Training students for the TOEFL has always proved exciting – earlier for the Pbt, then for the CBT and now for the iBT version. No doubt all this churning the test has gone through strains resources and skills but it also keeps trainers on their toes and compels them to r
How does one have fun with a test? By stepping out of confines.
Most training for the TOEFL is too structured and limited to sessions with a trainer. That is necessary to give a definition to the preparation and to maintain a schedule. But once the number of sessions and the administrative modalities of the preparation course have been worked out, take a deep breath, assure yourself how important this activity is for you and promise to get down to it with passion. This done, you are likely to be a pleasure in the class. Make the most of the sessions by doing assignments, asking questions and participating in the ados of the class. All trainers like proactive students and do a better job of training them.
Fun also comes from engaging in random activities that help prepare for the test. Take for example the speaking section; the best way to prepare is of course to do the real section practice. But just discussing short topics that are common for the Independent Tasks 1 and 2 while sitting with friends or between to schedules can definitely help you shed your inhibitions to speak and allow you to get ideas for topics. Interaction of this kind is a great teacher. For the more labor intensive Tasks 3 and 4 it is better to practice them three or four times independent of the whole test before taking on the entire speaking section in one sitting. Doing piecemeal study often helps students get over the scare of a whole section. This is particularly true of the Reading Section too. Students can be intimidated by several long passages all at once. Begin with a passage and discuss your problems with the trainer before moving on.
Writing Task 2, Independent Essay, is the typical essay most students have been writing since in school. So, once the trainer is done with explaining the structures and patterns for this essay type make it a routine to type out ( not handwrite) an Independent essay every alternate day and mail it to your trainer for evaluation. This takes the pressure off the class schedule and expands the potential of the training.
As for Writing Task 2 and the Listening section, it is best to take these up in a monitored environment. Since the tracks are not replayed, listening, assimilating and jotting down call for advanced skills that are best acquired from daily practice schedules. But to enjoy this routine start by using the untimed mode for practice so that if a track is difficult it can be replayed and discussions with the trainer can help clarify doubts. This kind of relaxed, stress free preparation initiates the student into the complexities of the test but gradually and effortlessly.
Once this fun learning is done, students find themselves more adept with all the aspects of the language and with a life long skill!