TOEFL is a test designed for non-native speakers of English who want to go to an English-speaking country to advance their educations. TOEIC, on the other hand, is designed for non-native speakers of English who want to work for an organization in which the ability to speak and understand English is important, either because the management of the company is composed of native speakers of English or because the employees of the company will come into frequent contact with customers or potential customers who are fluent in English.
English has become an international language; it is not too extreme to say that it is the international language. Many of the most important countries in the world have English as their native language: the United States, the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales, and northern Ireland), Australia, New Zealand. Many countries in the developing world are former English colonies: many African countries, including South Africa, and also Asian countries, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Burma, Malaysia. The Philippines was for half a century a colony of the United States. In all these countries there is a greater or lesser degree of English usage. Moreover, in many European countries English is required as a second language in the schools. For these reasons English has become a basic language for conducting business internationally.
For Thais English has a special importance. Tourism is one of the most important sources of the Thai economy. Tourists from America, England, Australia, and many other countries are native speakers of English; moreover, tourists from Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Germany, and many other countries are likely to speak English like natives, because they have studied it for years in their schools. Another important source of the Thai economy is exports; Thailand sells its products overseas, and many of its customers in other countries have English as their first or second language.
The Internet is bringing the world closer together. That statement is as true of business relationships as for any other kind. And the Internet was developed in English- speaking countries by English-speaking programmers and engineers, so that its most basic commands are in English. The Windows operating system, currently evolving into Vista, was created in the American state of Washington. If you want to use a computer, if you want to go on the Internet, some degree of knowledge of English is essential. And if you want to do these things in a business environment, the degree of English knowledge you need is large.
So companies want to hire people who know English. And they want to be sure that the people they hire truly do have a substantial knowledge of English. Therefore the Educational Testing Service — a company in the American state of New Jersey — developed TOEIC to help companies ensure that their employees are not merely functional but also fluent in English. Dr. Thanapol Chadchaidee and I have developed this book to help you make a good score on TOEIC. But you must realize that simply passing a test is only the first step in working for a company for which English is important. If you are not truly fluent in English, you will probably not last long.
Dr. Sam Sackett, Ph.D., CMP
ที่มา: หนังสือเคล็ดลับสอบ TOEIC