Students preparing for the exam will need TOEFL iBT speaking practice. Some will join an intensive English language training problem in their hometown, while others will travel abroad to an English immersion program. Some students will hire tutors to help them improve their academic English speaking skills. Whether they are studying English at an institute or getting 1:1 tutorial speaking and pronunciation instruction, one thing is certain: it will cost them an arm and leg. Therefore, what do students do who are on a tight budget but who also want TOEFL speaking practice?
One form of TOEFL iBT speaking practice comes in the form of using the Internet and making recorded responses of reading and listening passages. A great start is National Public Radio, a free Internet news site that contains a plethora of reading and listening topics: world news, culture, science, entertainment, and many other topics. As these students practice reading and listening to these passages, they make notes focusing on the main and most important supporting points. Then, using their notes, they practice making 60 second recorded responses of the passages. In time, they become more and more complete in their note-taking and more and more accurate in their speaking responses, and the fact that they are recording their responses gives them a chance to listen to the recordings later to check for any possible problems with delivery, language use, and topic development. This form of TOEFL speaking practice is practically free since all users need is a reliable Internet connection. In addition, this type of TOEFL iBT speaking practice works best for those TOEFLers who already have intermediate to advanced English proficiency skills. Finally, since students are reading, listening, and then speaking, this type of practice helps best with the TOEFL integrated speaking skills.
Another form of TOEFL iBT speaking practice involves students independently studying from a TOEFL book like Barron’s, Phillip’s, or Gear’s preparation manuals. In this case, students find reading and listening passages in different parts of the book, and, like National Public Radio, they can focus on getting notes on the main and most important points of the reading and listening passages, after which they can practice delivering 60 second recorded responses. However, unlike National Public Radio, they can actually complete independent and integrated speaking practice tests, all of which simulate the format of the TOEFL iBT speaking tasks of the actual exam. Furthermore, these TOEFL speaking practice materials are not free, but these materials can be purchased at Amazon in the $25-$50 price range. Finally, most TOEFL books are aimed at students who already have basic English proficiency. In fact, many students who use TOEFL books have intermediate to advanced English proficiency.
In addition to using National Public Radio and TOEFL books, student on a tight budget can join an Online TOEFL Course. But caution is advised! Many of these course have hidded charges, and they can actually be a lot more expensive than they initially seem. Therefore, students should e-mail customer support and explain exactly what services they want and how much everything will cost up front. For example, many students want pronunciation and speaking coaching in the form of audio or video feedback, thus helping them to improve intelligibility, grammar, word choice, organization, and development of ideas. However, not all Online TOEFL Courses will offer these services and the ones that do charge varying prices on an hourly, daily, or monthly basis.
One Online TOEFL Course offers inexpensive, helpful TOEFL iBT speaking practice to international students on a tight budget: “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT.” This Online TOEFL Course gives its users unlimited access to more than 700 vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, listening, reading, writing, and speaking lessons. For one low monthly subscription fee, students can study lessons whenever and wherever they want–so long as they have a reliable high-speed Internet connection. Moreover, students can complete two pronunciation pre-tests, and a fully qualified TOEFL iBT pronunciation specialist will diagnose problems that they may be having: vowels, consonants, grammatical word endings, syllable division, word stress, sentence rhythm, intonation, thought groups, and blending. Upon completion of the pre-tests, students are directed to specific video lessons designed to improve their intelligibility of American English. This is all offered with the same low monthly subscription fee. Finally, students complete a post-test after they have studied all recommended lessons , and then the TOEFL iBT pronunciation specialist will check to see any specific pronunciation lessons that may need further reviewing.
In addition, “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT,” a low-cost, high-quality Online TOEFL Course, has a robust speaking section consisting of skill-building independent and integrated lessons to help students familiarize themselves with the format and test-taking strategies. Even though most Online TOEFL Courses stop here with their services, this Online TOEFL Course allows users to post independent and integrated speaking practice tests daily at a Voxopop Discussion Group. After students post their responses, a TOEFL iBT speaking specialist posts audio feedback including a score and any possible problems students may be having with delivery, language use, and topic development. And these are not general comments in these areas. For example, when giving comments about delivery, the TOEFL iBT speaking specialist may recommend that a student study pronunciation video lessons 36-40, all of which focus on helping improve his/her intonation. Or, if the TOEFL iBT speaking specialist notices some problems with language use, he/she may recommend that the student study specific grammar lessons such as adverb clauses, parallel structure, subject-verb agreement, or whatever else the student may be having problems with. Likewise, if a student has problems organizing and developing ideas, a topic development issue likely to raise a few iBT human raters’ eyebrows, the TOEFL iBT speaking specialist will recommend TOEFL Speaking Lesson 2 and 7, both of which help the student learn how to more coherently organize and develop ideas during the independent and integrated speaking tasks. The ability to post more than 300 practice tests and have them scored by a qualified TOEFL iBT speaking specialist with more than 20 years of teaching experience at no additional cost makes this one of the most inexpensive Online TOEFL Courses on the Internet.
To tie everything together, students who have a limited budget and who want TOEFL iBT speaking practice can use National Public Radio and other similar web sites, they can use TOEFL books, and they can choose to study at an Online TOEFL Course. If students work hard in that they consistently engage in TOEFL iBT practice over an extended period of time, they will be able to significantly improve their academic speaking proficiency, hence making it more likely that they will be able to clear their TOEFL speaking subtotal requirement.