One of my New Year’s resolutions was to hold a monthly workshop this year. Well, up to this day, I still keep this promise, because tomorrow is my January TOEFL Speaking / Writing workshop.
In this year’s workshop, I have decided to accommodate no more than four participants. Therefore, it’s not so much a lecture that gives them a general idea about what good responses are, as a one-on-one session where I give specific feedback to each response so that they can get their responses as closer to the ideal as possible. I am sure that they will have a tough time tomorrow. All the participants have already practiced enough (all of them must have taken the TOEFL plural numbers of times), but they will be strongly advised to change their attitude and the way they present their responses tomorrow. Without a change, they will end up repeating the same less than ideal response the next time they take the TOEFL. It will only produce exactly the same score.
For those learners whose score is just as good as 100, a change in the way they respond to each prompt would mean a better result. Since they have enough knowledge about the language, they will never make a change in the wrong direction. As long as they make a change, therefore, it is a good thing.
The thing is that very few people can think of how the responses should be changed. They have no idea, so they repeat the same. It even means that the more they practice, the more fossilized their responses become.
Tomorrow, I will help them break the fossil into pieces.
If I were to summarize in 10 words what I will do tomorrow, that would be the answer.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
It is simple. I mean it.
Only if you have energy, motivation, patience, flexibility, determination, readiness to change, responsibility for all that is at stake, and a motivated, self-sacrificing, experienced instructor.
The last one, I guarantee.