Matthew Ledding is a Canadian living in Madrid, Spain. He is an international lecturer on English Language Teaching and founder of English Out, a school specializing in pronunciation lessons for Spanish people. Below is a story of his success with Valentina, a student who desperately needed to increase her TOEFL score in order to get accepted to Ivy League.
Before Valentina approached Matt, she had already taken the exam 3 times, attended exam prep classes for TOEFL iBT, and even traveled to England to attend a camp that would improve her fluency. Despite all this effort, her scores improved only slightly. Then, Valentina was provisionally accepted to her dream Master’s program, but her seat was only guaranteed if she scored at least 100. So it wasn’t ok that her scores had plateaued at 86. She had to keep trying and a friend gave a glowing recommendation about this amazing ESL teacher, Matt.
Valentina started lessons with Matt, but as soon as he realized that he was in completely unfamiliar territory and did not know how to navigate through the exam, Matt started looking for guidance.
“I chose Jaime after going through every person I could find, and asking everyone I could for recommendations.
She was the most credible because of the congruence of her material with both reality, and with herself.
She didn’t meet my expectations. She surpassed them in every way.
Working with Jaime I had an opportunity to help impact a student’s life in a major way. After significantly raising her TOEFL iBT score from 86 to 103, my student won a very large scholarship, and had an even larger opportunity to change and impact her country.”
Here’s what Valentina has to say about her experience with studying with Matt:
“Matt made me feel very comfortable with my English. He said “I’m not going to pay attention to all your problems but I’m going to focus on what you’re good at so you can improve it. I’m going to maximize what you’re doing well.” At first, I was not very convinced about that because there was a kind of transmission from Jaime to Matt, and then from Matt to me. But I saw that Jaime knows very well what she is talking about and what the TOEFL exam is about, she knows exactly what I’m going through and what I need and this was very reassuring.
I want to say that if you put effort and you know how to do this, you will be able to write, to talk, to communicate without any problem and it makes you feel very-very well.”
Valentina raised her score from 86 to 103 in 5 weeks by studying TOEFL with Matt (following Jaime’s lesson plans). It is an incredible accomplishment that allowed Valentina to claim her $80,000 scholarship and her seat at an Ivy League university.