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Tuesday, April 7, 2020


We're going to follow the Abe administration's declaration of emergency and close from April 6 until at least May 6. I'll post the next schedule when we make that decision, but we won't be accepting new students until after Golden Week.

What should you do to prepare for TOEFL in the meantime?

  1. Listening is the most important language skill, and it's the least stable TOEFL section score. Working on that should be priority #1. The best practice is dictation. And when you get good at that, reproduction is faster and more interesting.
  2. Vocabulary is another area people need to improve. The general advice is N+1. Your level is N; you should read materials that are "+1," or SLIGHTLY above your current level. Read things that are interesting to you, but cover all your bases (all of the arts and sciences). Wikipedia is your friend. 
  3. Grammar is another language skill that many people need to improve. My general advice is to simplify your grammar. Unfortunately, the Japanese school system seems to believe that complexity = good. That's dumb. TOEFL is a communication test, not a complex grammar test. Aim to use natural expressions, not just complex ones.
  4. Fluency and intonation are important for the speaking section, and I'm going to try to make some videos to explain some key ideas later this week. I'll announce them on the blog when I post them to Youtube.
  5. Don't study for long periods. Research shows that you have 15-20 minutes of high-level attention. After that, you lose focus. So break your study up into 15-20 minute chunks. At E4TG, we always say 期間より頻度. That's good advice.
Be safe and be focused. If you work on these things now, you'll be well-prepared for our TOEFL speaking classes when we resume.