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January, 2008

Fear Of Writing

How's Your English?
Testing, 1, 2, 3
By  Mark London

Brushing up on your command of English is always a good idea for a writer.
ere's a news flash to keep every writer – beginner, intermediate, and advanced – on his or her toes. English Test Net will not only test your command of the English language, but can also help you improve upon your ability to manipulate it into various forms and improve your writing for free.

The site currently has over 550 various tests, including two free e-books for you to download, and was co-founded by authors/editors Alan Townend, Slava Gromov, Torsten Daerr, with contributors such as Daniela Encheva and Caroline Binda. Quite the international blend of nationalities creates quite the website for dealing with the English language properly. Generally speaking their aim is to promote English as a means of international communication, foster an understanding between people globally, and assist individuals in improving their English language skills.

At the same time their forums allow you to meet new people and exchange experiences on how to learn languages. Their newsletter provides ample amounts of information about English in a light-hearted way, and the site literally provides thousands of interactive grammar and vocabulary questions as well as other useful resources such as short stories, ESL articles, and interviews with business people.

In addition, maybe, you want to make new friends and practise your communications skills. In that case you can join their e-community which provides an exciting place to share your thoughts and ideas with people from all around the world.

What they offer should test your abilities to the maximum and if you can ace all of their tests from beginner to advanced, then you truly do have a solid command of the English language. Their course list comprises:

  • Free English Tests for ESL/EFL: English Grammar Exercises
  • Learning English Quizzes: English Synonym Worksheets
  • Teaching Business English: ESL Business English Tests
  • English as a Second Language: Common Errors in English Usage
  • English as a Foreign Language: Idiomatic Expressions in English

With over 8,200 subscribers to their newsletter they must be doing something right. The U.S. State Department, NASA, and even the Peace Corp have recognized some of the products they sell as being truly excellent tools for learning English by.

To top that all off, they present an open submission section to writers interested in creating tests. If you think you can write English tests, this is your chance to get them published. If you can successfully create multiple choice English language tests, you will receive your own business web page gratis! Why would you want to run down that garden path? Here are a few advantages:

  • You can advertise yourself, books, services, etc. online since your page will be part of a busy website that caters to the booming ESL and English language industry.
  • You will be contributing to one of the largest language exam portals on the Internet and providing common language ground for the international community.
  • You will be supported by the experience and expertise of their team to get you up and running and started in the field.

If you are interested in creating tests you can contact them directly by going to, or you can stop by their main site link and browse around. Try some of the tests yourself to get a feel for what they offer and then contact them.

Either way, if for no reason other than curiosity and a desire, find out how well you actually know English. This excellent testing ground costs you absolutely nothing to use.

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Mark London is a Toronto based freelance writer and associate editor of IN who has been with the FWO-Int'l from the early years volunteering much of his time in assisting young writers' careers. Email:

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Writer’s Block
The path to inspiration starts
Upon the trails we’ve known;
Each writer’s block is not a rock,
But just a stepping stone.

Poetry Is Not
Penned to the page
Waiting for us to admire.
It is only a lonely thought
Caught by tears on fire.

Silent Echoes
A quiet rhyme upon a page
Is what a poet gives;
Some gentle words whispered in trust
To see if memory lives.

Bard From Deadlines
What makes a poem finally work
Is not the time it takes;
It’s how the poet used the muse
To prophet from mistakes.

Be Mused
The art and craft of poetry
Are not so far apart;
The craft comes from the cunning,
The rest comes from the heart.

Fine Vintage
Don’t plant your poem on the page
As though you’re hanging drapes;
It’s shape and flow should come and grow
Like wild summer grapes.

Getting It Write
Writers write what they know best,
Their passions, fears, and dreams;
Writers rarely write about
What other call their “themes.”

Double Vision
A writer’s life is paradox,
It’s more than what it seems;
We write of our reality,
The one inside our dreams.

The echo of a promise,
The thunder of a sigh,
The music of a memory,
A child asking why.

Letter Perfect
Twenty six symbols arranged on a page
Can send a soul to heaven or torment it with rage,
Can free a fragile world or hold it in its net--
The power and the magic of the mighty alphabet.

The Write of Passage
The jump from writing just for fun
To getting paid for it
Begins when you first realize
You know you’ll never quit.

It is not the magic of his wings
That sets us free from our bond.
It is the muse within ourselves
That lets our words lift us beyond.

Photo Poet
Consider your mind the darkroom,
Consider your life the lens,
Consider your eye the camera
On whose focus the poem depends.

Rising Moon
A poem is a rising moon
Shining on the sea,
An afterglow of all we know,
Of all we hope to be.

Star Light
Writing a poem,
Reaching a star,
In making good art
We find who we are.

Spider Web
A poem is a spider web
Spun with words of wonder,
Woven lace held in place
By whispers made of thunder.

The final draft upon the screen,
At last my poem’s through;
A verse of only four short lines--
I rewrote twenty-two!

Read All Of Charles Ghigna's Poetry at

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