Idiomaticity of Language and the TOEFL iBT: How Naturally Do You Speak and Write Academic English?

How naturally do you speak and write?
How naturally do you speak and write?

Michael Buckhoff’s “7 Step System to Pass the TOEFL  iBT Exam!”

Step 6 – Target and Improve Your Writing

Weaknesses:

I want lesson1!

I want lesson 2!

Listen to this post:  Idiomaticity of Language and the TOEFL iBT: How Naturally Do You Speak and Write Academic English?

The human raters on TOEFL iBT speaking and writing will judge the idiomaticity of your language use.  They will determine how natural sounding your speaking and writing is. In other words, would a native speaker express your idea the same way? One of the more difficult hurdles for advanced learners of a new language, idiomaticity of language requires that you avoid unnatural or odd-sounding words and phrases. For example, a native speaker of American English would never say, “Merry New Year!” Or, it would be odd to ask a native speaker of American English, “How many years are you since birth?”

Of course, being natural sounding in your writing and speaking will help you to get a higher score on the TOEFL iBT. It will demonstrate to the human raters that you have had extensive experience using the English language and therefore understand the appropriate words and phrases that should be used in academic contexts.

Despite the importance of this, many of my advanced TOEFL students continue to use expressions like “on the other foot” instead of “on the other hand,” “get a vacation” instead of “take a vacation.”

Consider the following two sentences, one of which was written by an Advanced TOEFL student in my class:

Then usually students have two of three part time jobs needless to pay tax as much as extra work.

Then some students may have two or three part-time jobs without having to pay taxes for this additional work.

Which sentence sounds more natural to you?

Why do advanced learners have trouble with idiomaticity of language? Most likely, it is because of the advanced learners lack of experience with speaking and writing the English language. These same advanced learners may depend heavily on translation dictionaries, further worsening their language use problems. Differences between expressions in languages can cause advanced learners to use odd or unnatural-sounding expressions.

So, what can you do about this? The answer is simple: immerse yourself in the English language so that you get exposure to natural sounding American English from television shows, movies, music, magazines, newspapers, and books. Get more familiar with idioms and phrasal verbs and use them in speech and writing.

For more information, go here:

Michael Buckhoff’s “7 Step System to Pass the TOEFL  iBT Exam!”

Step 7 – Have an Organized Approach to Speaking:

I want lesson 1!

I want lesson 2!


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10 thoughts on “Idiomaticity of Language and the TOEFL iBT: How Naturally Do You Speak and Write Academic English?

  1. To Michael:
    I am sorry but I have a question. In this issue, I strongly recognized my skill need improvements in increasing idioms and phrases for Toefl iBT speaking and writing test. In addition to that, I am wondering how could I make myself much more be aware of various academic topics relevant to the Toefl iBT test as well as activating my thinking skills with the new knowledge of idioms and phrases once I could fortunately acquire them. I love Toefl iBT newsletter. thank you. from Satomi

  2. This video is a response to Yousaf’s question: “How could i be able to improve my skill in reading long passages on toefl-ibt, and remember the information for answering the questions,especially the sentence types questions?”

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  3. Hi Michael,
    Really fun and learning being with you!How could i be able to improve my skill in reading long passages on toefl-ibt, and remember the information for answering the questions,especially the sentence types questions?

  4. This video is a response to Munkhzul comments: “I really want to take the TOEFL test and get as much as higher score. Your strategical lessons will help me, I think. If you don’t mind, please guide me how I can grasp your lessons if I am planning to take the test in January because of I work.”

    [kaltura-widget wid=”9lhlymlicg” size=”comments” /]

  5. This video is a response to Khashayr’s comments: “I agree with you. But I want to say sth in this regard. If you want to improve your speaking you should listen more and if you want to improve your writing you shoud read as much as possible.”

    [kaltura-widget wid=”y48myqz108″ size=”comments” /]

  6. Milad:

    No problem! You can pay by check or money order and mail the money to my address:

    13509 Buena Vista Drive
    Hesperia, California 92334
    USA

    Let me know what purchases you have made and for how much. Once I receive your payment by mail, I will E-mail you the URL’s and passwords to whichever products you have purchased. And, you should include your E-mail information as part of your payment so I know how to contact you.

    Good luck!

    Michael

  7. Hi Michael,
    First of all I want to thank you for your great helps.Then I want to ask you to do me a favor. In our country we don’t have access to credit cards because of political sanctions, and actually I have an exam in September . I want to know if there is a way for me to access the lessons.
    Regards.

  8. I agree with you. But I want to say sth in this regard. If you want to improve your speaking you should listen more and if you want to improve your writing you shoud read as much as possible.

  9. I really want to take the TOEFL test and get as much as higher score. Your strategical lessons will help me, I think. If you don’t mind, please guide me how I can grasp your lessons if I am planning to take the test in January because of I work.

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