TOEFL Speaking

Stress in TOEFL Speaking

Jane Birkenhead, July 26 2022

The speaking section is normally the section of the exam that students feel the most stress about. That’s totally understandable. You have a short period of time to talk about unfamiliar subjects in another language while you’re being recorded. That would cause stress for anybody!

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TOEFL Speaking

TOEFL Speaking Task 1: Strong Introductions

Jane Birkenhead, July 14 2022

In every TOEFL speaking response, it's important to make a strong, confident start. During the preparation time for each question, you should decide exactly how you're going to begin your response. This will help to reduce your nerves, and I believe that if you start strongly and confidently, that will continue through the rest of the response.

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TOEFL Lessons

Getting Back to Studying

Jane Birkenhead, July 5 2022

I get messages like this every few months. And my first response is ALWAYS to invite the message writer for a chat so we can make a plan. It takes a lot of courage to write a message like this which is why I’m ready to help when someone contacts me. And there’s no reason to feel embarrassed. TOEFL is a tough, time-consuming exam. It’s easy to beco...

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TOEFL Writing

Ideas for TOEFL independent writing

Jane Birkenhead, June 24 2022

These are some of the most common questions that I get asked about TOEFL independent writing. Thinking of ideas and writing about them in an essay shouldn't be stressful or time-consuming but for many students, it is. Let’s consider some different ways that you can practice thinking of ideas.

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TOEFL Lessons

Paying for TOEFL Lessons

Jane Birkenhead, June 16 2022

If you're wondering if TOEFL lessons are really worth the investment, or if you're worried about the cost of paying for them, then I hope this article will address some of your concerns. If you have any other questions about TOEFL lessons, then please contact me. I’ve always believed in being open about what I charge for lessons, and my rate (USD $...

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Language Skills

25 Skills Building Exercises from the TOEFL Official Guide

Jane Birkenhead, June 10 2022

It’s nice to get things for free. Sometimes though we need to spend money to make the important things in life, like TOEFL, happen. So, instead of asking if something is free, ask if it gives you value for money. For example, if you know that you need to improve your language proficiency for TOEFL, then investing in the TOEFL Official Guide could m...

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Studying Strategies

Practice Effectively for TOEFL

Jane Birkenhead, June 3 2022

If your TOEFL scores are stuck...If you've done all the TPO questions...If you're worried about missing your deadline......then this post is for you. Let’s talk about how to PRACTICE EFFECTIVELY for TOEFL. I think everyone agrees that it’s important to practice for TOEFL. But HOW you practice is really important too. TOEFL is a skills based exam. Y...

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TOEFL Speaking

TOEFL Speaking Task 2

Jane Birkenhead, May 30 2022

Speaking task 2 can sometimes seem confusing. Some students have recently told me that they’ve had questions where they think the main speaker agrees AND disagrees with the announcement or proposal. And they’re wondering how to answer these questions. First, it’s highly unlikely that the speaker will agree and disagree. In the Official Guide to the...

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TOEFL Reading

TOEFL and IELTS Reading Terms Explained

Jane Birkenhead, April 14 2022

Many TOEFL and IELTS resources talk about the different skills that are required for reading. They often focus on skimming and scanning, and don't separate these skills, which can cause confusion. Many test-takers don't really understand what these terms mean, while others believe that they should always skim and scan - and do both at the same time...

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TOEFL Speaking

Prepare for TOEFL Speaking in the 10 Minute Break

Jane Birkenhead, April 12 2022

In the TOEFL exam, there is a mandatory 10 minute break between the listening and speaking sections. At the start of the 10 minute break, you will be told to leave the exam room and you'll only be allowed to return when the break is over. The exam centre staff will record the time for you.

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