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Intermediate TOEFL Preparation
Spring Quarter 2007
MW 8:00-9:10 AM, F 8:00-8:50 AM
Instructor: Michael Buckhoff
Office Hours: UH 301.27 TR 6:00-7:20 PM
Classroom: EE 101
Longman Preparation Course for the TOEFL Test iBT by
Deborah Phillips. 2006 by Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN:
500 note-cards for vocabulary study
Headset with microphone
The Online Course for Writing and Righting Oneís Essay by
Michael Buckhoff www.getesl.com
Each year, many international students come to the US to
study English. Others study English as an international
language in their own country. Because English is not their
first language, these students demonstrate their competency in
reading, listening, speaking, and writing by taking the
Internet-Based TOEFL test (iBT) administered by Educational
Testing Service of Princeton, New Jersey. A high score on this
test demonstrates a prospective studentís ability to use
English in an academic setting at either the undergraduate or
graduate level. Particularly, a high score demonstrates the
likelihood that a student can perform the following
1. My instructor understands me when I ask a question in
2. When I speak English, others can understand me.
3. When instructors speak English, I can understand their
directions about assignments and due dates.
4. I can understand major ideas when I read English.
5. I can understand a speakerís attitude or opinion about
what he or she is saying.
6. I can write a summary of information that I have read in
7. I can write an essay on an assigned topic.
8. I can recognize why an English speaker is saying
something (for example, to explain, to complain, to agree, to
9. I can talk in English for few minutes about a topic with
which I am familiar.
10. When reading English, I can understand charts and
graphs in academic texts.
11. When writing English, I can support ideas with examples
12. I can understand how the ideas in an English text
relate to each other.
13. I can understand important facts and details of
lectures and conversations.
14. I can speak for about one minute in response to a
15. When writing in English, I can organize my ideas so
that the reader understands my main and supporting ideas.
16. I can relate information in English to what I already
17. I can give prepared presentations in English.
18. I can understand the main ideas of lectures and
19. I can understand English vocabulary and grammar when
20. I can understand the relationships among ideas in a
21. After hearing a lecture in English, I can recognize
which points are important and which are less important.
22. I can state and support my opinion when speaking
23. When reading academic texts in English, I can
understand the most important points.
24. I can understand the relative importance of ideas when
reading an academic text.
25. I can organize or outline the important ideas and
concepts in academic texts.
26. I can participate in conversations or discussions in
27. I can talk about facts or theories I know well and
explain them in English.
28. When reading academic texts in English, I can remember
29. I can write a summary of information that I have
listened to in English.
30. When I listen to a lecture in English, I can remember
the most important points.
31. I can orally summarize information I have read in
32. When writing in English, I can write more or less
formally depending on the purpose and the reader.
33. When reading academic texts in English, I can
understand them well enough to answer questions about them
34. I do not have any problem understanding what people say
35. When reading a text in English, I am able to figure out
the meaning of words I do not know by using the context and my
36. I can quickly find information that I am looking for in
academic texts in English.
37. I can express ideas and arguments effectively when I
write in English.
38. I can use correct grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and
punctuation when I write in English.
39. I can orally summarize a talk that I have listened to
40. I can read English academic texts with ease.
41. I can read and understand texts in English as easily as
I can in my native tongue.
To help you meet the aforementioned iBT competency
descriptors, this class has seven main objectives:
1. Be familiar with the directions and test-taking
strategies for all sections of the iBT.
2. Learn how to prepare for the Speaking section of the iBT,
take specific steps to improve your overall speaking skills,
and learn what independent and integrated speaking tasks you
can do that will further prepare you for the Speaking section
of the iBT.
Complete some independent and integrated speaking tasks,
during which time either your peers or your instructor will
give you feedback using the iBT Speaking Rubrics.
3. Learn how to prepare for the Writing section of the iBT
and complete some independent and integrated writing tasks.
Additionally, you will learn specific steps to prepare for
all writing tasks on the iBT. This instruction is delivered
through "The Online Course for Writing and Righting
Oneís Essay" by Michael Buckhoff.
