LINGUISTICS & CULTURE
|Data:||26/FEV/2010 10:35 PM|
Way back when I read an article by Cel-Lep that their program would go from zero to proficient in ESL/EFL in around 850 hours.
450 - 500 would do the trick considering that your students would do their part, e.g. reading outside the classroom, listening to lots of native English, studying grammar, things like that.
Living abroad and taking an intensive language training program the student can reduce the learning curve dramatically - in the number of years - compared to the student that lives in a foreign country where English is not spoken.
Most language training programs in the US or Canada offer 15 hours in class/week
A student could go from zero to scoring 550 on the Toefl (paper based) within 35 weeks of 15 hour classes a week depending on the student's personal effort.
In Brazil, from experience, I'd say 4 to 5 years, without ever living in an English speaking, attending class for 3 hours a week and studying at least an hour a day at home can take a student from zero to 550 on the Toefl.
In my case, I took a 3 1/2 year-program in Brazil which consisted of 2 1/2 a hours a week, I had no clue about the Toefl or any other exam then, just never heard of it.
Then I spent 2 years working in an international organization in Brazil fully immersed with American English talking to native speakers every day for 2 years.
Then I taught EFL for nearly 4 years and then I decided to take the Toefl and I scored over 550 at the time. That was in 1996.
I went from knowing no English in 1985 to taking the Toefl 10 years later.
Schools weren't as resourceful back then.
Today there's YouTube, LiveMocha, web forums, communities, social networks, esl-lab.com, podcasts, and so on.
Also remember that taking an exam like Toefl allows to a lot of guess work.
There are 4 alternatives, one is ridiculously off the subject, another one you can just tell is wrong, and then you are left with two option, in any case you can always guess.
Now the iBT Toefl has both speaking and writing, so students need extra preparation for that.
I don't even know if you can still take the Paper Based, do you?
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