Why English Proficiency Tests are Essential for Studying or Working Abroad

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English Proficiency Tests are standardized tests designed to measure a person’s proficiency in the English language. These tests, such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), gauge the ability to read, write, listen, and speak in English. They are widely recognized by educational institutions, businesses, and governmental bodies worldwide.

In our globalized world, English has become a significant bridge for international communication. It’s the lingua franca in business, academia, and many aspects of daily life, especially in countries where it is the primary language. Hence, English proficiency becomes crucial for anyone aspiring to study or work abroad. Not only does it open doors to international education and job opportunities, but it also helps in assimilating into different cultures and environments.

While English mastery might seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be. With the right tools and resources, anyone can enhance their English skills. A prime example of such a resource is LillyPad.ai, a technologically advanced platform that aids learners in achieving English proficiency.

Test NameDescriptionRecognition
TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language)A test commonly used by North American universities to evaluate English proficiency.Accepted by over 10,000 colleges, universities, and agencies in over 150 countries.
IELTS (International English Language Testing System)Test recognized for assessing English proficiency for academic, work, and migration purposes.Recognized by universities and employers in many countries including the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
Cambridge English ExamsA range of exams for different levels and purposes, including business, legal, and academic English.Accepted by over 25,000 organizations worldwide including companies, universities, and government bodies.
PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic)A computer-based academic English language test designed for non-native English speakers wanting to study abroad.Accepted by thousands of universities worldwide, including prestigious institutions such as Harvard Business School, INSEAD, and Yale.
English Test Chart

LillyPad.ai: Your Guide to Mastering English

LillyPad.ai is an innovative language-learning platform that makes use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to deliver personalized English learning experiences. Here’s why you might want to consider using LillyPad.ai for your English learning journey:

  • Personalized Learning Paths: LillyPad.ai uses sophisticated AI algorithms to create tailored learning paths based on your strengths, weaknesses, and learning pace.
  • Interactive Lessons: The platform provides engaging content that makes learning English fun and enjoyable. Lessons are interactive and designed to improve all aspects of language learning: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
  • Real-time Feedback: With LillyPad.ai, you get immediate feedback on your performance. This instant evaluation allows you to identify areas that need improvement and adjust your learning strategy accordingly.
  • Track Your Progress: The platform offers a comprehensive dashboard where you can track your progress, providing you with a clear picture of your learning journey and the areas you need to focus on.
  • Test Simulation: LillyPad.ai provides simulated tests that closely mimic actual English Proficiency Tests. This feature enables you to familiarize yourself with the test format and conditions, increasing your confidence and readiness for the real deal.

The world is becoming smaller every day with the continuous advance of technology and global communication. As such, mastering English is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Through resources like LillyPad.ai and diligent practice, becoming proficient in English is an achievable goal for anyone wishing to broaden their international horizons.

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The Importance of English Proficiency Tests

Understanding English Proficiency Tests

English Proficiency Tests are assessments that measure an individual’s ability to use and understand the English language. These tests are essential for non-native speakers who wish to study, work, or immigrate to English-speaking countries. The primary objective of these tests is to evaluate one’s proficiency in English in areas such as reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

There are several types of English Proficiency Tests, including but not limited to:

  • TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language): This test is commonly used by North American universities and is accepted by more than 10,000 colleges, universities, and agencies in over 150 countries.
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System): Recognized by universities and employers in many countries including the UK, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
  • Cambridge English Exams: These are a range of exams for different levels and purposes, including business, legal, and academic English.
  • PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic): It is a computer-based academic English language test aimed at non-native English speakers wanting to study abroad.

The Role of English Proficiency Tests in Studying Abroad

Most universities around the world require proof of English proficiency for non-native speakers as part of their admission criteria. For instance, Harvard University requires a TOEFL score of 100 or higher on the internet-based test or an IELTS Academic score of 7.5 or higher. The University of Cambridge, on the other hand, requires an IELTS score of 7.5, with a minimum of 7.0 in each element.

