Chinese International Students
In my quest to find out why so many international students want to study abroad, I started by asking some of my most recent students. These are young Chinese women wishing to pass the TOEFL or IELTS exam and become an international student. These are their own words.
“I want to study abroad and the universities ask us to have the certificate of IELTS or TOEFL. The certificate is like a ticket for Chinese students to study abroad.” (Queeny, Foshan)
“Although I haven’t gotten a perfect score and it sometimes makes me frustrated, I am still amazed at how much I have got in each part of this year. A year ago, I found it difficult to read the English articles and websites, but now I am able to handle them almost without any help. It also gave me the confidence to speak with others rather than being afraid to make mistakes.” (JingJing – Jessica, Guangzhou)
“First, I think compared with the tests for English in China, IELTS or TOEFL is more reliable when it comes to evaluating a student’s English level. When I was still in high school my teacher suggested to me to take the exam annually to monitor my improvement in English.
IELTS focuses on a student’s output of a language, stressing the importance of using a word in an appropriate context. Tests in China highlight the volume of a student’s vocabulary, pushing students to memorize as many words as they can. Teachers here use the old teaching strategies and students have no idea of the right way of learning. Even students who are now preparing for the test after years of being out of school, still use these old-fashioned strategies.” (Edith, Guangzhou)
Turkish International Student
Another student I worked with last year was a Turkish student wishing to study abroad. As an international student he would be able to learn more of the culture and language to assist his father in running their international clothing business. He came to the United States to take his last year of high school in Rhode Island, and to prepare for the TOEFL exam. He took the test twice before he began studying with me. He failed with a very low score both times before working with me because he was just not ready. His language skills were not high enough to understand the details of the exam. Even after working with me, he failed another two times because his family was pushing him to pass the exam before he graduated from high school.
A teacher can most definitely help you get a better score on the TOEFL exam, but you must have the basic skills to enable you to succeed on the exam. Please make sure your English skills are at least a B2 level before attempting to pass this test. It will definitely save you time, frustration, and money for testing fees.
Improve Your Career Options
All of these students may not wish to remain living in an English-speaking country, but the skills and experiences they gain while living as an international student will help improve their lives. A TOEFL or IELTS certificate can help these students in their current careers and open doors to more important positions withing their own company. They are putting in the required time and effort to improve their English with the hopes of acquiring an international college education. I wish the best of luck to all of my students, past, present, and future!