TOEFL / IELTS Exam Preparation

It's OK to Ask for Help

Jane Birkenhead, March 22 2024

“It’s ok to ask for help.” This is a message that's often shared during Mental Health Awareness Week, but I think it's something that anyone studying for an exam should be reminded of all year round. Let’s focus specifically on what it means for TOEFL and IELTS exam

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TOEFL Speaking

How to Correct Fossilized Errors

Jane Birkenhead, March 18 2024

You know those errors that you make when you speak English? I'm talking about repeated errors - those errors that you keep making over and over again. Even though you know they are wrong, you just can't seem to stop yourself making them. They drive you crazy and make you wonder if you'll ever be able to speak English

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TOEFL / IELTS Exam Preparation

How TOEFL and IELTS Teachers Help

Jane Birkenhead, February 29 2024

Over the past few years, I've noticed a big difference in the way that students prepare for English proficiency exams like TOEFL and IELTS. As a result of the big increase in resources available online, especially those driven by AI, more students are choosing to study by

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TOEFL Speaking

Other People don't Correct Mistakes

Jane Birkenhead, February 15 2024

“People at work don’t correct my mistakes!” “I had no idea I was making these kinds of errors!” I hear this from students a lot 😊 As we work through the requirements for IELTS or TOEFL speaking together, and as I give them feedback, they often realize that they’ve been making lots of errors that they didn’t know

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TOEFL Exam Preparation

Choose TOEFL Resources Carefully

Jane Birkenhead, January 25 2024

At the start of any new year, everyone is full of enthusiasm about studying. I’m sure you’ve noticed the number of new resources being shared, and the increase in posts everywhere. I think that having access to all this information is great. Anything that you find to help you to get your target scores is a good thing. And it makes my job as a...

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TOEFL Lessons

Are TOEFL Lessons Worth the Money?

Jane Birkenhead, January 19 2024

If you're wondering if private 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. I've arranged this article into 4 separate sections to hopefully answer all your

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TOEFL Reading

Vocabulary for TOEFL Reading

Jane Birkenhead, July 12 2023

I see far too many posts on Facebook and Instagram where students ask for help with TOEFL reading and the comments fill up with advice about “learning vocabulary”. Please be aware that learning vocabulary is only a tiny part of the overall solution. You’ve got to understand how that vocabulary works in

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TOEFL / IELTS Exam Preparation

Beware of 'Magic' and 'Secrets'

Jane Birkenhead, April 18 2023

I’ve seen a few posts recently talking about the ‘magic’ and ‘secrets’ of TOEFL. Please be aware that there is no magic, and there are no secrets in TOEFL exam preparation. On one level, these posts about ‘magic’ and ‘secrets’ are simply click bait. Content creators use them to draw attention to their services. It’s an age old marketing formula....

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TOEFL Writing

Punctuation for TOEFL and IELTS Essay Writing

Jane Birkenhead, February 6 2023

There are some English punctuation and formatting rules that you need to know for TOEFL and IELTS essay writing. However, if you Google English punctuation you will find many articles with long explanations about things that aren't important for these exams. Please don't spend hours looking at articles that explain punctuation in great detail....

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Note-Taking for TOEFL Speaking

Jane Birkenhead, January 31 2023

Many students struggle with writing notes for TOEFL speaking responses. Do you find your notes don't help you with what to say?Do you write too much? Do you waste effort writing notes you don't use?Do you focus on taking notes and forget to listen? ...If so, I can help you. I actually think that a lot of general advice about note-taking for TOEFL...

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