Awhile back, I was at a TOEFL Forum at http://www.english-test.net/, at which a student made the following plea: “I have no problems in the reading and listening section. I check myself on many example tests . but I confront real difiiculties on speeking even I know all the words, I cann’t retrieve them on the speaking , also I can not express myself or explain and anylize the ideas and make logical explaination for the problems . anyone can help me” (http://www.english-test.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=128124#128124 ).
I could not help but feel his/her pain. Having been a second language learner many years ago, I was also faced with daunting challenges of trying to develop speaking proficiency in Spanish. It is important to explore further what this student’s problems are and how he/she can make improvements.
Since the student “can not express myself or explain and anylize the ideas and make logical explaination for the problems” ((http://www.english-test.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=128124#128124 ), it is likely that he/she is having some problems thinking in English especially during analysis, logic, and problem solving, implying that the TOEFL iBT integrated speaking tasks will be all but impossible for this student. In effect, this student remains at the translation stage of English proficiency, essentially thinking first in his/her native language and then attempting to speak in English.
To help this student get preparation tips for TOEFL iBT speaking, I would advise him/her to read my October 21, 2008 post titled “How to Beat the TOEFL.” Additionally, to help the student think more fluently in English and to work on his/her pronunciation skills, he or she should read my January 3, 2009 post titled “American Idol Encore 2 and TOEFL iBT Speaking: Improve your Pronunciation and Have Fun Doing It.”
Thus, with an organized approach to preparing for TOEFL iBT speaking and getting constructive feedback with his/her pronunciation, this student will overcome these speaking challenges. After all, thousands of English learners score high on the TOEFL iBT annually, and it is just a matter of time before this learner becomes one of them.
For more information, go here:
http://www.michaelbuckhoff.com/page31.html (TOEFL iBT Speaking)