This is an all ears English podcast, episode 14 50, no yourself to assess your English. Welcome to the All Ears English podcast downloaded more than 150 million times. Are you feeling stuck with your English? We'll show you how to become fearless and fluent by focusing on connection, not perfection, with your American hosts. Lindsay McMahon, the English adventurer, and Michelle Kaplan, the New York Radio Girl coming to you from Colorado and New York City U. S a and to get your transcripts delivered by email every week, go to all ears.
English dot com forward slash subscribe.
What is the best way to measure your improvement in English? You have to know yourself and how you learn. Today we give you four ways you can do it so that you can choose the best one that works for you.
Hey, Lindsay, how's it going? Hey, it's going pretty well the here we are in mid-October. Can't believe it. So crazy. Yes, Halloween is coming up.
Actually, I'm not a big Halloween person. But you are. I know.
No, I'm not. I think we've talked about this. My issue. No, I'm not. My issue is that Dan is.
Oh, that's what it is. Dan Daniel. Dress up this year. Yeah. I wonder how Halloween is going to go.
I don't know. So we will see about that. It will definitely be a different kind of Halloween this year, guys. But, you know, he's the one he always, like I says, costumes or comes.
I like I like thinking of them, OK? Like just because I know he likes to talk about it and it's fun, but like, yeah, I'm I am not the one to think of how to make it or be crafty at all. That's so funny. Yeah I like that. Yeah. So. All right, well let's see how Halloween goes anyway. Lindsay, so recently Aubrey mentioned something really interesting to us. She said that she has a student who actually heard about Eilts from all ears English and wanted to use it to assess her language learning.
So inspired by that, you know, we were thinking that, guys, a lot of you might be wondering, how can you assess your language learning and you are listening. You are a loyal listener of all English and you want to really talk about assessment.
So that is how we are going to use this episode for today. How to assess language level. Maybe there's an adjustment you can take or other other resources that you can use to test your level.
Yeah, that's a great idea. I mean, you know, we always say that the best assessment really is going out into the wild. Right. And speaking English as much as you can. But that's not always possible.
Right, for everyone. We realize that. And so another option is to is to take some kind of an exam or to do something where you can clearly benchmark your progress, how you've gotten better from one time to another. Yeah, yeah.
Some people really want or need that benchmark, you know.
You know, this is for someone who likes to get organized, who likes to have ways to measure improvement. I mean, maybe it's for an obvious reason, like to get into school or something for work, but maybe it's also for personal reasons.
Maybe it's just you like to see your progress in a measurable way. I mean, would would you like to be assessed in another language?
Yeah, I mean, for sure. I mean, science has proved that we need as human beings to stay motivated. We need to see progress.
And I know that's true. Right. I know that I need to see the progress, especially the beginner levels I did when I lived in Japan.
I lived in Tokyo. I studied for the JLP for level for granted. That is the lowest level. But I prepared for it. I learned my kanji, I had my flashcards on the train and I walked out. I took the test and I passed. And that was a really nice way to spend my time in Japan. Right. Something like putting that value into your time. There's something really, really cool about that, that you've achieved this thing and it feels good.
Otherwise, we're just floating out in the world of language learning and it's hard to measure anything.
Right? I mean, so I personally, I always hated taking actual tests, actually assessments. So to me, I mean, we have to think about what is an assessment, you know, like why would someone want to be assessed for fun? I mean, to me, I think it's about empowerment. And like you said, you're proving to yourself that you're learning.
And it's also about having a point, having a reason to learn sometimes. Right. You know what I mean? If it's hard personally, again, it comes back to connection being the ultimate motivation. But if we don't have that option to go out and connect immediately with the native speaker, we need something else to push us forward.
Right. What's the point? Why are we doing this? Yeah, right.
