Table Of Contents
- Part 1 — The Problems
- Why Are They Such A Bad Idea?
- Answer #1 — Focus On Money, Not On Student
- How A Traditional TOEFL Course May Feel
- Answer #2 — Accepting Students Who Are Not Qualified
- Answer #3 — Assigning Teachers Who Are Not Qualified
- Answer #4 — Teachers Just Want To Get Through The Class — So They Use Materials & Exercises That Are A Complete Waste Of Time & Effort
- Part 2 — The Solution
- What Makes TOEFL Excellence So Great?
- Answer #1 — It Was Created SPECIFICALLY To Remedy The Above Problems
- Answer #2 — No Administrators To Mess Anything Up!
- Answer #3a — I Provide You Will ALL The Information You Need & Skip Nothing
- Answer #3b — I Have A Full TOEFL Practice Test In Case You Want To Check Your Readiness
- Answer #4 — Study According To YOUR Schedule
- Answer #5 — I Will Answer Any & ALL The Questions You Have Throughout Your Studies
irst of all — the word “Bad” is an opinion. But not when you set up the proper conditions. So when I say that “Taking A Traditional TOEFL Preparation Course Is A BAD Idea” — this is assuming the following conditions. That you want to:
1. Get The Highest Score That You Can Achieve On Your Exam
2. Get The Most Value For Your Money When It Comes To A Preparation Course
3. Prepare In The Most Efficient & Effective Way Possible In The Time That You Have To Do-So
o if those are the same conditions that YOU have regarding your preparation for The TOEFL Exam — then, YES… Taking A Traditional TOEFL Preparation Course (at a traditional language school, using a traditional text-book) Is ABSOLUTELY A Very Bad Idea.
Part 1 — The Problems
he main problems with “Traditional Language Schools” are the same problems with the “Traditional Education System”, and “Corporate Culture”. And they are the reasons why I no-longer work for “Traditional Language Schools” or language Corporations.
owever — in this article, I will go over the problems as they specifically relate to TOEFL Preparation Courses. But for each of the problems that I list — I Have Created A Solution. 😎
Notice! — I acknowledge that some traditional instruction methods and text-books work just fine for many people. And that is great… for them. But that is because “Traditional” education is based on “The Average”. They are focused on teaching “Average” people with “Average” quality materials, that are written at an “Average” level. Their courses are also taught by people with an “Average” level of intelligence as well. The Result?… “Average”. (That is why so many people have to take the exam more than once, even after taking a preparation course!) 😐
However! — the word “Average” basically means: “Not The Best — Not The Worst — Just Somewhere in The Middle“. So what happens when the focus is on “The Average”, is that — to keep adjusting FOR the average — the quality of everything keeps getting lower, and lower, and lower. In fact — that is why The TOEFL Exam was recently changed again — to make it easier for the “Average” student. So if that is you — then you can settle for an “Average” class and achieve “Average” results. And I wish you all the luck in the world. (You will certainly need it!)
I Do Not Deal In “Average” — I Deal In Excellence! So if you want to “Achieve Excellence On The TOEFL iBT Exam” — then follow my lead. 😎
Teacher: “Nope! Sorry. No independent thinking allowed. I’m the teacher, so I’m right.”
Student: “Screw this! I’m going to GiveMeSomeEnglish!!!“
So Why Are Traditional TOEFL Courses So Bad?
Answer #1: Language Schools Are Businesses Whose Main Focus Is — FIRST — To Make Enough Money To Cover Their Expenses & Pay The Salaries Of The Administrators — Not On Providing The Best Possible Product & Service To Their Customers.
hat statement may seem “Anti-Business”. It is not. Making money is great! Of course, every business needs to make money in order to succeed. But the more people in the business the more they need to make, just to keep things running.
owever — in every institution, there are a great many other expenses which come BEFORE the teachers’ salary. Chiefly — paying the administrators who (usually) do NOTHING for The Student (apart from taking his or her money), and only make the Teachers’ lives completely miserable… (Thus causing the the teachers to not really want to be in the classroom. But that is a separate problem.)
lso — most language schools around the world are actually franchises of much larger corporations. So their focus is on Quantity — rather than Quality. They only need to be “just good enough” to keep people signing-up for more classes.
heir money is made on the quantity of students coming in every few months to take a new class. Therefore — whether-or-not the student has been properly prepared for the exam — or has even gotten what they need out of the course — is of little concern to them.
The Attitude Of The Average Language School Administrator
Notice! — There are certainly good teachers working in the language schools. But those teachers are always limited in what they can do — by the rules & regulations put in-place by the administrators. Which means less quality for you. 😐
ost Administrators of Traditional Language Schools KNOW that this is a problem — and some of them even feel bad about it. (But not bad enough to change.) They know that most of the classes they offer are NOT long-enough to cover all the material in a way that the student will actually benefit from it. They are only concerned about getting enough students signed-up for the next session of classes.
nd instead of having the class last as long as it takes to cover the material… in other words, Logically & Correctly — they follow the same system of terms for classes as with the regular schools — so all the classes have to begin and end at the same time. It does not matter if the length of the class is not long enough. They will simply skip over things that they deem “not as important”. But NOTHING in The TOEFL Exam can be skipped (if you want to succeed)!
