Showing posts from February, 2011

Children's books

If you have a limited vocabulary in English, and can best understand simple grammar, then consider reading children's book for practice in English. They usually have pictures, which can help you make inferences about words you don't know or sentences you can't understand.

TOEFL test tips

The TEFL test has 4 parts: reading, listening, speaking and writing. The parts are very different, but you can do well in all 4 parts if you do just three things when you are preparing and practicing:

1. Read all the instructions carefully
2. Practice a little bit at a time
3. Review every time you practice.
1. Read all the instructions carefully. As you read, ask yourself questions, to be sure you are understanding what you're reading:

what is the task I am supposed to do?are there any special ways to do the task?how much time will it take to do the task correctly? are there any penalties if I don't do all the parts of the task?what will a correctly-done task look like?2.Practice a little bit at a time. "Cramming" is a study habit that doesn't work well. A student crams when he or she tries to study a large amount of material in a very short time, usually right before a test. Cramming is not as effective as studying a little bit at a time, because your brain retains …

SAT Reasoning test prep course

The American English Language Institute offers SAT prep courses; our instructor has more than 10 years of experience in SAT prep tutoring. Please send an email to for the dates of the next course in Prague.

The SAT Reasoning test is a major international test. According to the College Board's website,

 "In the late 1800s, a group of leading American universities was concerned about not having a universal way to determine if students were prepared for college-level course work. They formed the College Entrance Examination Board, and working together they administered the first standardized exam in 1901. For the first time, students could take one entrance exam for several universities instead of taking a separate exam for each university to which they applied."

From this modest beginning, the SAT has grown into a huge enterprise, with hundreds of thousands of college-bound students all ovr the world taking it at each of the 7 offerings per year. The cu…

TOEFL prep--speaking vs listening

There's no question that speaking is more difficult than listening. When you listen to a language you don't know well, you can pick out words you know, or use the speaker's intonation to INFER the meaning of the entire sentence or group of words.

INFER means "an educated guess." You infer when make an assumption based on incomplete knowledge or evidence.

Examples of inferring:
if a person is stopped by a policeman while driving erratically, and he sees empty beer bottles in the care, he may infer that the person is drunk!if you see your friend Jana at the shopping center, and the next day she wears a new coat to school, you may infer that she bought it at the shopping center.if your teacher asks the class to hand in their homework, and you don't remember having any homework, you may infer that you weren't listening closely in class the day before.You make inferences every day. Many are based on words that you hear; many are based on things that you see. Wh…

TOEFL prep continues--LISTENING!

My tutoring student and I are having fun with our TOEFL prep. Yesterday we worked on the listening skills section of the TOEFL. It involved the practice CD ROM, headphones, built-in computer microphone and the enormous prep book. I am very proud to say that my student made 100% (7 correct out of 7) on his first Listening practice test!