Today I only had one class, a class that the university set up to build students’ basic academic skills. There are three disciplines available to students, Japanese, Math, and English. All three of them are set up to encourage students to take standardized aptitude tests in all three areas. The class that I’m teaching is also set up to encourage students to take the TOEIC Bridge test. There are three of the original ten students left. Everyone else lost interest. There is no obligation for students to take the classes. The are not for credit, and there is no requirement that they must take any exams at all.
All three of the students left in my class are signed up to take the TOEIC test in July. I’m happy for that. They said that they were most interested in improving their listening skills.
I was looking up some information on the test in general to see if I could find any hints on how to study for it. The TOEIC people produced a document, “TOEIC Can-Do Guide.” There was some interesting information on who much academic background test takers have. Two statements that were of particular interest to me were:
“Most test-takers had never received English instruction outside of their formal schooling (primary school through university). However, of those who had, more paid for their own English instruction. That is, fewer had their employers pay for it. Those who paid for their own language training tended to score slightly higher on the test than those in company-sponsored English classes.”
“Years of study (during school years) seemed to have a fairly consistent and positive relationship with TOEIC scores (Listening: r = .233, p < .001, Reading: r = .290, p < .001, Total: r = .274, p < .001). However, years of
study in English courses (self-paid or employer-sponsored) were generally not related to improvement in TOEIC scores (e.g., Total: r = -.003 [company-paid], p = .407; r = .013 [self-paid], p < .001)."
The lessons, study at school, and if you do go out somewhere to get some learning, pay for it yourself.