We have all seen their videos at one time or another–perhaps at You Tube or some other place on the Net in which narrators read scripted lines explaining the tips and strategies needed to score high on the speaking section of the TOEFL iBT. 1,000,000’s of students flock to these web sites expecting to get the magic formula to score 26+ on the speaking section. However, most of these web sites are missing two important ingredients: speaking and accent reduction practice.
First of all, many of these web sites offer no speaking practice at all! Instead, they simply inform you of the six speaking question types and the strategies for answering each question. In addition, they will show you sample speaking responses that would score high on the TOEFL exam. However, after it is all said and done, you are not allowed to complete speaking practice daily, and, of course, you will not get any feedback on how well you are organizing and developing your response. Think about this for a minute: If you were preparing to run a 42 km marathon, would you simply watch a whole bunch of videos on how to run fast, or would you start running each day to prepare for your rigorous athletic event? Then why would you expect to improve your TOEFL speaking score if you only watching a bunch of videos without actually sending practice tests to a qualified TOEFL speaking specialist to get feedback. Before taking the official TOEFL exam, you must regularly record yourself answering TOEFL style speaking tasks and get feedback from qualified TOEFL speaking specialists so you can monitor your progress. Watch the following video to see what type you feedback you will get every day that you send me a speaking practice test for evaluation:
Second of all, Notefull, Magoosh, TestDen, and ETS TOEFL offer limited or no pronunciation practice to help their users prepare for the TOEFL exam–even though 1/3 of your speaking score is based on your ability to speak clearly. Consider this idea: Even if you perform well on the speaking tasks in terms of your language use and topic development, two key areas by which TOEFL iBT human raters will evaluate you, if they cannot understand you because of your pronunciation errors, you will not be able to score higher than 26/30 points. Yes, delivery, or the ability to speak clearly without any distractions, is part of what will help you to score higher than 26 on the speaking section of the exam.
Third of all, have you taken the TOEFL exam several times hoping to score higher than 26/30 points on the speaking section? Are your previous speaking subtotal scores between 22-24 points? If you answered yes to both of these questions, chances are you have significant problems with pronunciation, so you must solve these problems to improve your speaking score. If you do not, you will continue to get the same speaking scores over and over and over and over and over. Am I making my point clear enough?
So, what do you do? Improving your speaking score may be as simple as joining my TOEFL Speaking Boot Camp Course, in which, unlike Notefull, Magoosh, TestDen, ETS’ Online TOEFL Course, you will 1) be able to post independent and integrated speaking practice daily, after which you will get feedback from qualified TOEFL speaking specialists; and 2) be able to complete three pronunciation tests: a pre-test diagnosing problems that you might be having with vowel and consonant sounds; a pre-test pinpointing problems you are having with syllable division and grammatical word endings, word stress, sentence rhythm, intonation, and thought groups and blending; and a final post-test so you can see whether or not you have mastered the lessons in the pronunciation section of my Online TOEFL Course.
Watch the following video so you can see the special attention I give my students when they complete a pronunciation pre-test:
Join my TOEFL Speaking Boot Camp Course so you can finish the TOEFL and move on with your life.
Michael Buckhoff, firstname.lastname@example.org