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Thursday, November 15, 2012

4 Online Learning Tools to Help Boost Your TOEFL Score

If you're getting ready for the TOEFL exam but don't know exactly where to start in terms of preparation, consider checking out these four online learning tools.

Grammar Monster
Grammar Monster

In order to do well on the writing and speaking portions of the TOEFL exam, you'll need to have a solid grasp of the essentials of English grammar. There are a number of grammar websites out there you may find to be useful. One of those sites is Grammar Monster. This website will provide you with guidance in terms of punctuation, sentence structure, and proper English grammar in general. Grammar Monster is straightforward, easy-to-navigate, and covers a lot of basis in a concise, clear manner.

Visit Grammar Monster

365 ESL Short Stories
365 ESL Short Stories

The reading portion of the TOEFL exam will include a few short passages you'll need to read and answer questions about. 365 ESL Short Stories is a good place to start as you prepare for the reading portion of the test. As you can probably guess, this site includes a few hundred short stories meant to be read by English language learners. Many of the stories contain important English vocabulary words that you may see on the TOEFL exam. Keep in mind that the stories offered by this site are somewhat basic. Once you get done reading all the passages on this site, you should continue to try to soak up as much written online content in English as possible before you take the test.

Visit 365 ESL Short Stories


This is a somewhat unconventional learning tool you can use to improve your English listening skills, which will be tested on the TOEFL exam. You can try Netflix out for free for a month (and $8 or so a month after that) and have instant, streaming access to thousands of movies and TV shows featuring actors who speak English. Understanding English on paper is oftentimes a little bit easier than understanding it when it's spoken to you. That's why the listening part of the TOEFL exam can be pretty difficult. Watching TV shows and movies in English on sites like Netflix will give you a chance to improve your listening skills and enjoy yourself as well.

Visit Netflix

It's good to have a resource to help you pronounce English words you come across but don't know how to say, especially since your speaking skills will be assessed on the TOEFL exam. is a simple, easy-to-use website that lets you type in English words and then pronounces them for you. This site has pretty much any English word you could find in the dictionary. So, it can definitely be a huge help.


The four online learning tools listed above will get you on the right track as you prepare for the writing, reading, listening, and speaking portions of the TOEFL exam. Just remember that the more English content and media you expose yourself to online, the better. And good luck on your test!

Jillian Terry is a retired educator, freelance writer, and professional blogger who contributes to and other sites related to pedagogy. In her spare time, Jillian likes to volunteer as an ESL tutor and research educational trends. Please leave comments and questions for Jillian below!

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