Having strong English proficiency provides a number of benefits for students studying abroad:

  • Ease of Communication: A high level of English proficiency enables students to interact effectively with their professors and peers, and to fully participate in class discussions and group projects.
  • Better Academic Performance: Students with strong English skills can understand lectures, textbooks, and other learning materials more effectively, which often leads to better academic performance.
  • More Opportunities: Proficiency in English often opens up more opportunities for internships, research, and job placements. Many multinational companies require English proficiency, and having strong English skills can give students a competitive edge.

The Significance of English Proficiency Tests in Working Abroad

Just as English proficiency is critical for studying abroad, it also holds considerable importance in the global job market. Many employers, particularly those in multinational corporations or in countries where English is the business lingua franca, highly value English proficiency. English language skills are often considered a marker of a candidate’s ability to communicate effectively in diverse teams and to handle tasks that require strong comprehension and articulation.

Working abroad with high English proficiency comes with its own set of advantages:

  • Career Advancement: English is the primary business language for many international companies. Having a high English proficiency can increase your visibility in the company, open up opportunities for leadership roles, and fast-track your career advancement.
  • Better Communication: Proficient English skills allow for more effective communication with colleagues, clients, and stakeholders from various parts of the world. This can lead to a more collaborative and inclusive work environment, contributing to both personal growth and the company’s success.
  • Increased Job Opportunities: Proficiency in English expands the job market, allowing you to apply for positions in different countries and international companies that may otherwise be inaccessible.

Several international companies demonstrate the importance of English proficiency through their language requirements. For example, companies like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, which operate on a global scale, typically require English proficiency, as reflected in their job postings. Nestlé, a Swiss multinational company, has made English its official corporate language to facilitate communication and business operations across its various subsidiaries worldwide.

Overall, English Proficiency Tests serve as a significant benchmark for employers to evaluate the language competency of potential employees. They ensure that individuals have the necessary English skills to succeed in the global workspace, fostering better communication, career advancement, and an expansion of job opportunities.

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Understanding the Structure of English Proficiency Tests

Breakdown of Test Components

English Proficiency Tests are generally divided into four main components, each designed to assess a specific skill set related to the English language:

  • Listening: This section tests your ability to understand spoken English, which may come in the form of lectures, conversations, or discussions.
  • Reading: The reading section evaluates your ability to understand written English, typically through a series of passages and related comprehension questions.
  • Writing: This part assesses your ability to write effectively in English. You may be asked to write essays, summarize articles, or respond to specific prompts.
  • Speaking: The speaking section examines your spoken English skills. You may be asked to express your opinion on a topic, describe a situation, or discuss a question.

It’s crucial to understand that being proficient in English doesn’t just mean mastering one or two of these areas. True proficiency comes from being competent in all aspects of the language—listening, reading, writing, and speaking.

Scoring Mechanisms

The scoring mechanisms for English proficiency tests can vary depending on the specific test.

  • TOEFL: Each section (Listening, Reading, Speaking, and Writing) is scored out of 30, for a total maximum score of 120. The scores for the four sections are combined to give a comprehensive total score.
  • IELTS: Each of the four sections is scored on a band scale of 1-9. The final score, also known as the band score, is the average of the four section scores.
  • PTE Academic: PTE uses an automated scoring system. Each section contributes to your overall score, which is marked on a scale from 10 to 90.

Understanding how these tests are scored can help you tailor your study plan and prioritize areas that need improvement.

Time Management Strategies

Each section of the test is timed, which means you have a limited amount of time to complete each task. Here are some strategies for effective time management during the test:

  • Understand the Test Structure: Knowing the structure of the test and the types of questions you can expect will help you anticipate how much time you might need for each section.
  • Practice with Timed Tests: By practicing with timed tests, you can get a sense of your pacing and identify sections where you may need to speed up.
  • Read Instructions Carefully: Make sure you read the instructions for each task carefully but quickly, so you don’t waste time trying to figure out what you need to do.
  • Don’t Spend Too Much Time on One Question: If you’re stuck on a question, it’s often best to move on and come back to it later if time allows.

