Teaching TOEIC

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I had a class today for the first time I attempted to teach the student how to take the TOEIC test. For anyone who doesn’t know the TOEIC test is this international standardized English test. Mostly used by businesses who want to measure their employees English ability. The TOEIC test gives you a score from 0-990. If you want to work in an international company or some kind of international sales generally you’ll need to have around 800 points for your score. It has a listening section and a reading section. In total there’s about 200 questions. I knew I had this class coming up so yesterday I prepared for the the class for about two hours. I researched various techniques and methods of teaching the TOEIC test two different students and found a lot of online resources that I could use later on as well. The first thing I learned and in hindsight is quite obvious is that I need to test my students score. I need to know what level is at. So I decided to give him a homework assignment where he can go online and take a full-length TOEIC test to see what his score is now. The problem is that there aren’t a lot of full-length TOEIC test online for free. There’s a lot of shorter test but not many full-length test. I did find one full length free sample TOEIC test and I gave the student the website address and he is probably doing it right now. If you want to check it out yourself click the link above.

The thing about teaching TOEIC test is that I have to decide which to start with, the listening test or the reading grammar test. I’m leaning toward starting with the listening test because I think that it might be easiest and fastest way to improve the students score. Once we improve their score I think that a student might have a little more motivation to study harder or least continue studying. Reading and grammar and vocabulary generally take much more time to improve. So I plan on taking a slow approach with a student in this regard. I think I’m going to be relying a lot on various homework assignments as well. Thing for the listening test I’m going to have him purchase some kind of TOEIC CD or TOEIC listening practice online and put it into his music player and whenever he’s on the train or on his commute to work that he will listen to it. I also am going to get him to rent some DVDs from a local video store so that he can watch them and read the subtitles when he’s tired that way he still studying but he doesn’t have to exert so much effort. Later on when we get a little more into the reading sections I’m definitely going to have him start reading some various English books or newspapers and maybe some magazines as well. In some of the local bookstores they sell time magazine or Newsweek. I think that might be good. But it certainly will be difficult in the beginning and he’s going to have to learn a lot of new vocabulary words as well.

The good thing is that he seems very motivated. Is asking him why he wanted to take the TOEIC test he said that the is two reasons. One reason was that he wanted to get a promotion to a position that was based in America. It’s a Japanese company but an American branch so obviously he’s going to need to be able to communicate in English. Another reason is that his company has a standard policy that if any of their employees is able to get 800 points on the TOEIC test they will be rewarded with $10,000. That is a lot of money to do well on the test. I think the company is really pushing a new globalization strategy and they feel that their employees English skills are lacking. But it certainly did the trick and I can tell you that my student is very motivated. A little money can do a lot for your motivation. Later on I’m going to review some of the TOEIC textbooks and resources that I use with this student so that some of the teachers out there reading this can save a little time and money for when they are in need of similar resources and materials.

 

One more thing. I have created a website for my school. It’s really nothing special but it’s not to bad either. In Japan, English schools are called “Eikawa” or in Japanese 英会話. The name of my school in English is Fukuyama Goodwin Eikaiwa, in Japanese it looks like this, 福山英会話 Goodwin. If you have time check it out and give me a shout out. If you are ever in Hiroshima or Fukuyama drop by and say hello.

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