Posts Tagged 'dallas'

Low TOEFL exam results spur French reforms

The TOEFL English Proficiency Exam, a challenge for many international students, has proven to be quite a challenge for many French students.  Although 60% of the entire English vocabulary is derived from the French language, French performance on the TOEFL has ranked 69th out of 109th.

Thankfully, the problem for French students is not the writing portion, but the speaking portion of the exam.  The president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, has called on TOEFL teachers to focus more on speaking skills, suggesting that written grammar and vocabulary skills are not enough.  Sarkozy considers it important for France’s national interest that French students study abroad and receive international exposure.

The emphasis on speaking skills over mere reading and writing skills is well-founded, as speaking is the TOEFL-tested skill that is hardest to acquire through a short test prep or cram course.  With the proliferation of video chat programs and international discussion forums, it is also a skill that is increasingly easy to acquire, free of charge.  Also, as a practical matter, an international student will get much more out of his/her schooling abroad if he/she can speak English proficiently.

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