Here are some statistics on my students' speaking scores for 2009 (as of December 7, 2009):
- 2009 median score (中央値): 23
- 2 students got 26
- 17 students got 24
- 22 students got 23
- 11 students got 22
- 10 students got 20
- 4 students got 18-19
It does not include two students who lived abroad for 5+ years because they are basically native English speakers. It does include two students who studied abroad for 1 academic year and several others who studied abroad for a semester or had a homestay for a couple of months.
Fact: both students (one man, one woman) who got 26 never lived outside Japan. They both worked very hard and earned their great scores. If one person can do it, anyone can do it. Speaking English well depends primarily on your effort.
There are still several TOEFL tests in 2009, and I expect several students in the 20-22 range push their scores up by a point or two. I would not be surprised if several students who are scoring 24 consistently push their score up into the 26-27 range.
My students' scores are pretty stable because we work on developing real communication strategies. So there's not a lot of fluctuation in speaking scores from test to test.
I am very pleased with these results. They compare favorably with the global TOEFL Speaking mean score of 19, and the Japan mean score of 16.
What these results show is that if you develop real speaking skills and communication strategies and don't use templates you can do well on TOEFL speaking.