Both your instructor and a writing center tutor are
available to evaluate your essay using the iBT Writing
4. Learn effective study habits to prepare you for the
Listening section of the iBT, all of which will help you to
improve your overall listening comprehension proficiency and
will help you to improve your listening in three core areas:
listening for basic comprehension, listening for pragmatic
understanding, and listening to connect and synthesize ideas.
5. Learn effective study habits to prepare for the reading
section of the iBT so that you can improve your ability to
understand university-level texts and passages for three main
purposes: reading to find information, for basic
comprehension, and to learn.
6. Gain word recognition and mastery of 500 vocabulary
words, and, through three quizzes, a midterm, and a final exam,
learn to recognize synonyms and antonyms for these words.
7. Apply English proficiency developed through the
aforementioned skills/study habits to an iBT test, to the
successful completion of undergraduate and graduate college
classes, and to the workplace setting.
Your speaking and writing assignments in this iBT
preparation class will be evaluated according to the rubrics
that ETS has developed for the iBT. Being evaluated by these
speaking rubrics (Phillips 540-541) and writing rubrics
(Phillips 538-539) will get you used to the standards that ETS uses
in evaluating your speaking and writing proficiency.
The number letter grading scale is set as follows:
A Excellent - Mastery of skills with a superior level of
B Good - Mastery of skills with a high level of
IP In Progress - Acceptable performance. Not mastered
skills for level/course
UP Unsatisfactory Progress - Inadequate performance.
Failed level/course due to excessive absences, poor
participation, failure to complete homework assignments, or
low test scores
Passing your Level
A student receiving one grade of IP in a level will move
to the next level.
A student receiving a grade of IP in two or more classes
will remain at that level until he/she achieves grades of A
A student receiving a grade of UP in any class will
repeat the level.
Certificate of completion will only be given to students
who have completed all classes with grades of A or B,
allowing for one grade of IP.
Calculation of Final Grade
Your final grade for this class will be broken down as
Vocabulary Quiz One = 10%
Vocabulary Quiz Two = 10%
Vocabulary Quiz Three = 10%
Mini-Test Seven = 10%
Speaking Test = 20%
- 4.0 = A (100%)
- 3.5 = A (95%)
- 3.0 = B (84%)
- 2.5 = C (75%)
- 2.0 = UP (69%)
- 1.5 = UP (59%)
- 1.0 = UP (49%)
Writing Test = 20%
- 5.0 = A (100%)
- 4.5 = A (95%)
- 4.0 = B (87%)
- 3.5 = B (84%)
- 3.0 = C (75%)
- 2.5 = C (70%)
- 2.0 = UP (60%)
- 1.5 = UP (50%)
- 1.0 = UP (40%)
Mini-Test Eight = 10%
Final Exam = 10%
Late Work Policy
Vocabulary, speaking, writing, and listening tests will be
taken in class; the reading comprehension tests will be
assigned as homework.
1. Assigned as homework, the reading comprehension tests
will be turned in on their due dates.
2. Homework submitted after the due dates will not be
accepted. In other words, you will receive no points. I will
only allow you to make up missed work if you have a written
documented excuse from someone stating the urgency of the
situation (e.g., doctorís note, CHP accident report, etc.).
So that you do not jeopardize your F-1 visa status, your
attendance is required at all class meetings. You should note
that your absences are recorded on a government web site
closely monitored by INS. Only written documented excuses for
an absence may result in your making up an assignment or
graded daily work. Three absences will result in an overall
reduction of one full letter grade, and five absences will
result in a failing grade for this class. Come to class on
time. Three tardies will be counted as an absence. If you
arrive fifteen minutes late or more, you will be counted
absent for that class period. If you do come late to class,
please enter quietly so as not to distract the other students.
Research shows that the more you immerse
yourself into a new language, the more proficient you will
become in both your listening and speaking skills, which
translates into a solid TOEFL score of which you can be