Online TOEFL Course
Before hearing anything about Michael Buckhoff’s Online TOEFL Course called “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT (STEALTH), Luis Mena was attending Michael’s English 306 Composition class at California State University, San Bernardino. Then, one day, needing some help on his writing assignment, he showed up at Michael’s office, when surprisingly, he was asked if he wanted to work as one of Michael’s TA’s. Luis thought for a moment about Michael’s invitation, and then he decided that it would be a great opportunity to improve his own academic English proficiency, and he could earn a few extra bucks in the process. Now Luis is being trained as writing and speaking specialist for Michael’s Online students.
First of all, Luis is being trained an a TOEFL writing specialist. He has read the independent and integrated writing rubrics, so he is familiar with how to score the dozens of essays that are submitted each day at Michael’s STEALTH course. Now he reads the essays, checks the rubrics, and assigns a score independent of the other TOEFL iBT writing specialist who is grading essays from Michael’s Online TOEFL Course. After Luis shares his score with TOEFL iBT writing specialist Marcus Weeks, they discuss why it got the score it did, particularly looking at whether the writer has addressed the task, has coherently organized and developed his ideas, has demonstrated a progression of ideas, and has good sentence variety, word choice, and natural sounding language. Although Luis is not yet completely trained to grade essays on his own, his scores are nearly identical to those of the other iBT TOEFL writing specialist Marcus Weeks.
Second of all, Luis is being trained to become a TOEFL iBT speaking specialist, meaning that he will listen to independent and integrated speaking practice tests submitted at Michael’s Voxopop STEALTH Discussion Group. Already familiar with the independent and integrated writing rubrics that ETS human raters use, Luis is now concurrently listening to speaking practice tests with STEALTH founder, owner, and materials writer Michael Buckhoff. In fact, with each speaking practice test that is graded, Michael and Luis discuss how the response should be scored and why, and Luis even gets a chance to make 10-15 seconds of audio comments after Michael is done scoring and commenting. Little by little, Luis is beginning to understand what type of feedback to give students. For example, he knows that he should comment on the delivery, language use, and topic development of each speaking task and that he should also recommend specific lessons for the student so that he/she can strengthen her/his overall speaking proficiency.
Finally, Luis will be in the not-so-distant future a full-fledged Online TOEFL speaking and writing specialist who will help countless students reach their target scores. Keep up the good work Luis.