Last month, after searching the Net for a TOEFL course, Jacqueline finally found a web site to meet her standards: inexpensively priced lessons, with speaking and writing practice tests scored by a TOEFL iBT specialist. Soon enough she was putting in a few hours of TOEFL study each day at “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT” to solve reading, listening, speaking, and writing problems.
To solve her reading problems, Jacqueline created a study guide of note cards to help her learn 1,700 TOEFL words from the first section of the course. She also learned the iBT reading questions types, particularly focusing on how to identify questions and where to find them in a reading passage. Lastly, by completing speed reading practice tests, she increased her reading speed to 295 words per minute with 80% comprehension.
In addition to reading, Jacqueline attacked her listening problems with the same intensity, completing many lessons and more than 40 practice tests. The end result? She developed an efficient method of note-taking, familiarized herself with the iBT question types, and made her ears much faster. Much better than before, she could actually understand what the main points and major supporting points were of academic lectures, academic discussions, and campus-related conversations
The next area for Jacqueline to conquer was her biggest challenge: the independent and integrated speaking tasks. She knew after completing her pronunciation pre-test that she had a lot of intelligibility issues to solve, but she was MOTIVATED to solve them. And she worked diligently all month recording and re-recording sentence completion and paragraph reading exercises focusing on all the areas important to helping her sound more native speaker-like: vowel and consonant sounds, syllable division and grammatical word endings, word stress, sentence rhythm, intonation, thought groups (pausing), and blending. Making slow but steady progress, she started to learn all the independent and integrated speaking tips and tricks and completed more than 26 practice tests during the month, each time getting scores and feedback from a TOEFL iBT specialist.
Then, Jacqueline began studying the independent and integrated writing lessons, and, once she felt like she had mastered the content, she completed an independent and integrated practice test, which boosted her confidence since her iBT TOEFL specialists had nothing but good things to say.
Finally, having now extensively practiced and having solved language problems relating to reading, listening, speaking, and writing, she signed up for a test date, took the TOEFL iBT, waited for a few weeks to get her score, and then sent me the following E-mail message:
I was one of your students last month, and I received my scores this week.
I am very happy with my results because it was my first attempt. Thank you for your help. (and for Nathan´s help too)
God bless you.
Then I got a smile from ear to ear thinking to myself, “And that is why I love teaching TOEFL.”
|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.|