Riydan is almost finished with her online TOEFL course called “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT.” Since February she has completed more than 290 vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, listening, reading, writing, and speaking lessons. Her confidence in her speaking and writing abilities has grown tremendously, and soon she will be ready to take the TOEFL exam.
Improving her speaking has been the most difficult aspect of her language study, but she received meaningfully feedback from TOEFL iBT specialists who have helped her to vary her tone, pause and blend within different thought groups, and avoid word stress shifts with multi-syllabic words. Completing the 49 pronunciation lessons, two pre-tests, and a post-test required regular study and was a long road, but she is now finished. There is light at the end of the tunnel!
Like her pronunciation challenges, Riydan also faced obstacles with completing independent and integrated speaking practice tests. The TOEFL specialist kept scoring her between 19-23 pts. because she was avoiding advanced grammar and vocabulary. Also, according to her TOEFL iBT specialist who has more than 18 years of teaching experience and is a professor at Cal State University, San Benardino, she needed to more coherently organize her ideas. Taking the advice to heart, she began writing out her speaking practice tests before she would record them online. She concentrated on making better connections among her ideas, and she figured out how to develop a sharply-focused thesis. Even she made improvements by incorporating grammar structures and vocabulary words that she had learned in the TOEFL lessons. Pretty soon she was able to complete the independent and integrated speaking tasks with scores ranging from 23-27 points–without having to write them out beforehand. She was making progress.
Her biggest challenge during the writing section surprisingly was not the integrated writing task. Instead, she always seemed to run out of ideas when completing the independent writing tasks, so she submitted 12 independent writing practice tests over a period of 6 weeks. Each time her TOEFL iBT specialist would score her essay and recommended specific lessons to help improve her weaknesses in developing and organizing her ideas. On her first practice test, she scored 15/30 points and had to overcome some difficulties with sentence structure, development, and organization. Nonetheless, she kept plugging away, and eventually after five weeks of submitting essays, getting feedback, and reviewing recommended lessons, she scored 24 points.
Based on the progress she had made at “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT,” she knew it was time to tackle the TOEFL iBT. So, she went to the official TOEFL web site to register.
|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.|