Right, right. Exactly. And, you know, we always have students who I mean, I have students who they say they kind of reach this plateau and. Oh, for sure. So to have to have ways to see progress, even though that plateau can sometimes take a long time to you might feel like you might feel like it's taking a long time. It's not as easy to see the progress as it is from the beginning. Yet you might feel that you aren't making progress.
But you usually I mean, I think that, you know, even in these plateaus, it's just kind of a weird time, so.
Well, yeah, I think yeah, I think you're right, Michel. I think especially for our listeners, the listeners that are understanding, you know, let's see, let's say seventy five to ninety five percent of this podcast. You probably are at that upper intermediate advanced plateau level. And that does feel like a big roadblock, like how do you get around that?
We have to be very at that point, we have to really take language learning into our own hands and do the right things to, like, kind of clearly move ourselves beyond that brick wall.
Yeah, right. Right, right. Exactly. So, guys, we are going to talk about assessment today. And so we're going to get into different ways that you can assess your English. So what is the first one? OK, well, a lot of people want to take the tofel test of English as a foreign language is what it stands for. This is used a lot in the United States, probably a lot of our listeners. Guys, you've probably taken it.
Maybe you have. It's used a lot for academic institutions to get into them. Right. You know, all the big schools in the U.S., if you're going to go to college, undergraduate, graduate or PhD, they may ask for the tofel. Your Tofel scores, OK? Yeah, pretty traditional. Yeah, definitely.
And then what is the next one?
Lindsy. And then there's our favorite, of course, the Isles exam. I like Eilts because it's more international, right? It's more it's it's a bigger exam in terms of how many people take it around the world. It's offered every two weeks all over the world. It's accepted by governments like Australia, Canada, the UK. If you want to immigrate there to work, you know, for the General Eilts or academic, Eilts is used again by academic institutions.
Maybe you want and some in the U.S. now to also accept Eilts.
So that's kind of cool. So it's just a huge exam. A lot of people take it. There's a lot out there on how to improve your child's score.
So that's why I like it. Right, right.
Definitely. And guys, you know, if you haven't listened to it yet, you definitely have to listen to the Eilts Energy podcast right now for sure.
Guys, if you are really zeroing in on your potential in the future, what you want to do, your dreams, then go over, listen to that podcast hit subscribe and prepare with us for the Eilts because our team has more than 14 years of experience examining experience, which is very cool, very cool.
Awesome. And what is it? Tell us about my score. Yeah. So guys, we have a quiz where it's basically a seven or eight question quiz that you can take on our site, which will tell you your general espec expected score, your estimated score. And we were able to write this because Jessica has a lot of experience as an examiner. She knows what answers would give you certain scores, OK, and so go over to all eras, English dot com, slash my score and take that quiz and you'll get a sense of what we estimate your score could be.
So you kind of know your starting point at that point. That is really helpful.
That is a really useful tool. So guys go on and head over and do that. And so now we're going to talk about another kind of test. This is from Duolingo.
You might know Duolingo, the app, right? So they actually have a Duolingo English test. Yeah.
And it seems to be being used more and more frequently now. Yeah. And it is supposed to be a little bit more affordable. I know during covid Duolingo was starting to get accepted by certain institutions because I wasn't able to be run rate in person. So I'm not sure what the status of the Duolingo English test is now and who accepts it and who doesn't. But look into it. I mean, it is a little bit cheaper than Illes and Tofel, and I believe you do it entirely from home online.
So, yeah, it could be a good option. Yeah, definitely.
So check that out, guys. So if you aren't into taking an assessment right now, what are some other things you can do? So, guys, we came up with some other ways that you can assess yourself. So, yeah, one thing you can do and I, I mean, I love these. Well, I wrote these.
I don't mean I love these ideas. I'm not like I love my ideas, but I it was just something to say. And then I like I was like, oh these are good ideas. A little like what I wrote the them. Oh my God. That's not what I meant.
But guys, I wrote them and I feel that these would be good ways to assess you're sick. You could be proud of your ideas.
But I love that you do have a master's degree. And I do that because you have studied these things in depth.
