TOEICの勉強方法(1)’How to tackle TOEIC’

TOEIC は、英語のproficiencyを測定するためのテストです。国際的なビジネスシーンにおけるコミュニケーション能力を評価するテストですが、実際の試験では、(1)リスニング能力と(2)リーディング能力しか測定されません。もちろん、試験後にスコアーが出てから、別料金を支払えば、スピーキングの試験(TOEIC LPI インタビューテスト)を受けることはできますが、高額です(13,000円!)。

TOEIC is an examination to test your proficiency in English. TOEIC has been developed to assess your communicative proficiency on the global business situations. However, in the acutal test, they only examine the following two skills: (1) listening skill and (2) reading skill. Has other skills gone out of the window? I think not. Of course, you can sit for a very costly test such as TOEIC LPI Interview Test, which costs you cool 13,000 yen.

さて、コミュニケーション能力を測定する試験なのに、スピーキング・セクションはありませんね。これには、仕掛けがあって、長時間相手の発言を正しく理解できる能力と、長時間正しく英語を喋ることのできる能力との間には、プラスの相関関係があることが分かっている為、これを利用して受験者のコミュニケーション能力を測定している訳なのです。

Some of you may have wondered why TOEIC does not have ‘speaking section’ to test your communicative proficiency. Well, statistically, what they are doing is quite justifiable: there is a positive correlationship between one’s ability to be able to understand what other people are saying and the ability to speak English properly over long period of time. TOEIC uses this statistic assumption to assess your communicative proficiency in English.

さて、TOEICでスコアーを伸ばす為には、どのような勉強方法と受験技術が必要なのでしょうか。合計200問を2時間で答える長丁場の試験です。詳しく述べると、TOEICテストは、リスニング(45分間・100問)、リーディング(75分間・100問)、合計2時間で200問に答えるマークシート方式の一斉客観テストです。

Now, if you are serious about improving your TOEIC score, what could be the most effective ways of studying English for TOEIC and what you should bear in mind during the test? The test lasts two hours, and within that time you have to answer 200 questions. Very tough, indeed. More specifically, TOEIC has two basic sections: a listening section and a reading section. Time allocated for the listening section and the reading section is 40 minutes and 70 minutes respectively. The number of questions for the listening section and the reading section is 100 each. The whole 200 questions has to be completed in two hours, and the test itself is an objective multiple-choice examination where the computer reads your answer sheet.

個人的には、以下の勉強方法またはアプローチがお奨めです。TOEIC問題集は、あまり意味がないので買う必要はありません。

Personally, I recommend the following; buying TOEIC Mondaisyuu is not quite effective as it is believed. So don’t buy that!

(1)Extensive Reading (多読)を行い、英語を長時間読むことに慣れる。毎週最低でも5000ワード程度の読書量を確保する。

Extensive Reading—Start an Extensive Reading programme. Get used to reading English over a long period of time. Read at least 5,000 words per week.

(2)Extensive Listening (多聴)を行い、英語を長時間聞くことに慣れる。

Extensive Listening—Start an Extensive Listening programme, and get used to listening English over a long period of time.

(3)できるだけ薄い英文法問題集で自分の英文法レベル(初級・中級・上級別などに応じて)にあったものを購入する。そして、その中で、自分が苦手な分野(時制、不定詞、動名詞、前置詞、仮定法など)の学習と問題を一通りこなす。一度にすべてを理解しようとしない。外国語である英語の文法は、水に溶けにくい粉末ジュースと思ってください。一度に全部溶かそうとしても、無理です。少しずつ、文法に慣れていくつもりでいるくらいが「一番効果的」だと思います(自分の経験から)。数学の解法みたいに解説を聴いて、「一度に全部すっきりしたい」と思わないほうが安全でしょうか。

Buy the grammar book with drills that is appropriate for your English level (e.g. elementary, intermediate or advanced level). When selecting, go for a book that is not too bulky and too detailed. Just focus on those grammar points (Tense, Infinitive, Gerund, Preposition, Conditional sentences etc.) which you still feel uncomfortable with or which you still feel your weak points. Go through the relevant pages in the book and the drills. As English is a foreign language, the grammar is also ‘foreign’ to us; do not try to understand everything in one go. That would be pushing yourself too far at this stage. Based on my personal experiences in the past, getting used to the ideas of certain aspects of English grammar little by little is probably the best way to go. Never ever assume that doing English grammar is just like doing math questions at school because ‘English grammar is a list of exceptions!’

(4)試験中の時間配分に気を付ける。とにかく、ハイペースで進む必要があります。分からなかったら、勘で適当にマークしておきましょう。特にリーディング・セクションは、最後まで問題を解くことが大事です。70分で100問解くわけですから、1問に1分掛けていたら、時間が足りなくなります。完ぺき主義の人は要注意です。分からないまたは自信のない問題は「適当にマークして後回しにする」ことが肝心。最後まで解いて、時間が余ったら、戻って考え直せばよいのです。最後まで解き切ること!

Be careful about how to slice up your precious time over many questions during the test. You really should cruise along each question without being stuck with particular questions over a long time. If you are not sure about the correct answer, just tick provisionally for that particular question, and later when you have some time left, go back to that question. This rule applies most for Reading section of TOEIC where you have to answer 100 questions in 70 minutes; if you were to spend one minute per question in the section, there would be 30 unanswered questions in the Reading section! If you are one of these people who has to get everything right for the first time, you really have to change your strategies when tackling TOEIC. A rule of thumb here is this: If you are stuck with one particular question, do not spend too much time during the test, just mark one choice and move onto the next question. Repeat this until you get to the last question!

「追加」(1)と(2)の詳細については、興味があれば各自インターネットで検索してみてください。何れを行う場合でも、内容の98%理解できるレベルで本を選んでいく、リスニングをしていくということです。100語毎に知らない単語が2・3語程度にとどめる必要があります。広島だと、広島駅前のエールエール10Fにある、ジュンク堂の英語ERコーナーがお奨めです。アカデミックな書籍や英語関係について言えば、品揃えが一番良い書店です。

Addendum: for more full explanation on the item (1) and (2) above, please do your own search on the Internet. It is very important to remember that when you are doing Extensive Reading or Listening, you have to be able to understand 98% of the contents. Otherwise, the task would become meaningless. This means that there should only be two or three unknown words in every one hundred words you read or listen. Personally, I recommend Junku-doo in front of Hiroshima-Eki (10th Floor of Eelu-Eelu building). In my opinion, Junku-doo has a good and balanced selection of English academic books including ER English books for you to choose.

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Apology for the cancellation of the class today-看護1年「休講のお詫び」

Hello to everyone at the first year course at kango-gakko!

 Sorry about the class cancellation today. I had to attend an academic conference in Tokyo over the weekend. The conference was very interesting as it dealt with the issue of communication strategies for the Asian learners of English. I will explain more detail tomorrow. Just wanted to say sorry about the cancellation of the two classes today. I am looking forward to seeing you next Monday.

 

Les Choristes 「コーラス」(2004年・フランス映画)

This is one of the DVDs I have rented from Tsutaya recently, and the one I liked most. Very moving. As you can see, it is a French film; nothing dramatic as one of these typical ‘moives’ from Hollywood. Give this film a try on your next trip to Tsutaya! You may like it if you are one of these people who likes European-style films. Click here for the DVD link.

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