Tag Archives: language learning

busuu and Pearson partner to bring you the Global Scale of English test (GSET)

busuu and Pearson GSET

Testing your English language proficiency is one click away!

We are delighted to be partnering with Pearson English to bring you a new online language test, GSET (Global Scale of English Test).

As a launch special, we are offering a free test to all our new 12 Month Premium members, so upgrade today to not miss out! All our existing Premium users will have access to one free GSET test on their dashboard.

The GSET will allow you to test your English proficiency online on busuu. As you take the test at different stages of your learning experience, you will be able to track your progress and see how your English skills improve! This is a brand new test that will revolutionise the way your level of English is measured! busuu is currently the only place where you can take this test so you will be one of the first people in the world to take advantage of it!

We advice you to take the test at multiple stages of your learning journey, and as you progress, at the end of each level part, to see how well you are advancing.

The test will be testing all language aspects: listening, reading, speaking and writing. You will go through different types and varieties of motivating exercises that test you on specific skills. The duration of the test is 35 minutes. All you need to take the test is a good internet connection, a headset and microphone. You will be prompted through every type of exercise for a smooth learning experience.

A score delivered based on a global scale

Minutes after completing the test, you will receive an email informing your that your test has been scored. The test score is based on the Global Scale of English (GSE). The GSE is a standardised, granular scale that measures English language proficiency in a way that is consistent and actionable for learners, teachers, and employers.

Unlike other frameworks, which describe attainment in broad bands, the Global Scale of English identifies what a learner can do at each point on the scale across speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.
For instance, a person who has a speaking ability of 29 can identify and order very common food and drink from a menu or someone who scores a 53 can write a letter of complaint.

You would also be able to download a Pearson-busuu Certificate with both your GSE score and your CEFR (Common European Framework) level.

What are you waiting for?

In an effort to make the GSET accessible wherever you are in the world at an affordable price, we are offering it for free as part of the busuu 12 Months Premium membership but also in separate test packs.

So what are you waiting for?

Take the test today to demonstrate your level of English language proficiency with the GSET!

Halloween around the world

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Halloween (also spelt Hallowe’en or known as All Hallows’ Eve) is recognised every year on 31 October in lots of countries around the world. Find out more about Halloween with busuu!

How did Halloween start?

Many people believe that Halloween originally developed from festivals in western Europe, celebrating either harvests or the dead. It might even come from the Gaelic seasonal festival called Samhain, which was observed in Ireland and Scotland.

Where is Halloween celebrated?

Although it began in Europe, Halloween is now popular in many other countries due to migrants introducing the tradition. For example, it’s thought that it arrived in North America thanks to Irish people who moved there in the 19th century.

North America

Throughout the USA and Canada, Halloween is one of the biggest events of the year. After Christmas, it’s also the most popular time to decorate both indoors and outdoors!

Trick-or-treating is a favourite pastime. This involves children dressing up and then going from door to door to ask for sweets. Halloween costume parties are very common – for adults too!

Europe

Halloween is not as popular as in North America, but it’s still widely celebrated. Typical activities include fancy dress parties, trick-or-treating, ‘bobbing’ for apples, making lanterns, eating toffee apples or enjoying fireworks.

Central and South America

The Day of the Dead, which is on the 2nd of November, is a well-known festival in Mexico. It’s a time when friends and family get together to remember those who have died.

However, North-American-style Halloween celebrations are also growing in popularity, including games such as trick-or-treating and typical symbols like pumpkin lanterns and witches.

Asia

For Chinese in Hong Kong and Singapore, Halloween is a time to give presents to spirits to keep them happy. Western-style celebrations are also popular in Singapore and Japan.

Explore Halloween with busuu!

Are you feeling spooky? Then try out the special busuu Halloween learning unit! It has lots of useful vocabulary, as well as a dialogue, a writing exercise, a chance to chat to native speakers and a test to check what you’ve remembered.

How do you celebrate?

Is Halloween celebrated where you live? Or do you have a similar local festival with different traditions? Does your language have any special Halloween words or phrases? Let us know in the comments!

busuu Facebook sweepstake – win an iPhone 5s

Win a brand new iPhone 5s, incl. all busuu mobile apps!

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The busuu language-learning apps to connect learners with native speakers worldwide are now downloaded an average of 25,000 times a day, enabling our users to learn on the go – wherever they are and whenever they want!

We are now giving one lucky winner the chance to win a brand new iPhone 5s, complete with full access to all mobile apps from busuu!

All you need to do is to become a fan of the busuu Facebook page and you are in for a chance of winning!

Once you have entered, make sure to share the sweepstake with all of your friends as you will get one bonus entry for each of your friends that enter too!

Win an iPhone 5s now!

Boost your pronunciation – Part 2

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When learning a new language, it can be hard to pronounce things in a way that people understand.

The busuutalk feature on busuu is a great way to practise both your listening skills and your pronunciation. Here are three tips to help you get the most out of busuutalk:

1. Listen. Different people pronounce words differently. Listen and pay attention to the way the words and sentences sound (see this post for some help with what to focus on).

2. Imitate. As you listen, try to copy the way that native speakers form sounds, words and sentences.

3. Ask for help. When using busuutalk, ask your partner to focus on your pronunciation. Tell them that you would like to sound clear and be easily understood and ask them to tell you when you make a mistake.

Which words do you find hard to pronounce correctly? Let us know on the comments below, or connect with others using busuutalk and ask them to help you!

 

busuu’s mobile apps reach 20 million downloads

We have some great news:

Our mobile apps have been downloaded 20 million times!

Read a summary of our official press release here and in case you have not done it yet, download one of our free mobile learning apps!

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The first language-learning app to connect learners with native speakers worldwide is now downloaded an average of 25,000 times a day, meeting growing global demand for mobile learning.

busuu’s mobile app allows users to learn up to 11 languages and connect to over 35 million native speakers in its global language-learning community. The top three languages downloaded for learning are English, French and Spanish.

The top three countries by number of downloads are the US, Germany and Russia, although there is also rapid growth in emerging markets such as Brazil, Turkey and China. 

Interaction with native speakers is an important part of successfully learning a new language, so busuu’s huge, active community is a key feature. Via the app, users connect to native speakers by completing writing exercises and submitting these for feedback and corrections. They can then do the same in return, acting as a tutor of their own mother tongue.

Since the beginning of 2013, busuu members have completed over 12 million vocabulary exercises via the app. The general shift to mobile learning is further demonstrated by the fact that busuu users now complete 33% more exercises via the app than online. Mobile users now also have the possibility to set a learning goal on their mobile phone in order to track their progress.

The busuu language-learning app is free, with access to 20 learning units (5 for each level). Premium Members of the web version automatically have full access included in their membership.

Download our free mobile app now!