Nov 30, 2009

Google Search and Translate features now on

With over 200 pages of new ESL and TOEFL content with more to come in 2010, it's time we added a search feature to improve usability for our students.

Check out the new Google custom search bar we added to the top of each page. This is the same Google technology that is being used in the main Google search engine. Love how fast it is!

The second feature we added today is the Google Translate widget. For TOEFL, TOEIC, and accent reduction product pages, our global visitors can now select a language for automatic page translation. We agree that Google Translate isn't perfect, but it's useful for learning about what TestDEN has to offer ESL students that visit our site.

TOEFL home page in Spanish

Let us know what you think.

Nov 20, 2009

TOEFL English Grammar Guide

TestDEN's new TOEFL English Grammar Guide for Students is now live. The Grammar Guide provides a complete guide to English grammar for students.

Nov 6, 2009

More TOEFL Resources

In addition to the TOEFL guide that we launched last month, we have just uploaded a new set of questions to help students prepare for the TOEFL test. These free resources are now available at

They include:

TOEFL IBT is a collection of questions showing what the TOEFL IBT test looks like

TOEFL Grammar is a collection of listening and reading questions.

TOEFL Speaking and Writing shows you what the speaking and writing sections look like. will be adding additional TOEFL resources in the coming months! Subscribe to this blog by clicking the "RSS" button on the right.

Oct 26, 2009

TOEIC Test Guide

The TOEIC Test Guide is now available on the website. The TOEIC Test Guide is a well-organized resource for students intending to take the TOEIC test in the next three to six months. The TOEIC Guide offers information about TOEIC scores, TOEIC preparation, and even provides sample TOEIC questions.

Visit the TOEIC Test Guide at:

Oct 12, 2009

TOEFL Test Guide Now Available

The TOEFL Test Guide is now available for free to all students planning to take the TOEFL test in the next four months. The TOEFL Test Guide is an excellent starting place to learn about the TOEFL exam so students can prepare their study plan.

The TOEFL Guide contains information about the test, how to register, how the scores work, and we even provide free samples of TOEFL questions.

Visit the TOEFL guide at:

Sep 14, 2009

ACTDEN Powerpoint Tutorial Review

Kevin Cummins is an e-learning coach based in Victoria, Australia and runs the Edgalaxy blog for nerdy teachers at

He recently reviewed the Powerpoint tutorials and had this to say:

Powerpoint in the classroom is a great site to teach you some of the more advanced and cool tricks tucked away inside PowerPoint that we often overlook. with simple to follow visual tutorials that will catch you students attention and give them plenty of new tools and ideas to present and create their ideas.
Read the full review here at the Edgalaxy blog.

Sep 11, 2009

New Video for TestDEN Academic Partners

Our new information video for Academic Partners is now available at the TestDEN Academic Partner home page. This short video is a great resource to help private schools and language institutes understand how TestDEN's online TOEFL and placement testing services can improve service and lower costs.

Check out the video and let us know what you think!

If you are a language school or university institute offering English programs, contact now for a free demonstration:

Vincent Wong
Skype: vincent.wong360
Direct: (604) 270-3656

Aug 31, 2009

New TestDEN Videos on Youtube

Our summer student has been hard at work producing new videos that show the features of TestDEN online programs. This video gives a detailed overview of what's in the TestDEN Test Prep for TOEFL online course.

This one shows what TestDEN Test Prep for TOEIC looks like:

Aug 12, 2009

Two billion English students worldwide

Jay Walker is a successful American entrepreneur and in the below video, he gives a thought-provoking lecture on the English mania overtaking the world. The photos of thousands of Chinese students rehearsing their sentences are amazing.

The really compelling message of Mr. Walker's speech is that English has become the world's second language. As he says in his video:

"English is the world's second language. Your native language is your life. But with English, you become part of a wider conversation. A global conversation about global problems...Like the harnessing of electricity in our cities, or the fall of the Berlin Wall, English represents hope for a better future."
This idea is behind everything we do on

Aug 6, 2009

LMS Market Grows to $817m in 2009

According to Josh Bersin, principal and founder of Bersin and Associates, organizations will spend $817m on Learning Management System (LMS) software in 2009. You can read his insights in PDF format here in the August edition of Chief Learning Officer.

