After joining the Online TOEFL Course called “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT,” Thanh sent the following E-mail to course creator and TOEFL specialist Michael Buckhoff:
I am so glad to have you as my Online instructor. Your course is helping me a lot specially for reading. I am so poor in reading. The main reason is that I started to learn English when I came to the United States. I spent eight years. I had a big problem that I could not be concentrated to do better work to pass the TOEFL because of too many responsibilities. I always tried to improve my reading skills, but I did not have time. What I had a few times I provided for reading, but I could not improve what I had to make some critical improvements. I never followed the strategies. There are so many weakness. I hope I will enhance my ability to read faster. I am convinced by your lecture. It definitely takes time and needs concentration.
Of course, Michael was glad to be Thanh’s Online instructor, and he was excited that Thanh was on the road to solving her reading comprehension problems. First, Thanh had acknowledged that she was having difficulties improving her reading comprehension. Second, she now knew what she needed to do to improve. Finally, she was willing to follow the reading strategies that would help her to make the improvements she needed to make so that she could improve her TOEFL score. What were 5 things that she needed to do get better?
First, Thanh needs to spend about 45 minutes daily in which she reads magazines, newspapers, and longer books. During this reading time, Thanh should focus on understanding the main points of the reading passages, even taking down notes to demonstrate that she is understanding what she is reading. Second, Thanh will need to increase her vocabulary base by learning all 1,700 TOEFL words in the first module of her Online TOEFL Course. Third, she will need to increase her reading speed to at least 300 words per minute by completing the 70 speed reading practice tests at her Online TOEFL Course. After all, faster readers have fewer distractions than slower readers and even have better comprehension. Fourth, Thanh will need to become familiar with the iBT reading test-taking strategies, especially focusing on identifying the different question types and the strategies for answering them.
Fifth, now having equipped herself by reading extensively, improving her vocabulary base, increasing her reading speed to 300 words per minute, and identifying the iBT reading question types, Thanh is finally ready to begin taking iBT reading practice tests, and, after completing a practice test, she will need to review the test with a keen eye on the questions she answered incorrectly. “Why is her answer choice wrong, and why is the correct answer better?” she should always ask herself after reviewing a reading practice test.
To sum up this short article, Michael is confident that Thanh has the desire to continue to solve her reading proficiency problems until she reaches a satisfactory score in the iBT exam. Good luck, Thanh!