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  1. I took the TOEIC for work once and got 970 out of 990 (why not 1000?!), and for another job, we did the whole preparation course for the TOEFL, but they never made us take the test. In the end, I moved to the US and nobody ever asked me to take any kind of English test to hire me! So yeah, what test you need depends on who is asking for it.
  2. If you find you are struggling with certain sounds more than others, this is a website that explains each sound individually, with video, audio and diagrams http://www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics/spanish/spanish.html I don't have much experience learning Spanish with this website, but the English equivalent helped me a lot.
  3. I took five years of French in school, but I can't hold a conversation even if my life depended on it. Oddly enough, I am able to understand a lot of it if I'm just reading it. But the words simply do not come to me when I'm trying to talk. Not sure what to do about it, since I haven't been able to find anything that will hold my interest in French
  4. I was already fluent in English when I met my (now) husband, but if he had been speaking any other language, I have no doubt I would have been able to learn it right away. Though my husband took the easy way and even though he speaks a little Spanish, he doesn't seem concerned about mastering it.
  5. It really depends on what your native tongue is! Learning Portuguese was the easiest for me because my native language is Spanish. But for people with other native languages, Portuguese can be really difficult to master.
  6. I used to belong to a similar website many years ago, Shelfari, but I only signed up for it, added all the books I had ever read, and completely forgot about it afterwards. I like Goodreads better because it automatically adds my facebook friends (thought some may think of it as an annoyance), and I'm usually better at updating it with every book I read, since it's an app on my phone.
  7. Nothing good ever comes out of Google Translate. It gives you an awkward word-by-word translation that means nothing to someone who speaks the intended language. I recommend, when in doubt, ask someone who knows.
  8. Find out what his interests are, and subscribe him to different mailing lists in English. If he likes a certain TV show, have him watch it in English with subtitles, and after repeated viewings take the subtitles off. He should be able to follow what's going on from memory.
  9. I've tried Pimsleur and didn't like it. I need to "see" the words in my mind as I hear them, and I can't do that if they refuse to teach you how to spell things. Rosetta Stone has better written lessons, but I still feel like it's only tricking me into "thinking" I know the language, instead of teaching me a language. I mean, if you give me a conversation based on everything I learned so far, I am a master of the language. If you let me wonder into a website or TV show, I realized I know nothing at all.
  10. I don't understand it either. I'm from Argentina, and writing in print was simply not allowed in school. Now I live in the US, and my stepson was taught how to write in cursive, and he was forced to write in cursive at some points during 2nd and 3rd grade, and then he was free to switch back to print. Why would you want kids to write SLOWER?
  11. If you can handle Argentinian movies, I recommend you watch "9 Reinas". Of course, not to be confused with the English version remake that we all pretend doesn't exist (don't worry, it has a completely different name)
  12. I'm fluent in English, but I'm not very happy with the whole "things are not spelled out the way they sound" aspect of it. It's so... random! Sometimes I have to help my (American) stepson with his spelling exercises and I have to give up saying "I don't know any way that will help you learn this!". On the other hand, I begrudgingly had to take Portuguese lessons for work reasons, and I ended up loving. Something about that language that makes you think every one you talk to is your lifelong friend.
  13. Keep in mind that the Rs are one of the last sounds a native kid will learn to pronounce correct. Takes A LOT of practice. I've actually know a case of someone trying to learn English who kept rolling their Rs instead of using the English R (which involves awkwardly folding your tongue backwards). I believe after a lot of practice and some sort of bet involved, he was able to master the sound after a few weeks. If you're learning Spanish, this phrase is for you: "Erre con erre, guitarra. Erre con erre, barril. Erre con erre que ruedan las ruedas del ferrocarril!"
  14. When studying English, my teachers were very insisting on having us learn the phonetic alphabet (IPA). At first it's frustrating because it's just a bunch of strange symbols, but visually seeing the name of "the sound" for each word helps me identify how I should be pronouncing it, and it's less likely for me to substitute them for one of the sounds from my native language instead. Check out this website and practice along with the different sounds: http://www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics/english/english.html
  15. I see people write it as "defiantly" a lot. It makes me wonder, what are they defying? Here's a funny comic about English words that are commonly misspelled (including definitely) http://theoatmeal.com/comics/misspelling
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