This shows impressive growth from $380m in 2004 to $754m in 2008. Even with the global recession hitting hard, companies and organizations are still investing in e-learning infrastructure. is aggressively going after this market with a hosted solution aimed squarely at small and mid-sized organizations. Watch for our new marketing initiatives in September to promote the TestDEN Academic Partner program.

Jul 23, 2009

TestDEN Academic Partner Program on Slideshare

Here is a copy of the latest TestDEN Academic Partner slideshow, hosted on Slideshare. We will be adding an audio soundtrack in August to help all our new Academic Partners understand the value of working with TestDEN.

Visit the TestDEN Partners website at:

Jun 30, 2009

Effective Approaches to Blended Learning for Independent Schools

By Radames Bernath, Vice President, ACT360 Media Ltd.

Click here to download PDF for printing.

What is Blended Learning?

A blended learning program uses a combination of e-learning and classroom instruction. Independent schools that teach English as a second language and TOEFL / TOEIC prep are using this learning solution to save time, lower costs, and improve quality of service to students.

Kaplan, one of the world’s largest private education providers, sees blended learning as an essential part of its business strategy:

Our Blended Learning approach to instruction stems from the best practices, research, and experience available in the field of education today. We developed our revolutionary approach because we know that children learn best when exposed to different methods and approaches to instruction. We offer a unique blend of personal and online instruction. (Source:

How does blended learning work?
Blended learning is flexible. Students in these programs can learn at their own pace while benefiting from personal instruction in the classroom. ACT360 Media’s service makes it easy for large and small schools to integrate custom e-learning solutions into their curriculum.

Case Study 1: Online English Placement Tests
Teachers at an independent ESL school were spending a significant amount of time marking tests. The first week of class was particularly chaotic as they finalized schedules, organized school orientation, and administered English placement tests for all incoming students.

In search of a solution, the school’s academic director partnered with to create an online version of the English placement test. The school provided their test content and answer key to the TestDEN team, who authored the content into a custom online test.

The online test includes listening and reading sections and a customized log-in page to access the online test. All pages are branded with the school’s logo and colors. After the initial setup, the academic director purchased passwords in blocks of 50 from Each incoming student gets a password to access the online test and the school buys additional passwords in blocks, as needed.

New online test saves teachers’ time and improves school image
The school saw immediate gains in productivity. Incoming students take the placement test online before they arrive at the school and overseas agents issue it to students before they leave their home country. Teachers see the results as soon as the tests are submitted and they can assign students to the correct class before they even arrive at the school.

The academic director decided to retire the paper exam and use only the online version. Now she is considering other tests and practice materials that can be offered online.

Adopting this blended learning approach gave the school several important advantages:
  • Teachers now spend less time grading exams and more time on classroom instruction and higher value student services.
  • The school differentiated itself from competitors by projecting a technology-savvy image to its customers by having its overseas agent issue the placement test online.
  • Students received a good impression of the school because it was well-organized, with orientation and classes beginning as soon as they arrived.

Case Study 2: TOEFL Test Prep
The same school offers a four-week TOEFL prep course. During the classroom-based course, teachers provide instruction and practice materials to help students improve their TOEFL scores.

Each student is issued a set of paper-based practice materials. Some of these practice sets are submitted for teacher grading and feedback, while others are provided for supplemental use only.

To improve the effectiveness of the TOEFL test prep course, the academic coordinator decided to add online practice tests to the course. She signed up the school for the TestDEN Academic Partners program and selected the TOEFL Practice Test option for each student. The program works as follows:
  1. Each student is issued a unique password for accessing online course materials.
  2. Students log in from a custom login web page that displays the school’s logo.
  3. Once inside, students have access to four complete TOEFL tests that include listening, reading, speaking, and writing sections.