Understanding the structure of English Proficiency Tests, including the breakdown of test components, scoring mechanisms, and time management strategies, is crucial for effective preparation and optimal performance on the test day.

English Grammar Learning Infographic

Tips and Strategies for Excelling in English Proficiency Tests

Key Steps in English Proficiency Test PreparationDescriptionHow LillyPad.ai Helps
1. Understanding the Test FormatComprehending the structure, types of questions, timing, and scoring system of the test.Offers resources like mock tests that simulate real exam conditions, aiding in familiarizing with the test format.
2. Enhancing Vocabulary and GrammarBuilding a rich vocabulary and solid grammar understanding for accurate spoken and written English.Provides individualized vocabulary and grammar lessons. The platform’s AI identifies weak spots and tailors lessons accordingly.
3. Practicing RegularlyRegular practice helps reinforce learnings, identifies areas of improvement, and boosts speed and efficiency.Provides an accessible platform for regular, flexible practice with a wide array of questions and full-length tests for constant self-challenge and progress monitoring.
4. Getting FeedbackFeedback offers insights into strengths and weaknesses, aiding in targeted effort.Offers real-time feedback using advanced AI. This allows prompt correction of mistakes, understanding the reasoning behind correct answers, and effective learning.
5. Building ConfidenceConfidence aids in better stress management and improved test performance.Builds confidence through a supportive, personalized learning environment. Consistent practice and constructive feedback on the platform help boost English skills and confidence.
Strategies Chart

Understanding the Test Format

One of the first and most important steps towards excelling in English Proficiency Tests is understanding the test format. Each test has its own unique structure, types of questions, timing, and scoring system. Familiarizing yourself with the test format can significantly improve your efficiency and effectiveness on the test day.

LillyPad.ai offers a range of resources to help learners understand the test format, including mock tests. These tests simulate the conditions of the real exam, allowing you to get a firsthand experience of what to expect. They can help you understand how the questions are structured, how much time you’ll have for each section, and how to navigate the test.

Enhancing Vocabulary and Grammar

A rich vocabulary and a solid understanding of grammar are crucial for doing well on English Proficiency Tests. Vocabulary is not just about knowing a lot of words—it’s also about understanding their usage in different contexts. Similarly, having a good grasp of English grammar rules can significantly improve the accuracy of your spoken and written English.

LillyPad.ai provides individualized vocabulary and grammar lessons to help learners improve these areas. The platform’s AI technology can identify your weak spots and tailor the lessons accordingly, ensuring that you’re focusing on areas that will have the most impact on your test performance. The lessons are interactive and engaging, making learning enjoyable and effective.

Remember, excelling in English Proficiency Tests requires more than just natural language aptitude—it’s also about strategic preparation. By understanding the test format and focusing on enhancing your vocabulary and grammar, you can significantly improve your chances of achieving a high score. Utilizing resources like LillyPad.ai can provide the guided, personalized learning experience that can make your test preparation journey more manageable and successful.

Practicing Regularly

Regular practice is an integral part of mastering English and acing proficiency tests. It allows you to reinforce what you’ve learned, identify areas of improvement, and gain speed and efficiency in answering test questions.

LillyPad.ai offers an ideal platform for regular, flexible practice. The platform is accessible anytime and anywhere, allowing you to fit your practice sessions into your schedule in a way that works best for you. With a wide array of practice questions and full-length tests, you can constantly challenge yourself and monitor your progress over time.

Getting Feedback

Feedback is critical in the learning process. It provides insight into your strengths and weaknesses, helping you focus your efforts on areas where improvement is needed. Moreover, feedback can motivate you to keep pushing forward and inspire you to continue learning.

LillyPad.ai is designed to provide real-time feedback on your performance. As you complete exercises and practice tests, the platform’s advanced AI technology analyzes your responses and provides instant feedback. This enables you to correct mistakes promptly, understand the reasoning behind correct answers, and learn more effectively.

Building Confidence

Confidence plays a significant role in performing well in proficiency tests. When you feel confident about your language skills, you’re likely to approach the test with a positive mindset, manage stress better, and ultimately perform at your best.

