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TOEFL Preparation: How and Why?
Study Abroad: Is it Right for You?

Online Degrees: Advantages and Disadvantages

Culture Shock: Adjusting to a New Environment

Online ESL Study: Preparing Before You Go?

ESL Study Programs: Picking the Ideal School

Scholarships: Do I Qualify?

TOEFL Preparation: How and Why?

Homestay: What Can I Expect?

International Health Insurance: Do I Really Need It?

Culture Shock 2: Returning Home


In many situations in North American, students are required to take and pass the TOEFL Test as a means of demonstrating a certain level of proficiency. However, there is much debate on how students can best prepare for the test.

My response might be a little different than what you expect. First of all, what I often hear native professors and students say is how some international students can pass the test but still can't communicate in their classes. As it turns out, what some internationals students do is JUST prepare to pass the TOEFL, but still lack a communicative competence to function in the everyday classroom. In other words, they are good test takers, but they can't often apply their language skills in real classroom situations.

Obviously, there is a disparity between the test and the types of language students will actually encounter in the classroom. Recognizing this difference, the TOEFL is being revised to actually test students ability to synthesize and analyze information and then produce language based on what they hear and read.

With this in mind, perhaps one of the best ways for students to prepare for the TOEFL is to actively engage in their regular classroom activities. Reading for pleasure, volunteering in the community, getting a job that requires interaction with others are all indirect ways of preparing for the TOEFL. I still would recommend a TOEFL preparation book to familiarize yourself with the test, but make sure you are practicing your language skills in many different situations.

Randall's articles on this site reflect his own personal perspectives and opinions, and these ideas do not constitute an endorsement for any specific organization or Website.

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