After-class access to online practice tests
With the new blended learning curriculum, the TOEFL class instructors continue to provide English instruction in person. Students complete online practice tests outside of class hours – freeing up time for additional face-to-face instruction.

Teachers assign one practice test each week and monitor student progress using an administrator login. This allows them to see each student’s progress and identify areas to work on. Instructors may also grade student speaking and writing responses.

They are prepared for each student and are able to address highest priority needs. The end result is that each student receives personal attention to achieve skill mastery.

For more information about how can help your independent school create blended learning programs, visit our website at

Andy Krieger on CTV News

TestDEN voice coach Andy Krieger was recently in Calgary to teach a group of Canadian actors how to speak more American. Don't laugh, because if you are an actor auditioning for Hollywood movies and TV shows, it's the difference between being a star or being unemployed.

Believe it or not, Canadians do speak English differently from Americans, and there is a distinct Canadian accent. Coach K's methods work with all nationalities, even English speakers from Western Canada.

Click here to see Andy's interview.

Jun 26, 2009

Coach K Accent Training DVD Coming July 15

Voice coach Andy Krieger just gave us a sneak preview of his new Accent Training DVD, and it looks awesome! The packaging looks very Hollywood, which is appropriate because Andy used to work in Central Casting with all kinds of famous movie stars.

Andy tells us that the DVD is 209 minutes long, and includes new teaching material that he added to his course from his recent trip to Asia. He successfully taught over 500 students at HSBC Group, and hopes to return later this year for another round of training.

The DVD has been sent to the factory for production, and we expect to get our first copies on July 15.

Here is a look at the back of the DVD. Notice the t-shirt is from his work on the movie Forbidden Kingdom which came out last year starring Jackie Chan, Jet Li, Crystal Yifei Liu, and Li Bing Bing.

Jun 23, 2009

TestDEN New Look Goes Live has a new, friendlier look. It took us a while but we finally launched the new website. Thanks to all our customers and partners who gave us their input these last few months.

Among the many changes:
  • Separate sections with lots of info and free demos for TOEFL, TOEIC, and Accent Reduction.
  • Easy access to TestDEN Challenge for free TOEFL and TOEIC tests.
  • Revised 180-day training bundles for TOEFL and TOEIC that offer extreme value to students.
  • Integrated Paypal payment option.
  • A completely revamped TestDEN Partners section with descriptions of all TestDEN services and details about how to become a TestDEN Partner.
In the coming months, we will be continuing to add new features and programs to Send your feedback to

Jun 18, 2009

TestDEN Partners with Omni College for Accent Training

TestDEN Accent Reduction Course provides nursing students a clear path to professional success.

Richmond, B.C., Canada, June 18, 2009 – ACT360 Media Ltd., developer of, is pleased to announce a new partnership with Omni College of Richmond, B.C. Beginning on July 1, 2009, all nursing candidates enrolling in Omni's CELBAN Prep course will be required to complete TestDEN's Accent Reduction Course.

Developed by voice coach Andy Krieger, the TestDEN Accent Reduction Course is a an advanced speaking course designed for busy professionals to quickly and effectively lose their foreign accent. Students receive a 3.5 hour instructional DVD, a Practice and Review booklet, and 180-day access to TestDEN's online practice modules. Personal one-to-one sessions may be booked directly with Andy Krieger.

"Nurses in Canada need to be able to communicate clearly and effectively," says Omni College president Ron Burke. "The TestDEN Accent Reduction Course offers accent training that works and will clearly benefit our students."

As an added benefit, Omni College has negotiated a 10% discount from the retail list price of US$99.

Canadian English Language Benchmark Assessment for Nurses (CELBAN) is an assessment tool designed to assess the English language proficiency of internationally-educated nurses who are applying for licensure in the nursing profession in Canada. CELBAN has been recognized by nursing licensing bodies across Canada.

ACT360 Media’s is a leading provider of e-learning and training solutions that help students meet international standards. Our customers include global education institutions and Fortune 500 corporations. The TestDEN platform is being used to deliver TOEFL, TOEFL IBT, TOEIC, business English, and hotel training applications in more than 60 countries.