LillyPad.ai helps build confidence through a supportive, personalized learning environment. It creates a safe space for you to make mistakes, learn, and grow at your own pace. With consistent practice and constructive feedback, you’ll see your English skills improve, which in turn boosts your confidence.

In conclusion, regular practice, feedback, and confidence-building are key strategies for excelling in English Proficiency Tests. With a learning tool like LillyPad.ai, you can have a structured, efficient, and effective learning journey towards mastering English and achieving high scores on proficiency tests.

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Building the Mindset for Test Success

Reducing Test Anxiety

Test anxiety is a common phenomenon faced by many students, often characterized by excessive worry, nervousness, or fear about taking tests. Common causes of test anxiety include fear of failure, lack of preparation, and negative past experiences.

To overcome test anxiety, it’s important to:

  • Start Early & Prepare Well: Begin your test preparation early to avoid last-minute cramming. A well-structured study plan can increase your confidence and reduce anxiety.
  • Practice Relaxation Techniques: Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or visualization can help reduce stress and promote calmness.
  • Adopt a Positive Mindset: Focus on your progress and achievements rather than obsessing over perfect scores. Recognize that it’s okay to make mistakes and that they are part of the learning process.

LillyPad.ai contributes to reducing test anxiety by promoting a stress-free learning environment. Its personalized learning path allows you to prepare at your own pace and comfort level. The instant feedback feature helps you understand your mistakes and learn from them, reducing the fear of the unknown.

The Power of Persistence

Language proficiency is not achieved overnight—it requires persistence, patience, and regular practice. Persistent learners are often those who achieve their goals, as they are willing to invest the necessary time and effort, despite difficulties and setbacks.

LillyPad.ai is designed to promote and facilitate persistent learning. The platform’s flexible schedule allows you to practice consistently at times that suit you best. Its engaging and interactive lessons keep you motivated and committed to your learning journey, enhancing your persistence.

In summary, a positive mindset—marked by reduced test anxiety and persistent learning—can greatly enhance your chances of success in English Proficiency Tests. With a tool like LillyPad.ai, you’re not just equipped with the right study resources, but also supported in building a productive and successful mindset for your test preparation.

English grammar app infographic

Preparing for English Proficiency Tests with LillyPad.ai

Introduction to LillyPad.ai

LillyPad.ai is a cutting-edge mobile application designed to help learners excel in English proficiency tests. The app uses advanced AI technology to provide a personalized, comprehensive learning experience for every user.

Key features of LillyPad.ai include:

  • Personalized Training: The app assesses your current English skills and designs a tailored learning path based on your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Real-time Feedback: You get instant feedback on your exercises, helping you to quickly understand and correct your mistakes.
  • Comprehensive Learning: LillyPad.ai provides thorough training on all aspects of English proficiency tests—reading, listening, writing, and speaking.

By combining these unique features, LillyPad.ai creates an environment that is conducive to effective learning and successful test preparation.

Enhancing Reading and Listening Skills

LillyPad.ai offers an extensive range of tools to improve your reading and listening skills, which are critical for English Proficiency Tests.

Reading Skills: The app provides a wide variety of reading materials covering different topics and difficulty levels. As you read through the materials, you can interact with the text—highlighting unknown words, viewing their definitions, and adding them to your vocabulary list for future review. LillyPad.ai also offers reading comprehension exercises that allow you to apply what you’ve learned.

Example of a reading exercise: Read the following passage and answer the question: “Despite its small size, the hummingbird has one of the largest appetites in the bird world. To fuel their energetic flights, hummingbirds consume up to their body weight in nectar each day.”

Question: What does the passage suggest about hummingbirds?

Answer: The passage suggests that hummingbirds have a large appetite and consume a significant amount of nectar each day to support their energetic flights.

Listening Skills: LillyPad.ai comes equipped with numerous listening exercises, ranging from casual conversations to academic lectures. These exercises help improve your ability to understand spoken English in various contexts. After listening to each exercise, you’ll answer comprehension questions to assess your understanding.

Example of a listening exercise: Listen to the following statement and answer the question: “Elephants are known for their remarkable memory, and they can remember friends and enemies for many years.”

