A common day in the life of Michael Buckhoff–founder, owner, and materials writer for the Online TOEFL Course called “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT”–revolves around checking e-mails and scoring pronunciation and independent and integrated speaking and writing practice tests.
Each morning, Michael checks e-mails for new students who have subscribed to this Online TOEFL Course. After someone makes a Pay Pal payment, Michael gets a notification from Pay Pal. Using the information sent to him from Pay Pal, Michael creates a user name and a password and then e-mails the TOEFL account information to the new user. Usually, Michael is able to give new users access to his 330 TOEFL vocabulary, pronunciation, listening, reading, writing, and speaking lessons in less than 24 hours of their making a payment. Michael also checks his e-mails for questions/concerns from his current Online TOEFL Course students. For example, he got an e-mail today from Kelly, who had some reading and grammar questions, and Michael responded to Kelly’s questions by a producing a You Tube Video.
After checking e-mails, Michael grades pronunciation and speaking practice tests from his Online TOEFL students, all of whom have joined his Voxopop Discussion Group so that they can record responses Online. When Michael listens to a pronunciation pre-test, he listens for problems that the learner may have with vowels, consonants, syllable division, grammatical word endings, word stress, sentence rhythm, intonation, thought groups, and blending. Completing a pronunciation profile, Michael will recommend specific lessons on which the learner can focus in order to speak more clearly during the speaking section of the TOEFL exam.
Similarly, Michael or one of his TOEFL iBT human raters will listen to one of 50 different independent and integrated speaking practice tests that students complete at Michael’s Voxopop Discussion Group.
Evaluating each response in terms of delivery, language use, and topic development, Michael and his TESOL instructors score each response and recommend specifically targeted lessons to help the learner improve. It works kind of like this: a student completes a response, receives a score with lesson recommendations, and then the student reviews those lessons and takes a new practice test to mark improvement.
Finally, every now and then, Michael receives an e-mail from one of his students who reaches his/her targeted TOEFL score, and Michael smiles from ear to ear and says to himself, “This is why I love teaching TOEFL online.”