A few months ago, Patel subscribed to “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT” and started taking TOEFL lessons.” His goal was simple: to score higher on the speaking and writing sections of the TOEFL iBT. But it would be no easy task.
First of all, after Patel took the pronunciation pre-test, he received an intelligibility score of 3.5/7.0, meaning that he had a very strong non-native speaker accent that interfered in others being able to understand him. TOEFL iBT specialist Michael Buckhoff gave him specific lessons to study so that he could learn how to correctly pronounce the vowel and consonant sounds of American English. Additionally, Michael taught him lessons relating to syllable division and grammatical word endings, word stress, sentence rhythm, intonation, thought groups, and blending. Patel never realized that English pronunciation was so difficult, but he practiced all the lessons and begin reading out loud with Michael as he learned how to speak American English more clearly. Little by little he began to reduce his non-native speaker accent.
Second of all, to learn how to organize and develop ideas when speaking, Patel began recording online responses to independent and integrated speaking tasks, after which a TOEFL specialist would listen to, evaluate, and score. At first, his scores were between 15 and 20 points, but slowly Patel started to improve.
Finally, Patel had many problems he needed to solve in his writing, but he studied all the independent and integrated writing instruction at the web site to which he had subscribed. Then he diligently completed 13 writing practice tests (7 independent and 6 integrated) so he could determine his weaknesses. The TOEFL specialist explained to him his writing problems after each practice test, and Patel took the advice to heart and gradually improved his academic writing proficiency.
Now he had the confidence to take the TOEFL iBT, but this time he would do much better, and he did. To his utter joy, Patel scored 99/120: Reading/Listening = 24, Speaking = 26, and Writing = 25. And he had done what he needed to do in order to become a practicing pharmacist in the United States: he had scored 26 and 25 points on the speaking and writing sections of the TOEFL iBT respectively.
Having conquered the TOEFL iBT, Patel is ready to move on with his life.
|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.|