Question: What trait of elephants is mentioned in the statement?

Answer: The statement mentions that elephants have a remarkable memory and can remember friends and enemies for many years.

LillyPad.ai’s engaging exercises and real-time feedback allow for consistent improvement in your reading and listening skills, setting you up for success in English Proficiency Tests.

Developing Speaking and Writing Skills

LillyPad.ai provides a wide array of tools to hone your speaking and writing skills—areas that are often considered the most challenging parts of English Proficiency Tests.

Speaking Skills: With the app, you can participate in speaking exercises where you record your responses to various prompts. The advanced speech recognition technology provides real-time feedback on your pronunciation, intonation, and fluency, helping you perfect your spoken English.

Example of a speaking exercise: Record your response to the following question: “Describe a memorable event from your childhood.”

As you answer, LillyPad.ai assesses your speech and provides feedback on areas you can improve, such as pronunciation of certain words or sentence rhythm.

Writing Skills: LillyPad.ai offers numerous writing tasks that mimic those found on proficiency tests. After submitting your written response, the app’s AI evaluates your writing for grammar, vocabulary, coherence, and cohesion, and provides detailed feedback.

Example of a writing exercise: Write a response to the following topic: “Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of online learning.”

After writing and submitting your response, LillyPad.ai will give you a comprehensive review, highlighting areas for improvement and providing tips for better writing.

Focusing on Test-Specific Training

One of the standout features of LillyPad.ai is its ability to provide specialized training based on the type of proficiency test you are preparing for, whether it’s IELTS, TOEFL, PTE, or others. It does this by tailoring the practice tests and vocabulary lists to closely reflect the style and requirements of the specific exam.

For instance, if you’re preparing for the IELTS, your training session might look like this:

  • Reading Practice: You’ll be given passages to read followed by a range of question types similar to those on the IELTS, such as multiple choice, identifying the writer’s views, matching information, and sentence completion.
  • Listening Practice: You’ll listen to conversations and monologues similar to the IELTS listening test, and answer questions based on what you heard.
  • Writing Practice: You’ll get tasks similar to IELTS writing tasks, such as describing a graph or chart, or writing an essay in response to an argument or problem.
  • Speaking Practice: You’ll participate in activities similar to the IELTS speaking test, including answering questions about yourself, speaking at length on a given topic, and discussing issues related to that topic.

Through its diverse and tailored learning features, LillyPad.ai ensures you’re well-equipped to tackle the specific demands of your English Proficiency Test. By aligning your preparation closely with the actual exam requirements, you can confidently face the test knowing you’ve been trained in the right way.

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Utilizing LillyPad.ai for Post-Test Improvement

Analyzing Test Performance

Reflecting on your test performance is a crucial step towards continual improvement. It helps you identify what worked well, areas where you struggled, and strategies that can be improved upon for future tests.

LillyPad.ai offers robust performance analytics that facilitates this reflection process. Post-test, the app provides a comprehensive analysis of your performance across different test sections, such as reading, writing, listening, and speaking. It highlights your strengths and pinpoints areas where further improvement is needed. This deep analysis helps you understand your test performance at a granular level and provides valuable insights for future learning and test strategies.

Continuous Learning and Improvement

English proficiency is not only useful for passing tests, but it also plays a significant role in our increasingly global and interconnected world. Hence, it’s essential to maintain and continually improve your English proficiency beyond test preparation for lifelong learning.

LillyPad.ai can serve as a companion for this continuous language learning. Even after your test, the app offers resources for further developing your English skills, such as advanced vocabulary exercises, complex reading materials, and challenging listening exercises. Additionally, the platform keeps adding new and updated content, ensuring that you always have fresh and relevant materials to learn from.

Furthermore, with features like personalized learning paths and real-time feedback, LillyPad.ai continues to support your language learning journey, adapting to your evolving needs and proficiency level.

In essence, LillyPad.ai is more than a test-preparation tool—it is a comprehensive platform that supports your English learning journey, from preparing for proficiency tests to continually improving your language skills for personal growth and lifelong learning.

