Friday, August 28, 2009

5 Free English-Learning Tools to Help You Get Into Business School

The following is a guest post from education writer Karen Schweitzer, whose name you may recognize from her guest post on Aspiring Polyglot earlier this week. Karen is the Guide to Business School. She also writes about accredited online colleges for and guest blogs regularly on language-related topics.

Foreign students are always welcome in English-speaking business schools. Most programs love to accept diverse groups of applicants to simulate real-world scenarios in the classroom. To be considered for acceptance, however, you must be able to speak and write English relatively well. Fortunately, there are quite a few English-learning tools online that can help you brush up on your skills before you apply to your program of choice.

Five free tools that work particularly well for business school applicants, after the jump.

PhraseBase. Memorizing entire phrases is a good way for business school applicants to build vocabulary and gain an understanding of sentence structure and grammar at the same time. You can buy a phrasebook for this purpose or you can sign up for a free membership to PhraseBase. PhraseBase offers a free electronic phrasebook to its members. The phrasebook is customizable and can be accessed through a computer or mobile device.

VerbaLearn. In addition to learning new words and phrases, business school applicants should also regularly review the English words they already know. This can easily be done on VerbaLearn. VerbaLearn is a free web application that makes it easy for students to customize how and what they learn. The app offers many different tools for this purpose, including video flashcards, print flashcards, mp3 vocabulary lists, word usage reviews, fill-in-the-blank reviews, and crossword puzzles.

OWL. Getting a good score on the GMAT (Graduate Management Admissions Test) is a must—particularly for applicants who want to get accepted to a top business school program. To prepare for the GMAT, students should avoid getting bogged down with grammar study and instead focus on learning the most common grammar topics tested on the GMAT: verb usage, pronoun usage, and modifiers. Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL) is the perfect place to learn about all three of these things.

ETS. Although some business schools are willing to waive TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores for certain students, most do not. This makes scoring well on the test very important. One of the best places to prep for the TOEFL is the ETS site. ETS develops, administers and scores the TOEFL. Applicants who visit the ETS site can get information on the test and receive official practice tests, sample questions, and sample writing topics.

AddLang. When it comes to English language learning, there is no real substitution for practice. Before applying to a business school, applicants should make an effort to practice their English every chance they get. This isn't always possible at home, which is why it makes sense to join a social language network like AddLang. AddLang allows users to practice English with native speakers and communicate online through Skype, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, and AOL Messenger.

15 Free Language Learning Podcasts [Aspiring Polyglot]
15 Free English Language Learning Sites [Al Jamiat]
15 Free Hi-Tech Language Learning Tools [English Virtual Community]
20 Free Online College and University Lectures [Debt-free Scholar]


  1. Very nice information. It is very important to learn English for a better communication especially in dealing with business. Nice post!

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  2. Great article! English-speaking business schools are
    the best option nowadays. 

  3. Great article! English-speaking business schools are
    the best option nowadays. 

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