A resident of San Paulo, Brazil, Bruno spent a couple of days searching for an online TOEFL course. His goal was quite simple: he wanted to increase his overall score to 100 + points and to 26 and 24 points on the speaking and writing sections of the iBT. After visiting TestDen, EnglishTown, Strictly English, and TOEFL Professor, Bruno found a web site called “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT.” It offers 330 skill-building vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, listening, reading, writing, and speaking lessons.
Bruno knew that he needed to brush up on his vocabulary proficiency, especially his knowledge of college-level words. Furthermore, many of his native speaker friends told him that his strong non-native speaker accent made it difficult for them to understand. Actually, his native English speaker friends did not tell Bruno directly that he had pronunciation problems, but they were always asking him to repeat words, which meant that they were having difficult understanding him. So, he was anxious to complete some pre-tests so a TOEFL specialist could diagnose his intelligibility problems.
Having not quite figured out verb tenses and basic sentence structure, Bruno also wanted to study grammar so he could score higher on the speaking and writing tasks. Maybe after reviewing basic sentence structure, Bruno would stop using comma splices, run-ons, and fragments in his writing, which would help him to communicate more effectively. Since the iBT TOEFL exam has listening and reading in three parts of the test–in the listening section and in the integrated speaking and writing sections–Bruno also wanted to study the reading and listening, which included 70 speed reading practice tests and 40 listening comprehension practice tests. After completing these exercises, Bruno would be able to increase his reading speed to 350 words per minute and improve his listening comprehension to 85% proficiency.
And last but not least, the main reason he chose to subscribe to “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT” is because he liked the Voxopop Discussion Group that he would be able to join after become one of Michael Buckhoff’s students. At “The 7-Step System Voxopop discussion group,” Bruno would be able to post independent and integrated speaking tasks, after which a TOEFL specialist would listen to, evaluate, score, and post 2-10 minute audio comments about how he could improve his speaking. Moreover, the TOEFL iBT specialists, after listening to his speaking tasks, could pinpoint his delivery, language use, and topic development errors and recommend specific lessons to help him improve.
This TOEFL course had it all: high quality TOEFL lessons, a whole bunch of speaking and writing practice tests he could take, with scores allocated by a TOEFL iBT specialist within about 24 hours of his submitting the practice test. How convenient was that? Of course, Bruno did not mind the price either, which was a LOT cheaper other TOEFL services he had seen on the Internet.
|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.