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Get your professional development certified with iTDi

For certificate of completion: Take your contributions to the forums and copy-paste them into a ‘word' document. Change or edit as you wish, add any further reflections or critical comments you feel appropriate, and present them as a four-section final paper (about 500 words).

For certificate of accomplishment: Select up to five topics that were discussed on the course and that were new to you and you feel gave you interesting and useful insights. Write a 500 to 800-word paper summarizing the topics in your own words and explaining how they can contribute to your own professional knowledge and skill.

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iTDi Advanced Course

Teaching Written Essays for Standardized Tests (TOEFL iBT & IELTS)
with Steven Herder

Standardized English tests are often an unavoidable challenge, if not a necessary evil that many students may face at some point in their studies. Whether they need a student visa to study abroad or they want to get a qualification, more and more young people are taking tests such as the TOEFL iBT or IELTS. If you have students who need to improve their essay writing, this course will offer a wide range of practical, confidence-building ideas for both students and writing instructors.

  • Sunday March 6th – course participants only (60 minutes)
  • Sunday March 13th – course participants only (60 minutes)
  • Sunday March 20th – course participants only (60 minutes)
  • Sunday March 27th – course participants only (60 minutes)

Time: 12:00 - 13:00 GMT

Enroll in the entire course for only US $59

Course + Evaluation + Certificate of Accomplishment only US $89

Questions? Contact support@itdi.pro

If you are unable to join the class without scholarship support from iTDi, please apply using the form here

There are many practical, motivating ways to help students improve their writing and feel better prepared for the writing section of a standardized test. This course will explore essay writing from a number of perspectives including basic theory about L2 writing, overcoming initial barriers, developing skills through feedback, and using online tools to efficiently track and improve writing. Participants will see that students can improve their writing relatively quickly, and that they will gain satisfaction watching them grow.

Week 1: Background

•    Contextualization of the course

•    Influences from the literature

•    Six Issues in Writing (Fluency vs. Process writing approach;
Error correction; Writing genres; Use of L1; Activity
variety; Testing and assessment)

•    Setting goals based on International scores

Follow-up assignment: Write your first TOEFL iBT Essay within the allotted 30-minute time restriction.

Week 2: Getting started

•    Getting started with L2 writing

•    Identifying qualitative and quantitative essay goals

•    Impediments to writing, and corresponding solutions

•    Activities to expand and develop L2 writers

Follow-up assignment: Write your second TOEFL iBT Essay within the allotted 30-minute time restriction.

Week 3: Feedback

•    Useless vs. Useful Error Correction

•    Three types of errors activity

•    Developing peer editors

•    Addressing Complexity, Accuracy, and Fluency (CAF)

Follow-up assignment: Write your third TOEFL iBT Essay within the allotted 30-minute time restriction.

Week 4: Online tools

•    The power of essay data tracking and self-assessment

•    Google Drive Student Profile

•    Essay assessments for fluency, cohesion and complexity

•    Essay assessments for vocabulary, academic words and complexity

Follow-up assignment:Treat each of your three essays according to any of the formative feedback activities presented in the course.

Steven Herder profile photo

Steven Herder, Assistant Professor, Department of International Studies, Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts

Steven has been teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) for over 25 years at the elementary, junior and senior high school level, and now as assistant professor in the Department of International Studies at Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts in Kyoto Japan. There, he teaches TOEFL iBT preparation, and a 3rd / 4th year seminar on Exploring Leadership.

He is an author and editor of two Palgrave Macmillan teacher resources, Innovating EFL Teaching in Asia (2012) and Exploring EFL Fluency in Asia (2014). Since 2010, he has been working with Suken Publishing on the high school textbook series Big Dipper Series I, II, III as well as writing various workbooks and graded readers.

He co-founded MASH Collaboration in 2007, believing that "Collaboration creates just the right amount of tension to get lots done" and over the years he has come to realize that, "being a teacher means a never-ending commitment to learning".

In 2012, he and a network of like-minded educators co-founded the International Teacher Development Institute, an online community for teachers by teachers, with over 5000 members and a growing global reach into over 100 countries.