TOEFL is Critical for Educational Future of Nonnative Students

practice for TOEFL exam with accent reduction classes online improve your English pronunciationStudents around the world are making their college plans, with many of them hopeful to be studying in the United States this Fall. Having an American made college education is proving to be a hot commodity for many students who hope to apply their knowledge in their native countries after graduation. Beyond scholarships and financial aid however, the main concern worrying students about their educational futures abroad is the TOEFL exam.

There’s a lot of thirst from students hoping to add a U.S. based education to their resumes, as the middle class continues to grow dramatically in many countries with new jobs being created at an unmeasurable rate. Grades and being smart unfortunately is no longer enough to secure students a spot in an American University on their own. Learning English is a requirement for students hoping to study abroad in America, a requirement that many students are unable to learn in time. In Cambodia for example, several students showed interest in applying for a full-ride scholarship to Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy, but none were able to make the deadline to take the standardized English-language test, which is only offered twice a year.

Planning for the TOEFL exam in advance is important, not only to secure a sign up time, but to provide enough time for students to take and pass the exam if they require one or more attempts before passing. While fees vary by country, there are a variety of fees associated with the TOEFL exam, including a late registration fee of $35 and a rescheduling charge of $60 USD, which add up quickly and draw attention to passing the exam in as little amount of attempts as possible.

While there are a variety of books and self-help programs available for students to use at their disposal, one of the best ways of studying for the TOEFL exam is by working with trained speech pathologists online in specialty made TOEFL Training classes. Pronunciation Pro offers the TOEFL speaking prep package that helps non-native English speakers work on their accent in order to pass the speaking section of the TOEFL exam. Complete with a full accent assessment, a 12-week video training program, weekly feedback and training towards passing the TOEFL exam from your own personal trainer and a one year membership to the Pronunciation Pro website and all of its resources, students can have a variety of online help available 24/7 to help them best prepare for the test.

 

The TOEFL exam should not hold students back from their dream education in America, but rather enable students to feel confident in their knowledge and communication skills before moving abroad. If you dream of studying in the United States, get a head start on studying for your TOEFL exam by starting a free 7-day trial with Pronunciation Pro.

Why Confidence Is As Important As Reducing Your Accent

Gain confidence in English with Pronunciation Pro accent reduction class online with ASHA certified Speech Pathologist

Gain confidence in English with Pronunciation Pro accent reduction class online with ASHA certified Speech Pathologist

Sometimes it’s not what you say, but how you say it. Learning how to speak English is wonderful, but how you communicate in English determines your ability to converse successfully.

Talking too fast, too slow, and too quietly are just some of the ways static can occur in communication and are often a result of low confidence. Having confidence speaking English is just as important in reducing your accent as learning the words themselves, as confidence helps build English communication skills and can help non-native English speakers feel self-assured in social and work settings.

The first way to help boost confidence when speaking in a non-native language is practice! If you want to be conversational in English, you have to use what you’re learning so the language sticks in your mind and you can tangibly feel the progress you’re making. Without practice, it’s easy to sway from your commitment and move on to easier, less intimidating goals than learning a new language. Remind yourself why you wanted to speak English like an American in the first place, and chat away!

The second step is listening. As you’re talking to a fellow peer in English, pay attention to how they speak English with confidence, and notice if you’re pronouncing words differently than they are. Depending on your native language, non-native speakers can tend to over or under stress words, requiring slightly more effort by the receiver to decode what you’re saying. If you ask, “How was your day?” see if your peer responds, “My day today was…” and pick up on their pronunciation and compare it to yours.

This step is also where working with an ASHA certified Speech Pathologist helps. If you want a second opinion on your English pronunciation, and find areas of improvement, working with an online Speech Pathologist can help critique your progress and work with you to improve on speaking English like an American. Often, working with a Speech Pathologist is one of the most convenient ways to learn correct English pronunciation—they can take the time to work with you at the pace you need.

