Sarah, who is looking for an Online TOEFL Course, has been using several TOEFL books to improve, but her score seems to be stuck right around 53/120. Finally, she came across a web site called “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT,” which is an Online course taught by California State University, San Bernardino professor Michael Buckhoff. And, it was after exchanging messages with the instructor of the course that she came to three realizations.
First, she realized that, based on her current TOEFL score, she still needed to solve problems relating to vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar. She was also told that the TOEFL books she was using would not help her to solve these language proficiency problems. In effect, her study plan was in the wrong order. She was studying TOEFL iBT test-taking reading, listening, speaking, and writing strategies BEFORE having acquired the basic English proficiency needed to understand these strategies. In a crazy sort of way, her situation is similar to a person who wants to be a sprinter but who does not know how to walk.
Second, in her written exchange with TOEFL mentor Michael Buckhoff, who teaches the lessons in the Online TOEFL Course called “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT, she learned that most high scoring 100+ TOEFLers rarely spent more than 3-4 weeks before getting their incredible scores. However, these high-scoring TOEFLers spent several years using authentic English in a variety of ways. Of course, each is learner is different and approaches language study from a variety of perspectives, but they are some common denominators among students whose TOEFL scores are above 100. They read magazines, newspapers, and books daily for about 45 minutes. They read when they take the subway, they often read right before going to bed, and they read when they are at the beach or on vacation with friends. In addition, they also spend time watching movies and documentaries, especially those with a scientific emphasis. To further facilitate their listening comprehension, they listen to news radio and to their preferred genre of English music, even sometimes writing down the lyrics in order to understand the culture and the vocabulary. Lastly, these high-scoring TOEFLers are risk takers in the sense that they spend considerable time conversing with native English speakers on a regular basis.
Third, she realized that she could approach her TOEFL study from three angles. 1) For the first month, Sarah could focus on acquiring both basic and advanced TOEFL vocabulary, she could begin making improvements in her intelligibility and speaking fluency, and she could improve her knowledge of basic and advanced grammar with an emphasis on incorporating these acquired structures in her speaking and writing. 2) For the second month Sarah could complete lessons, assignments, and practice tests to help her improve her listening and reading comprehension. 3) Then, Sarah could begin learning how to organize the independent and integrated speaking and writing tasks, during which she could post speaking and writing practice tests and get feedback from her TOEFL iBT speaking and writing mentor who would help her to score higher.
Could TOEFL study be as easy as 1…2…3….? Well, after reading this post, I will let you be the judge of that.
|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.|