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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Golden Week Start Results

These are the results so far of 11 students who started during Golden Week. This will give you an idea of what to expect if you prepare for TOEFL Speaking with me.

There were 14 new students who started at GW. I did not include 3 students. One lived abroad for 5+ years when he was younger and scored over 115 on his first TOEFL test. One is a student who hasn't taken TOEFL since he started my classes, so there is no objective measure of his improvement. The third was very busy at work, so he didn't practice daily, and he left after one term. He picked up a point (SP19 to SP20), but I'm not sure if that was due to my classes or luck.

As always, I have used the masculine pronoun (he, his), although several of these students are women.

  1. Works at a trading company, started at SP18/T88. Clear voice, but lots of hesitations and time management problems. Up to SP19 in 5 weeks, and SP22/T90 in 8 weeks. Should get SP23+ when his listening skills improve.
  2. Finance guy, SP16/T76 at start. Had a lot of hesitation and some choppiness in his voice, but has worked hard on it. Up to SP19/T88 in 5 weeks and SP20/91 in 8 weeks. Has improved a lot and is ready for a breakthrough to SP22-23 soon. It will be tough for him to get SP24 without improving his 複合名詞 word stress.
  3. Finance guy, pretty clear voice, started at SP19/T99, then got SP19/103 soon after joining the class. He is starting to focus on GMAT. There’s no reason he shouldn’t get SP23 with a little work. [6/26 update: SP23/T106. Once again, Donald successfully predicts the future! Have fun on GMAT, dude!]
  4. Finance guy, very slow voice at first, but a real competitor with a clear voice. Guys like this always get motivated by my class and perform well. SP13/T58 at start, up to SP19/T79 in 5 weeks, and SP20/T85 in 8 weeks. I'm very happy with his progress, and would not be surprised by SP22-23 soon.
  5. Finance guy, slow at first, and voice clarity needed some work. SP15/T70 at start, up to SP17/82 in 3 weeks, and should improve rapidly because he’s been doing really well in class. Strategically very smart. [June 26 update: SP19/T97 in 8 weeks and SP should be higher soon]
  6. Trading company guy, very clear voice and strategically smart. Started at SP20/T91, up to SP22/96 in 3 weeks and SP23/T96 in 5 weeks. Should get 100 soon, and SP24 would not surprise me. [6/26 update: SP24, but total score didn't improve due to the super-hard LS section on that test. ETS should be concerned about the inconsistent level of difficulty on the TOEFL listening section. It calls into question the validity of the TOEFL test]
  7. Finance guy, SP17/70 at start. Has improved speed a lot and should do better soon. Up to SP18/T75 on 6/26. Based on his recent performance in class, his LS skills have improved, so I expect SP20+ soon.
  8. First 2012 applicant of the year. Busy finance guy with speed problems, but a clear voice. SP19/T77 at start. Will do better when he has more time to practice. Up to SP20/T86 on 6/26.
  9. Consultant with international company. Slow voice, but clear. SP19/T88 at start, and speaking improved to SP20 in 3 weeks. Waiting for more recent results.
  10. Trading company guy, a little bit older than most of my students. It’s often difficult for older students to improve, but this guy is the exception. SP20/95 at start, up to SP23/95 in 3 weeks, and SP26/T99 in 5 weeks, and never lived in an English-speaking company. [SP24/T101 on 6/26! Woo hoo!]
  11. Finance guy, slow speaker but very clear voice at start. No TOEFL at start, SP19/75 after 3 weeks, up to SP20/81 in 5 weeks. Speed has rapidly improved, and SP23 soon would not surprise me. [6/26 update: SP23/T89].

I hope what you notice about these results is that the SP score is moving in one direction: UP! People who use speaking templates have inconsistent scores, but my students are developing presentation skills and making steady progress (the exception was the June 12 test, on which the SP section was really tough).