01 Do you only tutor students who are looking to score in a certain range?
Not at all! I have a wide variety of students who want to score in a wide variety of ranges on the TOEFL iBT. Sometimes I have students who start in the 60's and want to get into the 80's. Sometimes I have students who start in the 80's and want to get to the 90's and other students, especially those who are trying to get into a competitive graduate school program, who have to get at least 110 - 115 on the TOEFL iBT in order to gain admission. So, all are possible and students of mine have made all of these jumps in their TOEFL iBT scores. I see my job as taking you from where you are to where you want to be, no matter where that is. If you have just started studying for the TOEFL iBT without a strong foundation in the test, then essentially I will help you build the skills you need to succeed on the TOEFL iBT the ground up! If you are starting out with some skills but need to improve, great, lets build from wherever you are. My job is to assess where you are in your English reading, writing, listening and speaking competencies and design a program that will help you get to where you want to be!
02 Do you only provide tutoring for the TOEFL iBT?
Absolutely not! I provide tutoring in many different areas. My background is in English as a Second Language and my particular specialization is in Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and TOEFL iBT preparation. These two areas go hand in hand because CALL allows me to create special learning exercises and software that specifically address deficiencies that a student may have in regard to either the reading, writing, listening or speaking section of the TOEFL iBT. In addition to TOEFL iBT preparation, I also provide tutoring for the IELTS, TOEIC and ITEP tests. And of course, I provide tutoring for those who need assistance in learning English whether it be with grammar, reading comprehension, writing essays, or greatly improving their listening comprehension. This is why there is so much ESL and TOEFL iBT practice available on my website.
03 Do you offer classes?
Well, unfortunately, I do not. I only offer 1 on 1 ( or groups of two persons) individualized tutoring. I believe that 1 on 1 tutoring is by far the best way to improve one's score on the TOEFL iBT. When preparing you for the TOEFL iBT, I need to build on what you already know and everyone is a little unique in this respect. This is one of the main reasons that group classes work very poorly for people who desire to greatly improve their test scores. I realize that to some this may appear as a purist teaching style and any make me appear somewhat snobby and elitist. Nothing could be further from the truth! The bottom line is you want to substantially improve your score and, in my professional opinion, 1 on 1 sessions are the best way to accomplish your goals.
04 How are you different from other TOEFL iBT / ESL tutors?
I teach in a more critical thought based way. This is to say that I teach what the test is testing, rather than teaching students a way to get around the test. I don’t subscribe to teaching tricks or so called "shortcuts" to solve a problem. This approach has many advantages as it tends to make students more confident on the real test and it allows them to have a significant increase in their scores. In addition, the time that is spent working on TOEFL iBT strategies is much more meaningful and productive. The skills that a person learns to get a high score on the TOEFL iBT are applicable in all aspects of one's life. My focus is not just helping you to do well on the TOEFL iBT exam, although that is certainly important but, in addition, to strengthen the skills that you will need to be successful at the college level or within your given profession. Simply put, receiving a high score on the TOEFL iBT exam may get you admitted to your college or university of choice, but you still need to graduate and the skills that you develop while preparing for the TOEFL iBT, such as critical reading comprehension, more effective listening comprehension, writing cogent essays and speaking more confidently, will invariably prove to be invaluable during your studies whether at the undergraduate or graduate level. This method involves taking a student and analyzing his or her strengths and weaknesses and then plotting out the best way to proceed forward. It's much easier to teach in a one size fits all approach and just get students to memorize concepts rather than building the skills and critical thought processes that are needed to be successful. Unfortunately, this is exactly what most tutors and TOEFL iBT prep classes do.
05 How much do you charge?
The rate for working with me 1 on 1 is just $30 an hour/$60 for a 2 hour session. That's it, no tricks or hidden costs! If this rate is prohibitively expensive for you, I have a few alternatives. For some of my students, they just meet with me less frequently. Depending on how much assistance you need, this may be your best option.