Sumbawa University of Technology (UTS) Rektor, asked the visiting associate professor from the United States, to find ways to improve the TOEFL scores for UTS students. He explained his vision to have a TOEFL Prep Course Pilot Program. The lecturers and director collaboratively designed a four-week curriculum for the pilot program. The Office of Academic Affairs gave full support as the English TOEFL Prep Course program is one of the countless ways the university supports student goals for the best education possible at a time when global competencies are essential.
Students at UTS are eager to improve their English and the program was another step to encourage them. The students were engaged and actively participated in every class where pair and small group activities lessened the students’ anxiety about learning in an all-English environment. Students often commented that they had fun building their vocabulary and practicing TOEFL test-taking strategies. One student said she was excited to come and see what would happen in class the next day. Another student said he had never before experienced having fun while learning English skills.
Lectures taught TOEFL test-taking strategies and designed practice activities. The lecturers worked with students in small groups so the students could better understand the strategies and strengthen their vocabulary skills. An atmosphere of working together encouraged students to quickly become more comfortable using English. The laughter was jubilant during the game for grabbing the colored balls which meant the student with the green ball gave the meaning of the chosen word and the student with the blue ball had to give a sentence. The students presented their answers amidst the support and cheers of their teammates.
Through the collaborative efforts of lecturers and students, at the end of the four weeks, the students learned numerous strategies for taking the TOEFL test. They retained the meanings, synonyms, and antonyms of 75 new focus words. The students’ comfortable use of English improved every day. The success of the simulated TOEFL post-test results was impressive. The most significant accomplishments were the ways dedicated lecturers used interactive teaching methods to encourage motivated students to achieve more fluent use of English.
The university Rektor is considering more ways to make the TOEFL Prep and other English classes available to students. We hope you will join UTS students as they develop their English skills in ways that open opportunities for future careers or study abroad. All UTS students are learning leadership skills and increasing their English competencies. Leadership skills and English fluency are achievements that contribute to making you become the best you possible.