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Quick Write 102511 “Part 5 from Part 7-1”

Passages consist of multiple paragraphs. Paragraphs consist of multiple sentences. Sentences consist of multiple phrases. Phrases consist of multiple words. Words consist of multiple letters. Okay, is that the end? Why I abruptly started saying such things is that a couple of people close to me have recently reminded me of the fact that TOEIC part 7 passages are in fact collections of Part 5-type sentences, and we can learn a great deal of grammar and vocabulary crucial to deal with Part 5 questions from delving into Part 7 passages. Well, it sounds plausible and a legitimate argument to me after having taken the TOEIC tests for all these years. It is true that we tend to think that we can learn about Part 5 questions only from Part 5-specific prep books with multiple choice questions. Honestly, I used to think that way even though I didn’t devote myself to studying those prep books just for the sake of improving my TOEIC scores. The thing is, can we learn grammar and vocabulary necessary for Part 5 from the Part 7 passages? How can we do that?

Now let me talk about vocabulary first. I’m aware that both teachers and learners have claimed that vocabulary appearing in Part 5 sentences of the TOEIC Official books and the actual tests are also used in Part 7 passages, to which I have no objections. You can even find crucial keywords or clues for solving certain Part 5 questions in Part 7 passages on the actual tests. So, it might not be a bad speculation that high-frequency words in Part 5 overlap high-frequency words in Part 7 to some extent. Then, it could mean that if you understand every single word in the part 7 passages in your authenticity-wise- high-quality TOEIC prep books, you’ll have a high chance to utilize your vocabulary knowledge acquired through delving into the Part 7 passages when solving Part 5 questions. But the thing is, again, “how”.

One thing I can say here now is that you just cannot leave Part 7 passages untouched after solving multiple choice questions accompanying each passage. Whenever I do Ondoku(= reading a passage aloud) on Part 7 passages with my students in class, I never fail to realize that those passages contain so many important words and phrases that are very likely to be used in the part 5 sentences. To do Ondoku, we do slash-silent-reading (divide the sentences into meaningful chunks, and read the sentence chunk by chunk), check unfamiliar words, read the passage chunk by chunk aloud, and read the whole passage aloud. If audio files for the Part 7 passages are available, we do overlapping (= read along with the audio) as well. By doing so, you’ll have to look at every single word in each sentence. In other word, if you have any words that you don’t know or can’t pronounce (“not being able to pronounce a word” is almost equivalent to “not knowing the word”), you’ll never be able to do Ondoku, meaning that trying to do Ondoku forces you to understand every single word in the passage. Do I make myself clear here?

Or as an alternative to Ondoku, you can type up the whole passage, and rewrite it with a different theme. Typing a passage may substitute the Ondoku practice to a large extent, I think. Rewriting the passage is also a good practice to learn vocabulary as well as grammar constructions in the passage. Typing and rewriting the passage takes “some” time for sure, but it will enable you to “sink” yourself in the passage deeply. It will also enable you to learn a great deal of vocabulary, and possibly grammar, from only one book. (Continued)

(50 minutes / 620 words)

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If I were allowed to study only one book for TOEIC, I would definitely choose the Official Book vol. 4 for its unparalleled authenticity.

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