Prakash, who recently joined a TOEFL course called “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT,” sent a E-mail to his TOEFL mentor Michael Buckhoff: “I really like your TOEFL service. I am going to tell all my friends about it.” Michael was delighted and thought about Prakash’s progress so far in his TOEFL studies.
First of all, right after joining the TOEFL course, he followed Michael’s recommendations and took the first pronunciation pre-test. After he recorded his response, Michael listened to it at his Voxopop Discussion Group, and then diagnosed Prakash’s problems. He needed to improve his pronunciation of three vowel and six consonant sounds. Following that advice to the letter, he began watching Michael’s videos which explained how to correctly pronounce the sounds with which he was having trouble. In addition, he completed some practice recordings at one of Michael’s Voxopop talk groups so that he could self-monitor his progress. Prakash’s progress was slow but steady, and, whenever he had questions about his TOEFL course, he would E-mail Michael who would answer his questions in a timely manner. Prakash knew through his correspondence that Michael was a seasoned TOEFL teacher who had more than 18 years of teaching experience. He was in good hands.
Second of all, after completing his second pre-test and spending a few weeks solving additional pronunciation problems relating to syllable division and grammatical word endings, word stress, sentence rhythm, intonation, thought groups, and blending, Prakash got the go-ahead from Michael to begin posting independent and integrated speaking practice tests. Each time Prakash submitted a speaking practice test, Michael, using the iBT independent and integrated rubrics, would score his essay and specifically comment on the delivery, grammar and language use, and topic development.
Prakash had a lot of problems with his grammar and language use when speaking, so he studied the vocabulary and grammar parts of Michael’s course so that he could use basic and advanced vocabulary and grammar. This diversion was a little frustrating at first for him, but he had the faith that, if he could improve his vocabulary and grammar proficiency, he would be able to improve his TOEFL speaking practice scores. And that was exactly what happened: his independent and integrated speaking practice test scores started to improve. In fact, he was getting feedback from two different TOEFL specialists in Michael’s course who both noted Parkash’s progress. Prakash had never experienced these kinds of academic English breakthroughs, and he was thankful that he had joined Michael’s TOEFL subscription service.
Michael thought about Prakash’s progress, and an old saying entered his mind, “A teacher is only as good as his students.” And of course, Michael is proud to have Prakash as one of his students.
|This article was written by Michael Buckhoff–co-founder and materials writer for Better TOEFL Scores and The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT, Composition and Linguistics Professor, TOEFL Specialist, ESL Master Instructor, and Placement and Testing Coordinator for California State University, San Bernardino.Follow more posts and videos from Michael at Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube.|