All things TOEFL iBT

Archive for the ‘Exam skills and strategies’ Category

Helping struggling writers

The TOEFL iBT demands good writing. Univserities demand good writing. Life demands good writing.

Strategies to help struggling writers

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Why summarize?

The importance of knowing how to summarize goes beyond the TOEFL iBT – look at how this tweet sums things up quite nicely – thanks to @mdeHSD

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The art of essay writing

A quick read but to the point:

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Rethinking writing skills

Writing is an integral part of international exams like the TOEFL iBT, and something of concern of teachers in primary and secondary levels of school.

This chat I participated in sheds some more light on the issue, in particular the use of the 5 paragraph essay as a standard

for-or-against-the-5p-essay

Meta-writing: A dissertation about “doughnuts”

The Independent Writing task of the Toefl IBT requires the candidate

talk about a topic,

say if they agree or disagree with a statement,

choose the best alternative to allocate resources.

 

The text should take a four or five paragraph format of an introduction, body and conclusion in no more than 300 words.

The introduction should have the thesis of the text and the body paragraphs should have a topic sentence each.  The pargraphs should provide reasons and examples to support the main idea.

The conclusion summarizes the ideas presented in the text.

 

With that in mind, here is a reverse task, identify

  • the thesis statement
  • a topic sentence
  • a reason and/or example
  • a conclusion

Dissertation from a 12-year-old about doughnuts

 

Were the kid’s ideas and arguments clear? How would you grade this work? 

 

 

 

Eyes on the Prize

This can be very helpful when preparing for a test like the TOEFL iBT. Any candidate needs to draw up an action plan to achieve the final prize, which ultimately, is the desired score.

Teaching with Touchstone

‘To get where you want to be
You have to set a goal
And keep your eyes on the prize’

Bob Dylan

Simple, isn’t it?  Or is it…

There are 2 sides to motivating learners to work independently.  One is through assessment and the other is through engagement with the process and outcomes (the prize).  Let’s look at establishing the prize.

Working with learning portfolios, learners need to set goals, fill the portfolio with task output (e.g. voice recordings or pieces of writing) that prove by the end of the semester that they have achieved those goals.  We don’t have to adopt portfolios to borrow a little from portfolio philosophy to help us establish the prize for our learners.

There are different sets of prizes – long, short and medium term rewards.  Spend time getting to know your learners’ final aspirations for their careers or travel or social lives.  Get…

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Dealing successfully with the Listening Section of the TOEFL iBT requires certain skills. Do you have what it takes?