Because Of This — You Will Experience The Following Problems:
- The Amount Of Classes Will Not Be Enough To Cover All The Material Needed To Succeed
- Some Necessary Material Will End Up Being Completely Skipped Over!
- The Amount Of Time In Class Will Not Be Enough To Practice What Material IS Covered
- Because Of The Frustration Caused By The Above Problems You Will Probably Have A Teacher Who Is Frustrated By Having To Work In Such Conditions
eachers are forced to rush through material in order to finish the course in time for the next round of classes. In the first TOEFL Course I taught — I was actually told by the administrators that I should skip teaching The Reading & Listening Sections of the exam and just focus on Speaking & Writing.
am contacted, every week, by people who did not study The Reading & Listening sections. And now they need to take the exam again because their scores in those sections were too low. In The TOEFL Excellence Training System — We Cover It ALL & Skip Nothing!
How It May Feel Taking A Course At A Traditional Language School
Answer #2: Language Schools Often Accept Students Who Are Not Qualified For The Course That They Are Taking. They Are Happy To Take Your Money, Even If It Will Be Wasted.
anguage schools often — knowingly — accept students into their courses who are not even qualified to take it. There are many Things That You Need To Know And Have BEFORE You Register For The TOEFL Exam.
ut these things are never mentioned in ANY Traditional TOEFL Course or Text-book. And the most important one of all — is having AT LEAST an Intermediate level of English. However — it should actually be Upper-Intermediate or higher.
n one of the first TOEFL Courses that I taught — the administration accepted a student who could barely speak English. But they said that he had “passed” their Intermediate course, so he “should be good enough.” He was not. He could not keep-up at the rushed pace. Because of this — he wasted his time & money on both the TOEFL Course, and The TOEFL Exam. (almost $600 total) 😐
t is actually a very common practice for language schools to rush students through their sets of courses regardless of whether the student has actually accomplished the necessary requirements to make it to the “next level”.
f the student does not “Pass” one course — all it takes is for that student or one of the parents of The Student to complain — and then the administrators will let the ill-prepared student move to the next level — thus ensuring the high probability of yet-further failure.
Warning! — Simply having taken an Intermediate or Upper-Intermediate class, and receiving a “certificate” from the language school is NOT an indication of your actual level. It is ONLY an indication that you took the class, and (maybe) passed the final test.
If You Are Not Sure — The best way to know if your English skills are high enough to be able to succeed on The TOEFL Exam, is to take a Full Graded & Critiqued TOEFL Practice Test.
Answer #3: Language Schools Assign Teachers Who Are Not Qualified To Teach A TOEFL Class.
his may come as a surprise, but — language schools often — knowingly — assign teachers to lead a TOEFL class when they know nothing about the exam. AND — they do nothing to LEARN about it, other than skimming through the text-book they use for the course.
his might work for a general English course, because nearly all of the English text-books are the same — regardless of what publisher created them. They all copy each other. So neglecting to review the text-book before the course is not going to make much difference.
lso — General English text-books all have a “Teachers Guide” which literally tells the teacher what to do at every step of the way. This is why teachers who have very little experience, or who simply “follow the book”, have classes that are so boring.
ut this does not work with The TOEFL Exam. There are no “Teacher’s Guides” for TOEFL Text-books. And even if there was, it would not matter because, ALL of the text-books about The TOEFL Exam are insufficient, and most are outdated.
ecause of this — teachers end-up mixing materials. But this leads to two MORE problems that you will face if you take a TOEFL Course at a Traditional Language School. 1. Teachers pick the methods and materials that will make their job easy. 2. Teachers waste your time (and money) with things that will NOT help you to get the score you need on The TOEFL Exam! (Because they just don’t know any better.)
Answer #4: Most Teachers Just Want To Get Through The Class — So They Use Materials & Exercises That Are A Complete Waste Of Time & Effort.
ust like any job — Teaching English is “work”. It may seem like it’s easy — but there is a reason that most foreign English teachers only last for about 6 months. It is because MOST of them thought it would be “easy work”, and that they would be able to “travel and work” at the same time.
oth of those ideas are myths. In addition to this disturbing revelation — there is the fact that ESL teachers almost never make a living wage, and they have to struggle to get enough classes. This is because the local teachers see them as competition for work, so the administrators usually prioritize giving classes to the local teachers first. So the average ESL teacher’s schedule is usually terrible!
n addition to this — another thing that no one is ever told is the fact that a teacher in their first couple years of teaching needs to spend almost as much time preparing for their classes as the actual length of the classes themselves! This is like double the work for the same low amount of pay.
o teaching English at a traditional language school is like working for half of the minimum wage. A 45-minute class requires 1.5 hours of work. A 90-minute class, almost 3 hours… And most TOEFL classes at a traditional language school are THREE HOURS LONG!!!