By speaking more often in English and listening to others to compare your pronunciation to theirs, you’re able to improve your English pronunciation and gain confidence in the process. The more assured you when speaking a foreign language, the more poised you can be during work and social interactions! Start taking the first step towards confidence in your English today for a better, more self-assured tomorrow.

Top 10 TOEFL Idioms

common English sayings TOEFL exam cat is out of the bag

The cat is out of the bag! Do you know what that really means?

Learning how to use proper grammar and writing skills isn’t enough to show you fully understand the English language. An important and oftentimes tricky part of English is mastering common English idioms. Used to express a figurative meaning, English idioms are so common that they can appear on the TOEFL exam to measure English comprehension.

If you’re preparing for the TOEFL or TOEIC exams, this list of common idiomatic expressions can be useful to learn before taking your test.

The bottom line: The result; the final outcome; to get to the point

Used in a sentence:

I understand it won’t be easy, but the bottom line is that we need the presentation completed by Monday morning, no excuses.

Taking the heat: Taking criticism or blame for something you didn’t do, typically to protect another person

Used in a sentence:

Thanks for taking the heat for me Rachel, and saying it was you who left the door unlocked.

The cat’s out of the bag: The secret has been made known.

Used in a sentence:

Sarah’s surprise party will just be a party now; the cat’s out of the bag on that one.

Smoke and mirrors: Deception and confusion used to mislead people instead of inform them

Used in a sentence:

I thought that housecleaning company was legitimate, but turns out it was nothing but smoke and mirrors covering up a money laundering operation.

Draw the line: To stop; to know the point where something goes from okay to not okay.

Used in a sentence:

I told you that you could decorate your office, but I draw the line at you repainting the walls. 

Silver lining: To find the good or positive side in a bad situation.

Used in a sentence:

So you got fired, look at the silver lining—now you can focus on your photography like you always wanted!

Get something off your chest: To talk about something that has been bothering you for a while, to make a confession

Used in a sentence:

I wanted to get something off my chest, and let you know that it really bothered me that I wasn’t invited to your birthday party like all of our other co-workers were.

Fish out of water: To feel out of place

Used in a sentence:

Attending a comic book convention made Ben feel like a fish out of water, as he had never read a comic book in his life.

In the nick of time: To accomplish a task right before it’s too late

Used in a sentence:

I turned in the homework for my online college class in the nick of time at 11:59 pm, when it was due by midnight.

Put your foot in your mouth: To say something you shouldn’t have

Used in a sentence:

Matt put his foot in his mouth when he asked a woman if she was pregnant when she wasn’t.

With over 25,000 English idioms, knowing which ones will be on the TOEFL exam may be hard to predict, but becoming familiar with common English idioms can make you better prepared. To gain additional help with idioms or preparation for the TOEFL exam, consider signing up for the free 7-day pronunciation course to get you started on the right foot!

Why American Socialization is Important to Accent Reduction and English Pronunciation

English pronunciation and accent reduction helped by socializing and pronunciationproBy being around a diverse group of other college attendees, Chinese students are able to pick up on American socialization, learn how to reduce non-native accents, and perfect their American English speaking skills. Ken Chen, a partner at L.E.K.’s Shanghai office in charge of recruiting states, “We hire Chinese students from the U.S. because their English is better, and what I want out of it is a more mature person who is better socially.”

Students that don’t participate in classroom discussions, or socialize on the weekend, are less likely to improve American English accent, and therefore leave room for communication shortcomings, and more tragically, prevent college graduates from obtaining a career right away, despite their diploma—all due to something that is easily fixable with accent reduction courses and interaction with others.

University of North Carolina communications graduate Jocelyn Jia admits, “If you just come to America to study and only hang out with Chinese people, all you bring with you back to China is the diploma, it’s a piece of paper, that’s it.”

For students where Integration is not as easy as it seems, working on accent reduction can be done online with trained pronunciation professionals, to help where socializing outside of the classroom does not. Since strong communication skills in English are the number one desirable trait among employers, improving one’s ability to speak English fluently is a powerful and necessary trait that goes perfectly with an American university degree.