If you want to study abroad in an English-speaking country other than the UK, you will need a TOEFL test. In most cases, when you submit your application, you must also submit the TOEFL results. In that case, you will need a TOEFL iBT.
Even if you say TOEFL, you may not know what is different from TOEIC. TOEIC is considered to be an exam for non-English speaking people, especially Asians. TOEFL, on the other hand, is an English-speaking university that measures whether you have the English proficiency required to take the same classes as local native speakers. In other words, it can be said that TOEFL has a much higher level than TOEIC. Here, I would like to introduce how to study TOEFL. This time, I will focus on reading and listening.
Reading exam requires vocabularies
Post-it was very useful
The TOEFL reading aims to improve the ability to read English-speaking university textbooks, and it uses a lot of difficult words. I put nearly 1,000 sticky notes on the target 1900 vocabulary and carried it around every day to study over and over again in my free time. And I think this was the most effective. There are vocabulary books for TOEFL on the market, but in reality, similar vocabulary books are posted on all vocabulary books, so you should buy your favorite vocabulary book.
First, attach a sticky note to a word you do not know. I will remember it over and over again, about 5 pages each. The next morning, I test myself and remove the sticky notes of the words I remember. Repeat this method over and over again, and when the number of sticky notes is low, you can test yourself, including those without sticky notes. If there is something I forgot, I will put a sticky note on it. Just repeat this. It’s a waste of time to write on paper, so all you have to do is say the meaning in your head.
Put post-it everywhere in the house
If you find a word that you can’t remember easily, put a word that you can’t remember all over the house. Write English words on the front of the sticky note and a Japanese translation on the back, and stick it on the door of the room, the electric switch, the side of the pillow, the key of the window, etc. Every time I see it, I sing it in my head, and if I can’t translate it into Japanese, I look behind the scenes and check it. Also, even if you think you remembered it once, if you leave it pasted for a while, it will become more fixed.
It is important to repeat the words in order to remember them. Therefore, it is important to spend a little time every day, such as while going to the bathroom or riding the escalator.
Don’t worry about detailed grammars
You don’t have to care about details
In reading, it is important to understand not only words but also grammar. But you don’t need to know the maniac grammar that you would find in the corner of a high school English textbook. This is because TOEFL reading does not have the problem of directly asking grammar like TOEIC and Eiken. If anything, the emphasis is on how quickly and accurately you can understand the content of long sentences.
Therefore, instead of learning difficult grammar, you can thoroughly type in the basic grammar that you learn when you are in the first year of junior high school or high school, and the moment you read a sentence, you can quickly grasp the subject, verb, object, and complement, and you can translate it easily. It’s okay if it’s a rank.
I focused on the reference book and the part where the basic grammar of Forest was written, and read it over and over again. It’s important to solve the problem, but if you don’t understand the grammar, you can’t read the text, so I read the explanation of the grammar many times so that I could understand it until it was taught by others.
Quantity of how much you read is more necessary
Time is the life of TOEFL reading. If you spend time on small words and grammar, you will definitely not have time to solve problems. Therefore, it is important to practice reading long sentences in bulk and get into the habit.
I borrowed about five short books and magazines from the university library a week and read them all the time. I also tried an English newspaper, but the level was too high for me at that time and I couldn’t understand it. It’s important to get the story and gist of the whole book, rather than trying to understand it sentence by sentence.
Most of the TOEFL readings are academic, but I think it’s a good idea to start with a familiar book and gradually read English magazines. No matter how much words and grammar you have in mind, if you don’t read them, your reading speed will not increase and you will run out of time during the exam. Therefore, along with studying words and grammar, practice reading long sentences at once.
How much contents you can understand is important
TOEFL reading does not have the same grammar and vocabulary questions as in the English test in Japan. The question is whether an English-speaking university can read hundreds of pages of heavy textbooks before class and prepare for class. The ultimate goal is to understand the content of the textbook, rather than translating it word for word, so you don’t have to worry about the details.
You just have to get used to the listening part
There is no skill in listening. I think this has to get used to. And listening doesn’t improve when you listen to an English CD for 10 or 20 minutes a day. I listen to English for hours a day, and continue to do so every day, until my brain gets used to the sounds of English.
I think the recommended method is to listen to YouTube and study listening. First of all, many YouTube videos are interesting, and you won’t get tired of watching them for hours. And watching the video together makes it easier to understand than listening to it alone, and YouTube has English subtitles and audio speed adjustment. In addition, English speakers with various leads upload videos to YouTube, which is very useful. TOEFL listening always includes not only American English, but also accented sounds such as England, Australia, and India. So it’s also important to listen to English spoken by non-Americans.
Your favorite series or movies
In addition to YouTube, if you have a favorite movie or drama, it is recommended to watch it many times. It is important to see the subtitles in English, not Japanese.
I love Titanic movies and have already seen them dozens of times. So I almost memorized the lines. Since there are a mixture of British and American English speakers going abroad, it was also effective as a mellow TOEFL listening measure.
One movie or drama is long, so watching one movie a day is enough practice.
Get away from katakana English
Another way to study listening is to speak English yourself. Shadowing refers to the practice of pronouncing with a delay of one tempo while listening to English sentences. By shadowing, you will acquire high concentration, and by speaking by yourself while imitating the voice, you will be able to get used to pronunciation from Katakana English to English-like pronunciation.
When you try to pronounce it yourself, you will be able to understand and hear the sounds of consonants and the sounds that have been omitted. You can use whatever voice you like, but it’s a good idea to choose a slow one at first.
The beautiful pronunciation cultivated through shadowing will definitely be useful in the speaking section of the TOEFL.
Use pictures or drawings efficiently
Use TOEFL Listening practice on YouTube
If you search for “TOEFL Listening” on YouTube, you can see a lot of exercise videos. Many TOEFL reference books are very expensive, so it’s a good idea to use the videos uploaded to YouTube. It’s free to use and is updated daily, so you can use it almost unlimitedly. Also, on YouTube, just like TOEFL, images are displayed while listening. Since TOEFL iBT is performed on a personal computer, several images that match the audio will be played while listening. Even if you use a commercially available reference book, you cannot change the displayed image according to the timing. However, with YouTube exercise videos, you can practice in exactly the same situation as in production.
Use input and output
As I mentioned at the beginning, there are no tips for listening. Certainly, if you go to a bookstore, you can find a lot of books with listening tips, but if you have time to read such books, it’s better to listen to some English at that time. People who are good at listening to English do not listen to English while being aware of the tips. I can hear English just because I am used to it.
By the way, just listening to English will not improve your listening even if you listen to English for more than 10 hours every day. No matter how many hours you spend at the cafe, you can’t hear BGM Western music. It’s the same. Therefore, the point is to concentrate on listening and speaking English for as long as possible every day.