You know how people learn.
So that's right. Lindsey, thank you. Oh, that's that's true. I appreciate that. Yeah, guys. All right. So let me give you some of my expert tips. So self-assessment. So. All right.
So one thing you could do is watch five minutes of a show, put a percentage on how much you think you understood. Right. So do you think that you understood? Twenty percent, 40 percent, 90 percent. And then after one month of studying, watch the same one and see if this number increased. Right. So I want to watch the show. I mean, you can watch it again in between if you want, but I wouldn't like then try and study the show and learn all about the show.
I would say like watch it and then watch it again and use that as a tool. Yeah.
So I think that could be a really great way to do it. Yeah. That's a good idea. So that way it's more of a barometer. Right, because you haven't worked on it, you've just come back and now you're measuring your improvement. Honestly, we get a lot of emails from listeners, Michelle, saying that, you know, they they've listened to our podcast for two or three years and at the beginning they could only understand 60 percent.
Now they can understand 90 percent. And they're super, super motivated at that point. Right.
It's also it's like you're turning the key or opening up a world of. Honestly, entertainment, right, you can be entertained now so much more enjoy a show like Friends or Seinfeld or whatever it is, because you now understand more and then you just want to keep learning more and more.
Yeah. Enjoying what you are learning is super key. I remember talking about that the episode where I talked to the polyglot Lydia Mahoma. Yeah. She was speaking about that a lot. So guys, you'll have to listen to that one. I don't know what number it is, but Google and Google do in the search by Lydia. Lydia, I can probably get the episode number right now.
Yeah, I mean, that was a good one. So that was episode thirteen eighty seven. So if you're in the iOS app, all you have to do is type at the top of the search bar thirteen eighty seven guys and you can check that out.
Good stuff. Definitely. Are you taking Eilts this year.
Take our seven question Eilts quiz now and get your estimated Vänskä instantly. Go to allers English dot com slash my score.
So what's another thing you could do and say OK, so you could ask a friend or a tutor to have a conversation. You could ask them to mark down five areas they think need improvement, whether it's vocab grammar, pronunciation, and have them score you on your overall speaking and explain why.
OK, so these are two different things, right, Michelle? Marking down areas you need to improve and then an overall speaking score, is that right? Right, right.
Right, exactly. So, you know, incorporating, you know, working with somebody else, I really think that we need to work with somebody else on or working on language as in some way it can't just all be one sided, in my opinion. So I think that, you know, you find someone, it doesn't have to be you know, I don't even I mean, we've talked about this, let's say, like whether or not it should be a native speaker.
I don't think it has to be I think choose someone who speaks English as well and have them point out things to ask them to be really, really honest, think, OK, well, was there did you notice, like, for example, was I telling a story? And I wasn't using the past tense when I was talking about the past, you know, like really have them, just to be honest with you, have that open conversation, get some feedback.
Feedback is important.
Yeah. You're going to need a mirror, right? You need someone to shine the mirror and show you what's going on. It's hard to judge ourselves on our own.
It really is that as it is, and then complete this activity again in a month with the same person and ask them how they've heard you improve.
I mean, yeah, this is the same idea of like a class, of course, but this is more, you know, personal with a tutor, with a friend. So I think that that would be helpful as well. Awesome.
And then is there other thing is there something else to record yourself, evaluate what you're looking to improve? Like what's your biggest goal? Do you find that your biggest, you know, tricky part of English is grammar?
Is it the pronunciation of record yourself and evaluate what you're looking to improve and if you can send it to somebody or sometimes I mean, yeah, we I think we want a mixture of working with somebody else and also learning to do it ourselves.
I like that. Michelle, what do you think the percentage should be?
That's a good question. Oh, that's a good question. I could be for another day. Yeah.
Oh, I got to think about that one. I think I think it's better to work with others, but I think you also have to take ownership of it. And so I would say like a higher percentage would be for working with others.