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English Proficiency Tests, such as TOEFL, IELTS, and PTE, are indispensable tools for those aspiring to study or work abroad. These tests not only provide universally recognized proof of your English proficiency but also equip you with the language skills needed to thrive in an English-speaking environment.

However, preparing for these tests doesn’t have to be a daunting task. With LillyPad.ai, you have a companion that uses advanced AI technology to provide a personalized and comprehensive learning experience. From understanding the test format to enhancing your vocabulary and grammar, from regular practice to real-time feedback, and from building confidence to reducing test anxiety—LillyPad.ai is there to support every step of your test preparation journey.

Moreover, the journey doesn’t end at passing the test. With LillyPad.ai, you can continue to improve your English proficiency, ensuring you’re well-equipped to handle the challenges and seize the opportunities that come with studying or working abroad.

So why wait? Embrace the journey to mastering your English language level with LillyPad.ai. Sign up today, and conquer your dreams of studying or working abroad with confidence and proficiency in the English language. You’re not just learning English; you’re opening up a world of opportunities.


LillyPad.ai’s comprehensive and personalized learning approach is designed to build your confidence. Regular practice with real-time feedback helps you improve steadily, reducing anxiety. Moreover, our test-specific training sessions help you familiarize yourself with the exam format, reducing test-related stress.

Absolutely! LillyPad.ai has a dedicated module for enhancing speaking skills. It provides real-time feedback on your pronunciation, helping you make instant corrections and improvements. This will significantly improve your spoken English Ability over time.

LillyPad.ai has extensive lessons on grammar rules, with a wide range of exercises to practice English proficiency exams. The real-time feedback helps you understand and correct your mistakes immediately, aiding in solidifying your understanding of English grammar.

LillyPad.ai’s listening exercises expose you to a variety of accents used in the English-speaking world. Regular practice will help you understand different accents better and improve your overall listening skills. While English language courses can help, it would help you to expose yourself to foreign students or native English speakers. 

LillyPad.ai aids in identifying your areas of weakness and provides personalized lessons to help you improve your English language requirements. Continuous learning and practice with LillyPad.ai will help you improve your score in English language proficiency tests.

Time management is a critical aspect of proficiency tests. LillyPad.ai provides mock tests that mimic the actual exam’s timing and format, enabling you to practice and develop effective time management strategies. With independent writing tasks, academic writing examples, and mock exams, it can feel like a daunting amount of time to prepare for the exam structure. Make study guides and an effective study plan with all the necessary preparation materials.

LillyPad.ai offers targeted vocabulary lessons and practice exercises for international students. It also provides lists of words often used in proficiency tests, helping you master the necessary vocabulary in your English language skills.

Yes, with LillyPad.ai, you can learn at your own pace and schedule. The app is designed for on-demand access, allowing you to tailor your English language ability around your other commitments. To improve your English proficiency level, answer the many multiple-choice questions that this computer-based test has to offer. With frequent practice, you will successfully build English communication skills.

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Learn from History – Follow the Science – Listen to the Experts

For learners of all ages striving to improve their English, LillyPad combines the most scientifically studied and recommended path to achieving English fluency and proficiency with today’s most brilliant technologies!

What’s the one thing that makes LillyPad so special? Lilly! Lilly’s a personal English tutor, and has people talking all over the world! Lilly makes improving your English easy. With Lilly, you can read in four different ways, and you can read just about anything you love. And learning with Lilly, well that’s what you call liberating!

Additionally, the platform incorporates goal-setting capabilities, essential tracking & reporting, gamification, anywhere-anytime convenience, and significant cost savings compared to traditional tutoring methodologies.

At LillyPad, everything we do is focused on delivering a personalized journey that is meaningful and life-changing for our members. LillyPad isn’t just the next chapter in English learning…

…it’s a whole new story!

Do you want to improve your English? Visit www.lillypad.ai.

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Bethany MacDonald

Bethany MacDonald

Bethany MacDonald has contributed articles LillyPad.ai since 2020. As their Blog Lead, she specialises in informative pieces on culture, education, and language learning

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