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  • [Intro music]

  • The big one of course is vocabulary.

  • The main issue which causes problems for low level students

  • on the TOEIC is that they just don’t know enough words.

  • The listening skills, reading skills, all that stuff is important of course,

  • but if they can’t understand key words in the question,

  • if they can’t understand the meaning then

  • theyre just not getting anywhere from the get-go.

  • So that’s the single biggest problem for sure.

  • The other one is that the nature of the test

  • the fact that it’s timed

  • that’s a very calculated part of the challenge in the test design.

  • If theyre not familiar with the ways that the test is designed,

  • then theyre likely to approach the test in ways

  • that are not very helpful in getting a good score.

  • For example, a lot of Japanese students especially,

  • their practice in the past has been, in terms of reading

  • has been quite slow, word by word, sentence by sentence,

  • and on a timed test like the TOEIC what we often see

  • is that theyre running out of time.

  • So basically in terms of what I try to do to help

  • low level students do well on the TOEIC,

  • number one is I want to improve their vocabulary.

  • And actually practicing for the test,

  • vocabulary building has got to be an essential part

  • of any TOEIC preparation course.

  • If they don’t have that, they are not getting anywhere

  • and that’s that. That’s the bottom line.

  • The second thing is, we have to look at ways to help

  • them both understand and overcome the non-English based challenges,

  • for example, by having them read the questions first

  • in the listening section, and understand those, before they actually listen to the actual text.

  • That gives them two things.

  • Number one it gives them background information on what theyre listening for,

  • what we call in ELT terms, schema or schemata.

  • This background knowledge allows them to have

  • a better understanding of the information they take in.

  • The second thing is, not all the information on the actual TOEIC is essential to answer the questions.

  • By reading the questions first they have a focus on what theyre listening for.

  • So it means that if they know what theyre listening for,

  • it means that during the introductory statement, for example,

  • in the talks or the conversations, the important information they can say

  • ok that’s not what I’m listening for, that’s not what I’m listening for’,

  • they don’t have to expend a lot of brain power on listening to certain elements.

  • But as soon as they hear certain key words or related concepts,

  • that’s when their brains should click on and that’s when they should start to focus.

  • If we can get them in the habit of doing this, of making predictions about what they are going to hear

  • based on what they read in the questions, and having a clear focus,

  • it actually makes the listening task an awful lot easier.

  • It gives them a real leg up on actually understanding what’s going on and answering the questions.

  • [Background music]

  • You know what a lot of people would say, it’s a listening and reading test

  • so speaking has no place, but I’ll tell you one of the main things that I’ve said over and over again

  • is that vocabulary and understanding natural phrases and expressions and stuff like that

  • is an essential component for doing well on the TOEIC.

  • These sorts of things are explicitly tested.

  • Now we could teach these things in a number of ways.

  • We can give them match up exercise and have them memorize word lists and stuff like that,

  • but I’m a firm believer that if you want to internalize language,

  • the most efficient and effective way to do it is to use it.

  • A lot of TOEIC is understanding functions like for example making requests,

  • making apologies, giving directions, making complaints, and the common responses for those

  • understanding is the guy exceeding to the request or is he denying the request.

  • Basically all these natural expressions, you can teach them,

  • but if you want to internalize it, the best way to do it is to have them use it.

  • If they can use these key core language chunks themselves, then their chance of remembering it on test day,

  • where they don’t have time to think, it’s got to be instant recall,

  • the only way to get that I’m convinced is through active productive use.

  • You know a lot of my classes, I’d say probably about a third to a quarter of any class that I teach

  • basically has an interactive componentstudents in pairs speaking together,

  • doing role plays of the different situations they may encounter,

  • doing speeches and things like that, discussing their ideas and their predictions.

  • The main reason for this is not to develop speaking skills, that’s a side benefit

  • it’s a big one but that’s a side benefitthe main reason why I do this is to

  • internalize these key chunks of language that I’ve taught them, these key lexical units,

  • this key vocabulary of individual words and multi-word phrases.

  • Because I figure if they can use it in the same sort of context as theyre going to see on the TOEIC,

  • their chance of being able to understand it when they hear it

  • or when they see it in a written form is much, much higher

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A2 TOEIC toeic listening test vocabulary understanding

Grant Trew on TOEIC® (Part 1)

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    羅媛蓉 posted on 2013/10/05
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