Wednesday, December 29

TOEFL Teaching Tip #1

If you are an ESL instructor, you know that teaching TOEFL is a challenge. Why? Because nothing in your ESL training has prepared you to teach 800+ pages (the length of a TOEFL text) of rhetoric to twenty students who probably know more about TOEFL than you do. So what should you do? Learn basic rhetoric (or relearn it), whatever the case may be (see rhetorical strategies and opinions).

Remember: The TOEFL iBT is all arguments. Arguments are built on rhetorical foundations, a part of which is grammar and vocab (language use). Those arguments are then scored, so knowing scoring strategies is critical.

Remember: TOEFL students want to know how to get high scores. They do not want to become writers or poets or public speakers. Your job is to teach them those scoring strategies. And it all starts with basic rhetoric.

My TOEFL text Speaking and Writing Strategies for the TOEFL iBT was designed for ESL instructors. If you are an ESL instructor, and TOEFL is giving you nightmares, I suggest you take a look at my text. It will give you a crash course in basic rhetoric specific to TOEFL. Also, my book provides easy-to-understand writing and speaking rubrics (scoring guides). My custom-designed rubrics are the fastest and easiest way to understand ETS's scoring system specific to writing and speaking.

The Pro

 "I prefer a quill to a computer because..."