Medium Intensity Private Lessons (Per Week)

Qty “4” = 4 weeks x 60 minΒ  Β  Qty “8” = 8 weeks x 60 min

You agree to have 10-15 hours a week to dedicate to the homework activities and follow-up assignments.

Each week, you get the following:

  • At least 1 preparation activity to complete before the first lesson
  • Private lesson time: One 60-minute lesson.
  • Follow-up activities and homework with an updated study schedule on Google Calendar and/or a Google Document in our shared folder on Google Drive.
    • The goal of homework is to develop automatic habits, so that when you speak and write (both at TOEFL test and at work), you use the right thing.
  • Feedback on and review of your homework assignments, which includes:
    • Analysis of your strengths and weaknesses in Speaking and/or Writing (usually not both simultaneously unless you’re paying extra)
    • Flashcards to make for grammar, vocabulary or pronunciation errors


About Lesson Recordings:

If your computer has enough disk space on it, you will be able to make a recording of our lesson. That allows you to watch it again later to review.

After class, you should spend a few minutes renaming your Zoom video files. This way, you create a personal archive of relevant videos. That way, you’ll be able to easily find and review the contents of classes.

What’s Covered In Private Classes:

The focus of private lessons is based on getting you to the performance level where you will get your scores at TOEFL. I often stick with making sure your essay-writing ability is consistently at the point where we can expect your minimum required score (24+)… and as soon as it is, we’ll move forward with Speaking. I have more potential students than I can teach, so you can trust that I won’t force you to study something longer than you need to.

The points that we focus on are a combination of (a) what we’re seeing in your homework and (b) what we need to see. To make sure we don’t miss anything, we focus on all the categories of scoring criteria that the TOEFL Graders care about:

  • For Writing:
    • Topic Development
    • Language Use (Grammar / Vocab)
    • Visual Aesthetics
  • For Speaking:
    • Topic Development
    • Language Use (Grammar / Vocab)
    • Delivery

To reach that performance level, this means that we may focus on any of the following, depending on your current needs:

  • How to Score 24+ on TOEFL Writing: Making your Integrated and/or Independent essays strong enough
  • How to Score 26+ on TOEFL Speaking: Making your first responses for Task 1, 2, 3 and 4 strong enough
  • Accent Neutralization (rhythm, intonation, pronunciation of vowel and consonant sounds)
  • Grammar points that you’re stuck on
  • Strategies related to raising your Reading and/or Listening score (including vocabulary memorization techniques and why answers to certain questions are correct or wrong)


As soon as I think you’re ready to get all your scores, it’s my duty to tell you that. At that point, about 70% of my students continue with weekly lessons until they’re done and roughly 30% are confident continuing on their own without my support.

To summarize: There’s no fixed lesson plan in advance. I’m constantly re-evaluating what homework activities you need to be doing to ensure that you’re either moving towards the performance level that will get your scores — or that will keep you at the performance level that will get your scores.

It is not typical to do practice tests (“mock tests”) in class. However, if and when that happens, it certainly isn’t the first thing we focus on.

How Long It Could Take You to Get Results (S26+ or W24+):

The speed of your progress depends on many factors that are beyond any tutor’s control:

  • your memory
  • your commitment to study the hours and homework that you are assigned
  • your energy levels and your focus during those hours that you study
  • how closely you follow directions
  • your awareness of details

If you’ve never gotten your target scores in TOEFL Speaking or Writing, you need to be prepared to spend 3-4 months taking private lessons and investing 10-15 hours a week in the homework activities and assignments.


Scheduling / When We Have Lessons:

I am usually available from 8 AM to about 3:30 PM California time (Pacific Standard Time). We can schedule our private lessons Monday through Friday.Β  I’m not able to teach on Saturdays or Sundays. Please contact me to find out what current availability is.


How I Work for You OUTSIDE the Scheduled Lesson Hour:
When a student signs up for Medium Intensity Private Lessons, it is a sign that they are ready for more support — and they’re going to use it. On my lesson records for these students, there are all kinds of notes of extra little bonuses in terms of my real time and energy: phone calls, text message conversations, emails about verb tenses or phrasing or how to deal with weird TPO topics.

In the video below, I share an example…

My rate is what it is because you need more support from a tutor than you ever got before — and that’s not just inside the lesson, but between lessons, and when you’re contacting me with extra questions.

In the future when I need to choose between saving my own time and energy or giving you the feedback that will allow you to confidently move forward with studying, you will want me to show up 100%. πŸ’–


The Cost Per Week:


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