But you shouldn't like you shouldn't think that there's no value in self-assessment. I think, ah, there's value in that.
Yeah, it's tricky. I would have to think about what I think here, but I think a lot of work can be done solo because, you know, a lot of input work. Right. You're taking in the sounds of English. You're listening a lot, a lot of reading and writing. Reading and listening of course, can be taken in on your own and then the more productive skills you know, you would want. But I don't know.
I think as adults, it's so hard to sync up our schedules with other people. Right.
It's so hard to say, you know, help me with this, you know, so it can be I think there's a certain amount of ownership adults need to have over their language learning. And you guys are already doing that by listening to this podcast on your own. So I would I would I would think it would fall more in the 50/50 or even like seventy five, twenty five solo versus with a person. But you've done the amount of work that makes it so that you can benefit in a maximum way from that person.
You know, I mean, you've already done the legwork on your own in the beginning and then you meet with that person. You know exactly what you're going to work on. You're driving that conversation, the tutor or the teacher? The native speaker is not driving that work. Does that make sense? Yeah, very interesting.
Yeah, no, I definitely see what you're saying that.
So, guys, you choose what's best for you, your schedule, who, who you can speak to, things like that. But definitely make sure that you are focusing on self-assessed. Good stuff, I like it, what else, Michelle? And then just a couple of quick things, you know, make a quiz and a test for yourself.
I mean, sometimes, you know, you putting in the effort to make the quiz actually helps you learn it in a different way. Like Zaim, like if you're sharing something you learned with someone else, you can kind of retain the information and understand it better. Like I always find that I understand something in a better way when I teach it. I remember in grad school, I would I was trying to understand something and then I was explaining it to Dan.
And all of a sudden it became it became very clear to me. Oh, yeah, I think that that's something that could be very helpful for language learning.
Yeah, that's how they say that, you know, that you really understand something is if you can teach it. I completely agree. I actually love that idea. Try to teach someone else something you've just learned. You know, you absorb it and then you turn back around and you teach it. So good. Yeah. Yeah. So then you can see, do I get it or not.
Oh Michelle, we should do another episode on just that concept. That would be so cool.
Like how could our listeners get into a practice of learning and then teaching others what they learn, how to maximize their English skills.
Really interesting. Maybe we can set up some kind of a framework or guidelines for it for our listeners that be cool. Yes, definitely.
Oh God. Episode about I have to make a note about a framework for teaching others. Yeah, OK. Now I'm accountable.
Very cool. Very cool.
And so guys but basically set goals and have ways to measure these goals.
Have someone help you work by yourself. I mean overall I think you have to choose which test, which assessment form is best for you.
Topel and Eilts are good. They're traditional. They're well known. Duolingo seems to be getting popular. Self assessment is empowering and helps you learn in a different way. And it's good if you don't want a formal test, but you still want to measure improvement, right, Lindsay?
Yeah, I mean, I think the overall takeaway for our listeners, what we want to leave you guys with is know yourself, you know, know how you learn best. You learn best by a more standard benchmark like the towable the ILD, you know, someplace where you can go into an institution, take an exam, come home, wait for a school report. And that is the ultimate word on your improvement. Or do you learn better in a more nontraditional way that you set up your own assessment?
You have to know yourself. Exactly.
Oh, I love that. Yeah, that is that's true. Lindsay. So, Lindsay, this has been this has been a fun one.
Guys, remember to listen to Eilts Energy podcast and. Yeah, let us know what works best for you. What kind of a learner are you. Exactly.
And if you want to get started on that quiz, guys, to get your estimated band score, go to all the English dot com, slash my score.
See you there. Cool. Right. This is about the. All right. Take care. Bye bye.
Thanks for listening to all ears English. If you are taking Eilts this year, get your estimated band score with our two minute quiz. Go to all ears English dotcom slash my score. And if you believe in connection, not perfection, then hit. Subscribe now to make sure you don't miss anything. See you next time.