ACT360 Media contact:
Vincent Wong, president
604-270-3656 ext. 112

Apr 21, 2009

TestDEN Announces Academic Partner Program

Whether bundled with a classroom course or customized as part of an online offering, ACT360 Media’s new Academic Partners Program makes it easy for partners to sell TestDEN services through existing channels.

Richmond, B.C., Canada, April 21, 2009
– ACT360 Media Ltd., developer of, is pleased to announce the introduction of a bundle package of its online training products for select academic partners.

“The TestDEN Academic Partners Program will add value and new revenue streams for colleges and language schools,” says ACT360 Media president Vincent Wong. “It’s a powerful online complement to classroom-based test preparation and ESL courses.”

Three packages are available: TOEFL IBT training; TOEFL IBT testing; and TOEIC business English. TestDEN Accent Reduction is also available as an add-on to all packages.

Learners are issued a single password that gives them access to TestDEN practice tests and trainer products. Passwords are valid for up to one year, depending on the academic partners’ requirements. Prices start at US$50 for four TOEFL IBT practice tests. Contact ACT360 Media for full price list.

ACT360 Media’s is a leading provider of e-learning and training solutions that help students meet international standards. Our customers include global education institutions and Fortune 500 corporations. The TestDEN platform is being used to deliver TOEFL, TOEFL IBT, TOEIC, business English, and hotel training applications in more than 60 countries.

ACT360 Media contact:
Vincent Wong, president
604-270-3656 ext. 112

Apr 16, 2009

Rosetta Stone IPO

Language software maker Rosetta Stone IPO (RST) launched today and their stock sold at the higher end of the price range. 6.25 million shares were bought at $18, suggesting that there was strong demand for a piece of the language learning software market. In total, they raised $112m to fund their global expansion. Nice to see Rosetta raise the money in this environment.

Brady Lemos, an equity analyst at Morningstar, had this to say about RST:

"As a provider of educational software, Rosetta Stone is more resilient to economic slumps than many other software firms, in our opinion," Lemos said in a research note. "We think Rosetta Stone offers a relatively compelling value proposition (a typical three-level program costs about $500), particularly in a challenging consumer spending environment."
ACT360 is seeing the same kind of growth with our new TestDEN training bundles.

Apr 14, 2009

New Online Training Available For Managers and Executives Learning English

When you are new to the English language, it can be difficult to negotiate, help customers, and give clear instructions to staff. That's why ACT360 Media created TestDEN Business Trainer for Speaking and Writing.

APRIL 14, 2009, VANCOUVER, B.C., CANADA – ACT360 Media, an international provider of Web-based language training, today launched two online courses for people who want to improve their writing and speaking skills in the workplace: Business Trainer for Managers and Business Trainer for Executives.

“Speaking and writing are the hardest skills to learn within a business context because not only do you have to master the language component, but also the business side as well,” says ACT360 president Vincent Wong. “These two products fill a need in the market for speaking and writing products suited for business people.”

Management Trainer focuses on the daily tasks of a manager, including 40 speaking exercises and 20 writing exercises. Executive Trainer focuses on higher level, critical-thinking skills and includes 20 speaking exercises and 40 writing exercises. Both products are based on the standards of the Test of English for International Communications (TOEIC).

Here’s how it works: Learners listen or read background information as an audio file, email, fax, or text passage. For speaking exercises, they record their voices online and the recording is stored on the TestDEN server. For writing exercises, they upload their written responses. Submissions are evaluated in one of two ways: a self-graded version (US$50) or a teacher-graded version (US$250) that includes expert marking and suggestions for improvement.

Management Trainer and Executive Trainer are both available for purchase through ACT360 Media's global reseller network.

Since 1998, ACT360 Media’s has helped students around the world to improve their English communication skills. ACT360 Media also designs custom eLearning solutions for a global network of partners who provide language training for call centres and other organizations that need to meet international standards and become more competitive.

