Academic Writing
Improving English Test Taking Skills: TOEFL Writing and Speaking
Thu. 2nd. Period Tiina Matikainen
Keywords:
Academic English, Grammar, Listening, Speaking, Vocabulary, Writing

This course aims to improve students’ academic writing and speaking skills as well as to increase their vocabulary through intensive practice in order to help them perform to the best of their ability on the TOEFL, which is often a prerequisite for academic study abroad. We will be learning how to answer both independent (requiring only your ideas) and integrated (requiring the comprehension and summarizing of reading or listening passages in your answer) TOEFL speaking and writing tasks in this class.  You will have a chance to practice a lot because that is the only way to improve these skills.


Students will be better prepared to take the TOEFL exam, especially the writing and speaking sections. They will develop effective test-taking strategies and increase their confidence in taking the TOEFL. They improve their writing skills of brainstorming, organizing, and paraphrasing. They will develop writing skills by connecting and supporting ideas, and they improve their sentence structure and word choice in writing. In addition, they improve their speaking and listening skills in regards to information processing, forming their own viewpoints, language use, and topic development.


Active Participation: 40%
Graded Writing Assignments (x4): 40%
Vocabulary Quizzes (x4): 20%


1

Introductions: explain syllabus and class procedures. Getting to know each other.

2

Speaking Tasks 1 and 2 on familiar topics

1st Independent Writing Task

3

1st Independent Writing Task: Peer Review

Speaking Tasks 1 and 2 on familiar topics

4

1st Independent Writing Task: Putting it all together

 

5

Vocabulary Quiz 1

2nd Independent Writing Task

6

2nd Independent Writing Task: Peer Review

Speaking Tasks 3 and 4: Read, Listen, Speak.

 

7

2nd Independent Writing Task: Putting it all together

Speaking Tasks 3 and 4: Read, Listen, Speak.

 

8

1st Integrated Writing Task (Read, Listen, Explain)

Vocabulary Quiz 2

9

1st Integrated Writing Task (Read, Listen, Explain): Peer Review

Speaking Tasks 5 and 6: Listen and Speak.

10

1st Integrated Writing Task (Read, Listen, Explain): Putting it all together

Speaking Tasks 5 and 6: Listen and Speak.

11

2nd Integrated Writing Task (Read, Listen, Explain)

Vocabulary Quiz 3

12

2nd Integrated Writing Task (Read, Listen, Explain): Peer Review

13

2nd Integrated Writing Task (Read, Listen, Explain): Putting it all together

14

Vocabulary Quiz 4

Review

15

Class Wrap-Up and Reflection


This class will be conducted only in English and students are expected to use English during class. Practicing our English is the only way we can improve our language proficiency. Students are also expected to actively participate during class, especially during group and pair work.

Note: More than three unexcused absences will result in a failing grade.