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Taisha

http://www.taisha.org/

(reviewed February 4, 2011)

NOTE:  This site is written in Chinese.

Reviewer: Quan Chen

Recommendation: Recommended with Reservation

Description

Taisha is a Chinese word that means “so stupid” in English. It is a Web site aimed at a general audience of ESL learners who are preparing TOEFL, IELTS, GRE, GMATE, and other English tests. The site serves as a tool to provide English language learners with learning resources, testing strategies, and discussion forums as well as information and tips about studying abroad. In addition, Taisha has a prediction system that assists students in choosing the appropriate schools by assessing students’ professional backgrounds, GPA, interests, and so forth.

Learning resources

Taisha, as a learning Web site, delivers learning sources in several ways, referring to different strands of English learning and different types of tests. Taking TOEFL, as an example, on the main page about TOEFL on Taisha, learners will see separate sections including speaking, listening, reading and writing. From these sections, learners can gather various descriptions, learning strategies, and tasks analysis. Moreover, Taisha provides learners with a variety of learning materials as well. Learners can listen to VOA, BBC, CNN and find writing partners and join in Taisha’s on-line speaking club. They can also learn American culture and American slang.

Discussion forum

Discussion forum is a place where users are able to unload and share their learning sources and experience with each other. It has different sections including: Testing discussion; Language learning; Studying abroad; and so on. I will focus on the first two sections which may mostly appeal to English learners. The testing discussion part is also divided into two separate sections, which are test taking experience and testing materials concentration. Clicking and entering the forum Language learning is a good choice for learners devoting their attention to developing language proficiency because there are more English learning materials about other aspects of English learning, like translation, business English, and so on. Additionally, learners can post their learning materials, questions, difficulties, and daily progress here, and share and discuss topics with others.

Prediction system

By using the prediction system, learners are required to finish a questionnaire consisting of questions about their interests, GPA in their previous school, strengths, and weaknesses in English learning, and other personal information. With this information, Taisha may help students seek an appropriate school according to students’ specific needs. Some of the suggestions students will receive are generated by the system; some of them are given by professional counselors.

In conclusion, I recommend the Web site as a good place for learners to learn English for taking specific tests.

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