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Tuesday, January 3, 2012


A common TOEFL speaking mistake is what I call the 音節の数間違い. Most of the problems involve subtracting syllables, not adding syllables.

A student recently said, "My first TOEFL score was table," when they meant terrible.

You have to be sensitive to syllables because if you make this kind of mistake, it's unlikely that the listener will understand what you said. 

One strategy which I recommend is avoiding the difficult words. It's generally better to choose the shorter/simpler word rather than the longer/academic word if you have a choice.

So how about: "My first TOEFL score was low"? That seems like the easy way to fix the mistake.

Please use English well!