ACT360 Media contact:
Vincent Wong, president
604-270-3656 ext. 112

Mar 10, 2009

New TestDEN Accent Reduction Course Goes Live

Richmond, B.C., Canada, March 10, 2009 – International voice coach Andy Krieger and ACT360 Media today announce the launch of Executive Accent at

“It’s like having me as a personal voice coach 24 hours a day,” says Krieger, who in 2008 coached Jackie Chan, Wang de Shun, Crystal Liu, and Li Bing Bing in China during the filming of the American martial arts adventure film The Forbidden Kingdom.

“The online course captures the essence of my coaching method and really brings accent reduction to another level,” Krieger says.

Additional Media Links
Executive Accent is a convenient and affordable alternative to accent reduction classes and one-on-one tutors. It is designed for executives and expatriate professionals who want to improve their spoken English, and the $99 fee includes access to the course and practice modules for 180 days.

Learners watch videos of Krieger explaining the key concepts of his five-step “K-Method” and then they use a webcam to record themselves practising words and sentences. These online video exercises are powered by ACT360’s Accent Terminator technology that shows students how their pronunciation compares to Krieger’s.

Krieger is a licensed teacher who started in the Hollywood film industry teaching actors to speak American-style. He developed The K-Method in 1998 while teaching actors in Vancouver, B.C., Canada how to speak “American” so they could get hired on American films shooting in the local area. Since then, Krieger has also introduced the K-Method to corporate clients in medicine and finance – and now the K-Method is available online.

“We wanted to use technology to enhance Andy’s coaching style and make it available to professionals worldwide,” says ACT360 president Vincent Wong. “More than 7,000 students have used the K-Method and our aim is to expand it by a factor of 10 using ACT360’s platform.”

Since 1998, ACT360’s service has helped hundreds of thousands of students to raise their TOEFL scores. ACT360 designs custom Internet-based applications for a global network of content and distribution partners who provide language training for organizations that need to meet international standards and become globally competitive.

Andy Krieger contact:
Tel: 604-261-1466

ACT360 Media contact:
Vincent Wong, president
604-270-3656 ext. 112

Feb 17, 2009

TestDEN Accent Reduction in BETA

Coach K is in the TestDEN.COM House

Andy Krieger is the latest instructor to join the team. We met Andy when one of our developers took his accent reduction course and raved about his methods. ACT360 has spent the last several months putting together his course on the ACTDEN E-learning platform.

TestDEN Accent Reduction is now in beta, and will be available for testing by qualified partners. What is cool about Andy is that he comes from the movie business, and has a thriving practice helping actors to overcome their accents to land jobs in Hollywood.

The K Method really works! During the video shoot, Andy took our camera operator Benny aside and gave him a quick lesson. After a few hours of shooting and editing videos, we went out to lunch at McDonald's. For the first time ever, Benny placed his order without having to repeat himself to the cashier. A few weeks later, a customer called me and asked me what had happened to Benny's accent. He was surprised at how clearly he was speaking.

Jan 26, 2009

Mandarin Practice Exams on ACTDEN E-Learning

Today we launched the Delta School District Challenge Exam Practice Centre for Mandarin 12. Using our background in testing platforms (TOEFL, TOEIC, UK accounting exams, nursing, legal), we added a sophisticated testing engine to the ACTDEN E-learning platform. The Mandarin 12 exam has two versions and supports both Simplified and Traditional Chinese exams. The practice exam is a full simulation with reading, listening, speaking, and writing sections.

The test costs C$25 and enables students to take a practice Mandarin 12 test online. This is a helpful and convenient service for students across the province preparing to take this exam. Interested students can order a practice exam here through our partner ILC Interactive Communications.

In British Columbia, students with Mandarin as their mother tongue can choose to skip the course, take the Challenge Exam to obtain provincial credit for the course, and meet their second language requirement. By the end of 2009, we expect to have Challenge Practice exams for other languages and subjects available from the ACTDEN E-learning platform as well.