The Human Touch: Teacher-Guided TOEFL Speaking Lessons

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In today’s digital age, language learning has become more accessible than ever. A student can get access to a plethora of online resources and practice speaking English using tools like speech recognition technology, such as the TOEFL Speaking section. While such technological advancements are impressive, students can still benefit immensely from teacher-guided TOEFL Speaking lessons.

Teachers Interpret SpeechRater Data -TOEFL Speaking Lessons

SpeechRater is an automated scoring system used in the TOEFL Speaking section to assess students’ speaking skills. Although it provides a quick, objective evaluation, it may not always deliver the desired level of accuracy. One of the advantages of teacher-guided lessons is that teachers can interpret the SpeechRater data and provide additional feedback on areas the machine may have overlooked, such as a student’s delivery, speech fluency, pronunciation or contextual usage of vocabulary and grammar.

While SpeechRater can provide a helpful starting point for evaluating a student’s speaking skills, it is important to remember that it is just one tool in a teacher’s arsenal. A skilled teacher can provide valuable insights into a student’s speech that a machine simply cannot. For example, a teacher can evaluate a student’s body language and facial expressions, which can greatly impact the effectiveness of their speech. Additionally, a teacher can provide feedback on the student’s pacing and intonation, which can help them to better connect with their audience.

Furthermore, a teacher can provide personalized feedback based on a student’s individual strengths and weaknesses. While SpeechRater may highlight areas where a student is struggling, it cannot provide the same level of targeted feedback that a teacher can. For example, if a student is struggling with a particular sound or pronunciation, a teacher can provide specific exercises and strategies to help them improve in that area.

Another advantage of teacher-guided lessons is that they provide an opportunity for students to ask questions and receive immediate feedback. While SpeechRater can provide a score and some general feedback, it cannot engage in a conversation with the student or answer their questions. A teacher, on the other hand, can provide clarification and additional examples to help the student better understand the material.

In conclusion, while SpeechRater can be a useful tool for evaluating a student’s speaking skills, it is important to remember that it is just one piece of the puzzle. A skilled teacher can provide personalized feedback, address individual strengths and weaknesses, and engage in a conversation with the student to help them improve their speaking skills. By combining the objective evaluation of SpeechRater with the personalized feedback of a teacher, students can receive a comprehensive evaluation of their speaking skills and improve their abilities in a more well-rounded way.

Teachers Target Corrective Feedback – TOEFL Speaking Lessons

Effective feedback is essential to students’ learning progress. Verbal feedback plays a crucial role in helping learners overcome their speaking shortcomings. With the guidance of TOEFL Speaking lessons, teachers can identify and target specific areas of corrective feedback. This includes intonation, word stress, transitions, or pronunciation. By providing this type of feedback, teachers can take a student’s English speaking abilities to the next level.

However, providing targeted feedback is not always easy. Online tools, such as SpeechRater, only provide a holistic assessment of a student’s speaking performance. These tools do not highlight the particular areas that require improvement. This is where the teacher’s critical role comes in. With teacher-guided lessons, the feedback provided is particularly targeted. This ensures that students receive the feedback they need to improve their speaking abilities.

Effective feedback is not just about pointing out mistakes. It is about helping students understand where they need to improve and how they can improve. By providing specific examples and guidance, teachers can help students overcome their speaking challenges.

For example, suppose a student struggles with word stress. In that case, a teacher can provide examples of words with different stress patterns and help the student understand the difference in meaning. The teacher can also provide practice exercises to help the student develop their word stress skills.

Similarly, if a student struggles with transitions, a teacher can provide examples of phrases that can be used to connect ideas. The teacher can also provide feedback on how the student can improve their use of transitions to make their speaking more fluid and coherent.

Overall, targeted feedback is essential to help students improve their speaking abilities. With the guidance of a teacher, students can receive the feedback they need to overcome their speaking challenges and take their English skills to the next level.

Teachers Deliver Subjective Assessment -TOEFL Speaking Lessons

While SpeechRater provides an objective assessment of students’ speaking abilities, it does not evaluate the overall effectiveness of their communication skills. Teachers can provide their subjective assessment of how the student’s speaking skills compare within the context of the real world. They can provide input on what more the student needs to do to improve their fluency in general communication. For example, a teacher can comment on the organization and clarity of the presentation, which can help the student fare better in job interviews and other real-world scenarios.

Moreover, teachers can provide valuable feedback on the student’s body language, eye contact, and tone of voice. These aspects are crucial in delivering an effective speech or presentation. A teacher can point out how the student’s body language affects their message and suggest ways to improve it. For instance, if the student tends to fidget or slouch, the teacher can suggest ways to stand or sit more confidently and project a more positive image.

Another important aspect that teachers can evaluate is the student’s ability to engage with their audience. Teachers can provide feedback on how the student interacts with their audience, whether they maintain eye contact, and whether they use appropriate gestures. Teachers can also suggest ways to improve the student’s presentation skills, such as using humor, anecdotes, or other engaging techniques.

Additionally, teachers can provide feedback on the student’s use of language, including grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. They can point out common mistakes and suggest ways to improve the student’s language skills. This feedback can be especially valuable for non-native speakers who may struggle with idiomatic expressions or pronunciation.

Overall, while SpeechRater provides an objective assessment of speaking abilities, teachers can provide a more comprehensive evaluation of the student’s communication skills. Their feedback can help students improve their overall fluency and confidence in communicating with others, both in academic and real-world settings.

Teachers Know Test Strategy

When it comes to the TOEFL Speaking Section, it’s not just about having a good command of the English language. Knowing the exam format and layout is just as crucial. Fortunately, teachers have extensive experience and knowledge in this area and can guide students on the best way to approach the exam to produce accurate and practical content within the time duration.

One of the most critical aspects of the TOEFL Speaking Section is time management. Students have to be able to deliver their responses within a limited time frame, which can be quite challenging. However, teachers can provide useful tips on how to manage time effectively and deliver responses that are both concise and comprehensive.

Another area where teachers can be of great help is in delivery methods. Depending on the question, students may need to use different delivery methods, such as narration, description, or comparison. Teachers can guide students on the appropriate delivery method for a particular question, ensuring that their responses are relevant and well-structured.

Moreover, teachers can conduct mock exams to provide students with experience handling potential questions and assess their readiness for the actual exam. Mock exams (e.g. on My Speaking Score) can be an excellent way to identify areas where students need improvement and help them develop strategies to overcome these challenges. This can significantly boost the student’s confidence level and can be a crucial factor in helping them succeed in the exam.

In conclusion, teachers play a vital role in helping students prepare for the TOEFL Speaking Section. Their extensive experience and knowledge in this area can guide students on the best way to approach the exam, provide useful tips on time management and delivery methods, and conduct mock exams to assess their readiness for the actual exam. With the help of their teachers, students can develop the skills and strategies necessary to succeed in the TOEFL Speaking Section.


In summary, while online resources can have a significant impact on student’s language acquisition, the role of a teacher in guiding their TOEFL speaking journey should not be underestimated. From interpreting SpeechRater data to targeted corrective feedback, from providing subjective assessments to teaching test strategies, teacher-guided TOEFL Speaking lessons can take students closer to their desired level of fluency. It is through the human touch that the students can benefit from expert commentary and improve their speaking skills with one-on-one guidance.