc. One should always ask for certification so that the genuineness of the qualification can be proved.

  • Experienced to deal with non-native speakers

    A teacher of English as a foreign language should have experience dealing with their students. Having a proper amount of experience makes a teacher learn about the nerves of the students. Hence the teacher then knows where the student needs to improve.

  • Knowing multiple languages

    A sign of a good teacher of English as a foreign language will be to know diversified languages and cultures. This way the student will feel confident to communicate with the teacher. Knowing different languages helps the teacher to be empathetic towards their students as they can connect linguistically. Moreover, all problems which the student face can be easily sought once the teacher knows the language, hence there will be no hiccups while the lessons are being taught.

Teaching English / English coaching

  • Length of course

    A non-native speaker has a time limit to learn English as a foreign language as they are learning for a purpose. Hence, a good English teacher of a foreign language should have different plans for teaching English within different time frames. They should be able to switch between their techniques of teaching English as per the demands of the foreign students. This way the student will be able to finish their English course within time.

Duolingo English Language Test

  • Another test that has become widely accepted by universities is the Duolingo English Test (DET). Results are available within 48 hours.
  • The test includes a graded section to evaluate reading, speaking and listening skills, and a recorded video section where you answer open-ended questions. The test lasts for an hour.
  • More institutions are happy to accept DET scores.
  • Since the test has only become widely accepted in 2021, most universities haven’t stated a minimum required score. However, many of the Ivy League universities in the US have indicated that they expect a score of around 120.
  • This is a good general indicator of what to aim for. You can see how the DET test scores compare to traditional proficiency exams such as the TOEFL iBT here.

TOEFL iBT English Language Test

  • The iBT was designed to be taken at physical test centres, so the company has since released the TOEFL iBT Home Edition and TOEFL ITP Plus for China as alternatives that can be taken at home while Covid-19 restrictions are in place.
  • These alternative tests mimic the original iBT in content, format, onscreen experience, scoring and pricing. The TOEFL ITP Plus for China also includes a video interview conducted by a Chinese firm called Vericant. Results are available 10 days after the test date.
  • You can use ETS’s search tool to check if your institution accepts these tests.
  • These are usually available on university websites. Note that some universities will stipulate a minimum overall score as well as minimum sub-scores in the separate competencies of speaking, listening, reading and writing.


Testing EAL students

Test administration processes can usually be adapted for students for whom English is an additional language (EAL). This includes providing reading assistance for pupils with literacy difficulties. However, no assistance should be given with any mathmatical content of the test, including explaining terms, and support provided should not involve rewording the questions as this can mislead pupils.

Scores resulting from such non-standard administration of the test should be considered with caution. However, a standard administration will not give a meaningful result if the student is unable to access the test effectively.


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