Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Everything you always wanted to know about dandelions…

Since dandelions really aroused your curiosity today in class, I decided to add a couple of resources to help us get a better picture of these wild plants and learn about some of their interesting secrets.

Spanish: diente de león(Taraxacum officinale)

- Dandelion with seeds - - - Dandelion seeds being blown -

More information
Dandelion Uses and Health Benefits

Bonus track: A poem about dandelions!!
The First Dandelion
Simple and fresh and fair from winter's close emerging,
As if no artifice of fashion, business, politics, had ever been,
Forth from its sunny nook of shelter'd grass--innocent, golden, calm as the dawn,
The spring's first dandelion shows its trustful face.
Source: "Leaves of Grass," by Walt Whitman

Friday, March 23, 2007

Class Summary

Dear all,

The second week is over and here’s a summary of all we’ve done:

After introducing ourselves and talking about our expectations and reasons for joining the course, we discussed the necessary skills to succeed in the new TOEFL iBT. Have a look at this brief summary: Skills Chart - Longman (pdf)
Then, we started working on a diagnostic test, which was an overview of the actual test, for you to get acquainted with the type of exercises and consider your strengths and weaknesses in each area.
Next class we are going to start using the book. You are supposed to do the first Reading Preview Test (pages 18 to 21) for homework. Before reading, check out the tips on page 11 (How to approach the passages and questions). On the actual test you will have 20 minutes to read each passage and do the exercise. Of course, it will take longer this time; just make sure you read the passage at a comfortable speed and do the exercise at once. After completing the task, you can go back to the text and analyze or look up the specific vocabulary and identify the question types. In class, we’ll go over the passage and questions and clarify all your doubts.

Good luck and enjoy the challenge!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

About the TOEFL iBT

The New Generation TOEFL integrates the four skills, reading, listening, writing and speaking as the occur in real life. Therefore, the test assesses not only your knowledge about the language, but your communicative competence i.e. how you use the language.

Let’s take the TOEFL IBT tour

Listen to an interview about the TOEFL IBT.

Welcome to TOEFL Prep!

Hello everybody!
This will be our online journal and our “virtual classroom” throughout the year. Here you’ll find lots of multimedia activities and information to access at the lab or at home. Check out the sidebar for useful sites, online dictionaries and extra exercises. You’ll also be able to post any comments or queries or just keep in touch with classmates. Let’s make the most of this wonderful tool! Let’s start blogging!