Should you write a one sentence TOEFL introduction during the independent writing task? Well, a student sent me a TOEFL practice test with only one sentence in the introduction.
What was the Writing Prompt for this student’s essay?
The essay + revised introduction was based on the following writing prompt:
Teachers’ pay should be based on how much students learn. Do you agree or disagree with the statement? Use specific reasons and examples to support your explanation.
One sentence TOEFL introduction: Show me what the student wrote.
In response to the prompt, the student wrote this:
From my point of view, teachers should not be paid based on the amount their students learn.
First of all, the efforts of teachers are necessarily in proportion to how much students learn. While students’ learning result can reflect the effects of teaching to some extent, many objective factors inevitably have an impact on learning outcomes. For example, how participated are students in lesson plays an indispensable role which is out of teachers’ control. Therefore, it is unfair to let uncertain things decide the payment of teachers.
Moreover, in addition to the difficulty of evaluating students’ gains, this payment strategy may even trigger utilitarianism in teaching. As a universal consensus, teaching is much more than a deal to let students gain knowledge itself. The unavoidable consequence of employing this payment strategy is that teachers tend to hammer knowledge into students without appropriate guidance or detailed explanations, which is proved by scientists to be harmful in the long-term development of students. On the contrary, teachers ought to be encouraged to cultivate students’ own critical thinking skills and creativity which are not fit for the criterion of students’ learning results that only focus on the short run. From my own experience, my favorite teachers are those who take time to explain the theory and introduce a new world to students with little consideration on the exams. The way of thinking fostered at that time have been a great resource for me which can hardly be measured in quantified amount.
In a nutshell, for the sake of both teachers and students, teachers should not be paid according to how much their students learn.
What score would this student get on the writing section of the TOEFL exam?
The writer has a combination of both advanced and basic vocabulary and grammar. In addition, the writer has few or no errors with grammar, word choice, sentence structure, and grammar. Nevertheless, this essay scores around 22-24 points for the following reasons:
- The student needs a 100-word introduction that raises the topic, engages readers’ interest with a hook, and includes sharply-focused thesis framed around the writing prompt.
- Furthermore, the topic sentence in the second paragraph needs to more clearly connect back to the writing prompt.
- In addition, the student should increase the word count of the second paragraph to approximately 150 words.
- Finally, both body paragraphs lack specific details and examples to illustrate the argument the writer is trying to make.
The student has a one sentence TOEFL introduction. How long should an introduction be? Can you show me how to write an introduction?
Generally, an introduction should
- make some general statements about the topic.
- should include a hook to engage readers’ interest.
- include main points about the topic.
- finish with a focused thesis that frames the body paragraphs.
To accomplish these four objectives, you should write approximately 100 words. Here is an introduction that accomplishes these goals.
After completing college, some students will enter the educational profession with hopes of imparting their acquired disciplines upon elementary, middle school, high school, and college students. I heard someone say that “to teach is to learn twice.”, and that is how these prospective educators portray their field. Of course, like other professionals, educators expect to be remunerated for their efforts. However, should their pay be based on how much their students learn? Students have varying motivational levels affecting their learning, and basing teachers’ pay on student learning could trigger educational utilitarianism. Therefore, this type of payment strategy should not be allowed.
Watch this YouTube video in which I evaluated the student’s essay.