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TOEFL Diagnostic Test


If you want to know your current skill level and know the areas of improvement, we offer writing or speaking evaluation for a small fee ($5 each). After purchasing through PayPal (below), you will be directed to a Classroom where you will be able to submit your work. If you have any questions, please leave a message in the classroom. I will get back to you asap. You will receive detailed corrections and plans for improvement. To enter the Classroom again, you can either use the class code or accept my invitation that will be sent to you through e-mail.  


Items checked and corrected for TOEFL writing:

  • Topic development: 

    • For Q1 (Integrated essay): correctness and completeness in summary

    • For Q2 (Independent essay): clear thesis statement, persuasiveness in examples and reasons 

  • Language use: grammar, style, diction, and phrasing

  • Organization: topic sentences, paragraph unity, transitional word use

Items checked and corrected for TOEFL speaking: 

  • Topic development: 

    • For Q1: clear thesis statement, persuasiveness in examples and reasons 

    • For Q2-Q4: correctness and completeness in summary with clear organization 

  • Language use: grammar, style, diction, and phrasing

  • Delivery: pronunciation (check for vowels, consonants and connected speech) and prosody (check for word stress, sentence stress, focus word stress and intonation) 

Footnotes on Delivery

Sentence stress: 

Normally, content words are stressed, and function words are unstressed in a sentence, thereupon producing the rhythm of English. 


Focus word stress: 

Normally, the last content word in a phrase (= thought group) is extra-stressed through pitch and tempo change, as the word is the focus word of the phrase. That is, slow down with focus words with high pitch and clear enunciation of the word; speed up with unstressed syllables or function words with low pitch and with schwa. Melody is created through the focus word stress. 


Intonation: 

English is an intonation language, meaning that the same sentence can have different meanings depending on which word we stress in a sentence. For example, consider this sentence:

I didn’t marry her because she was rich.

If the normal focus word ‘rich’ is emphasized, the sentence has the literal meaning that I didn’t marry her. But if the unusual focus word ‘didn’t’ is emphasized, the sentence makes an implicit contrast, indicating that I married her not because she was rich but because... (e.g., I loved her).  

I didn’t marry her because she was RICH. (did not marry her) 

I DIDN’T marry her because she was rich. ((did marry her)


Critical Period Hypothesis

Regarding delivery, you should be aware that adult ESL speakers will never be able to attain the native accent. This fact is known in linguistics as the Critical Period Hypothesis (it is related to brain wiring). So the goal for delivery is not to mimic native accent, but to be easy on the ear and to be easily understood. Just memorizing the prosody of a few sentences doesn’t cut it since when we speak while thinking, we’ll inevitably regress back to the speech mannerism that we are in the habit of. To acquire your own authentic easy-on-the-ear accent, you should learn how English prosody works since, without the knowledge and awareness, you will speak English in the tune of your own native language.


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