Communication skills with TOEFL or IELTS


IELTS (pronounced: ‘eye-elts’) and TOEFL (pronounced ‘toe-full’) are tests used to assess whether your English language skills are good enough for university study in English. TOEFL is preferred in the USA (so that’s what we focus on there), IELTS elsewhere. In a short period, we can’t give you a full preparation course, but you will have some really valuable practice, with native speakers, in listening and, above all, speaking – and be in a much stronger position to do well in those skills.

Language guide: for this course, we recommend at least these levels of English: 5.5 [IELTS] / 80 [TOEFL iBT] / B2 [CEF] / FCE.


Understanding the exam

You’ll start by looking at the way the exam is structured, and what the examiners want to see.


Listening (a)

Your teacher will introduce parts of the listening section and give you practice so you can see how you can improve your score.


Speaking (a)

You start off with practice in the easier parts of the speaking test – once you are really confident here, the harder parts won’t seem too bad!


Speaking (b)

So now it gets a little more demanding – and while you can’t learn things to recite like a parrot, you can work on your skills so your performance is so much better.


Listening (b)

You’ll go back to the listening sections, and look at the remaining parts of the test; you’ll soon learn not to be discouraged and to keep trying even if you don’t understand everything!


Speaking (c)

In this unit, you’ll get practice in general speaking skills – passing an exam depends not just on technique, but on what you really know, and the more you have to talk about, the better your performance will be.


Final practice

Today you practise real-life exam material as if you were doing a real test. How are you getting on?


The other skills

While we don’t really cover reading and writing in this course, you will really benefit here from the tips which your teacher will share with you.