That Doesn’t Make It Very Pleasant For You Either…
he reason they make the classes so long is so they can cram as much into one class as possible. Even though it is widely known that we usually only retain 30% of what we learn at a time. It is also widely known that any meeting which is more than 45 minutes long is NOT effective. The same is true with classes. And yet, the traditional education system presses-on with doing it everything the wrong way… At YOUR Expense! Why? Because that is just the way that is has always been done. (Everyone knows it, but no one does anything about it.)
hese problems are why repetition of what was learned previously is so important for learning anything new. But there is no time for that in a traditional TOEFL class. The teacher has got to get through the NEW material for each class! AND he or she has to fill 3 Hours Of Time!!! That is why they make students work together on certain exercises. Not because it is effective. Because it gives them a break. AND working together with other students on certain tasks has NO correlation to The TOEFL Exam.
Because Of All This — You Will Experience The Following Problems:
- A Person Who Is Doing Their Job Under Stressful Conditions Can Not Do Their Job As Well As They Could & Should — Therefore — You Are Not Getting What You Paid For.
- The Teacher (because they have to mix materials from different sources) Will Use Materials & Exercises That Will Make Their Job Easier & Fill-Up As Much Class-Time As Possible — (regardless of whether or not that is actually beneficial to you)
- Those Materials Are Usually Exercises (because having you work on exercises is like a mini break for them). Those Exercises Are Usually:
- Past TOEFL Reading-Section Questions — (which are out-dated and do nothing to prepare you for the exam)
- Vocabulary Exercises — (contrary to popular belief — learning new vocabulary will NOT help you on The TOEFL Exam… NOT AT ALL! And yet — even teachers with popular TOEFL YouTube channels tell you that “it is the best thing you can do!”… It is NOT!)
- Having You Read Full Examples Of Reading Passages To “Increase Your Reading Speed” — (Instead Of Learning How To Find The Answers Without Having To Read The Whole Passage)
- Having Students Practice Speaking-Section Responses Together — (this is just another mini-break for them, and does not help YOU to improve, because the other student is NOT a TOEFL Expert. So How can THEY help YOU if you are not doing it properly. And even though the teacher might be walking around the room, pretending to listen to everyone — that is not possible. And if the teacher stopped to help one person while walking around — then he or she is ignoring everyone else during that time.)
Part 2 — The Solution
o now that you know the problems — it is time for the solution. And that solution is The TOEFL Excellence Training System. Created by an expert in the field with over 12 years of experience specializing in The TOEFL Exam.
What Makes TOEFL Excellence So Great?
Answer #1: TOEFL Excellence Was Written Specifically As A Remedy TO The Problems Mentioned Above — And Was Created At The Request & Suggestion Of Many Of My Former Students Who Achieved Success With My Unique Style Of Teaching.
Answer #2: My business is ONLY Me — “The Teacher” — So There Are No Administrators Making Bad Decisions. And As A Solo-Entrepreneur I MUST Be Focused On The Highest Quality Product And Service — If I Want To Succeed… Then You MUST Succeed! .
Answer #3: I Explain To You EVERYTHING You Need To Know BEFORE You Register For The TOEFL Exam — And I Provide THAT Information As A Courtesy! And To Know If Your English Skills Are High-Enough — I Have Created The Only Full Graded & Critiqued TOEFL Practice Test On the Internet — (all other practice tests either do not cover the full exam, or they offer no critique or solutions for you to improve… Mine Does) 😉
Answer #4: My Training System Is Work-At-Your-Own-Pace. You Work On It As Fast Or As Slow As You Like — And You Can Repeat Whatever Material You May Need More Time With, So You Retain 100% Of What You Learn. Also — You Study Any Time You Want… Not According A Schedule That Some School Administrator Sets For The Class.
Answer #5: I Am Available To You THROUGHOUT The Time That You Are Taking The Course. You Can Ask Me As Many Questions As You May Have! At A Language School, You Only Have Access To The Teacher During The Class (but you already know that they have very limited time). And Other On-Line Courses Either Limit How Many Questions You Can Ask, Or They Do Not Allow ANY Questions At All!
That Sounds Great, Right?
ell… It IS Great! But I also realize that you may have questions. That is why — even though I’m not even your teacher yet… I am STILL available to answer any questions that you may have about The TOEFL Exam itself, or about The TOEFL Excellence Training System. I look forward to hearing from you. 😉
Or… If You Are Ready To Get Started Now…
I’ll See You In Class Soon!
Have An Excellent Day!
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