STUDENTS’ mastery of the English language has become a top priority of the UST High School (USTHS), said Principal Marishirl Tropicales.

To adapt the demands of the K to 12 program, the USTHS changed the English proficiency test to be administered this school year to the Test of English as a Foreign Language Junior Standard Test (TOEFL Junior).

K to 12’s curriculum requires schools to “develop effective communication skills among the students.”

TOEFL Junior is a stringent paper-based test that aims to determine the level of English proficiency of students aged 11 to 15 years old and identify their strengths and challenges. The test covers listening and reading comprehension and language form and meaning.

“TOEFL Junior will help raise the English proficiency of our students [to] international standards,” Tropicales said in an e-mail to the Varsitarian.“Our students could hopefully communicate well with foreign students here or abroad.”

Students need to achieve a certain score according to the grade level they’re in. If they failed to meet the required score, TOEFL Junior will intervene through the use of computer software, such as TELL ME MORE and Grammarly@EDU.

TELL ME MORE is an interactive software that focuses on all areas of language learning?Speaking, Comprehension, Reading, and Writing?while Grammarly@EDU is an automated revision tool for academic writing that helps students develop sentence-level writing skills. It also prevents plagiarism and enforce proper revision habits.

“What I really like with TOEFL Junior is the intervention that they will be providing for students to improve their skills,” said Tropicales. “This way, they will be given the appropriate intervention, especially if they did not meet the proficiency level set for their grade.”

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She added that the project will provide objective information on students’ progress to make parents and teachers track the students’ development. It will also promote the school’s English-speaking policy.

“It will strengthen the campaign of the school to use English not just inside the classroom or during instruction but also during informal conversations throughout the day,” she said.

The school partnered with Hopkins International Partners Inc., the company that will administer the test. Administrators, coordinators, and USTHS English teachers have already undergone trainings under Hopkins.

TOEFL Junior is used in institutions around the world, especially in countries with non-native English speakers.

Students will also be given certificates of proficiency valid for two years. This certificate can come in handy for those who will study abroad.


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