Suzanne C. van der Valk

Senior Lecturer, English as a Second Language, Linguistics

English Department, Iowa State University, Ames, IA 50011


M.A. English (TESL/Linguistics) 1994, Iowa State University
Thesis: The Acquisition of Directives in First and Second Language: A Review of the Literature
B. A. English Language and Literature, 1971, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Presentation Spring 2004

Summer Bridge Course section of "Courses prepare IEOP students for university classes"
presented with Helen H. Schmidt at TESOL 2004

Spring 2009


Video dictation
Learn a new idiom every day!
TOEFL Podcasts
ExamEngish site with a couple of more structure tests.
TESTMagic This is the full index of the site from which the structure questions below came.
Take a break! If you're not too proud to use some kids' materials, try this site for a little fun, some good practice and some background knowledge. Scroll down to Grades 5 & 6 and do Analogy Challenge, Cows Context Clue, and Future City.
Short practice TOEFL  You can do the structure and reading questions; for listening, come to 107 for material.
Practice structure questions
English concordancer
Take a tour of the new TOEFL iBT at the ETS website.

Reading and Vocabulary Practice

America - Today and Tomorrow: Timed readings on America and American culture with comprehension questions

600 TOEFL Words
TOEFL vocabulary (no context)

Vocabulary: Structural Analysis

Flash prefix quiz
Common roots, prefixes and suffixes
Greek prefixes and suffixes
Latin prefixes
An easy introductory vocabulary in context exercise
A slightly harder vocabulary in context exercise
More vocabulary in context
MORE vocabulary in context
EVEN MORE vocabulary in context

Structure Practice

Idioms, phrasal verbs and slang
Article quiz
Subject-verb agreement quiz
Article Use
  1. The Online Writing Lab at Purdue University has a lot of good information for writers. Here is their section on articles, with exercises at the end.
  2. The Writing Center @ Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has a section on articles. Note the Learning Tips, Tables, Five Sources of Definiteness, and the exercise at the end with explanations for the answers.
  3. A useful list of exceptions to the use of definite articles
Here's a site with LOTS of grammar and pronunciation quizzes from easy to not-so-easy. Try some and see what you like.
Several TOEFL practice quizzes

Listening Practice

Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab offers listening practice at different levels of difficulty. Challenge yourself with selections from the difficult column and take a quiz. Or start with intermediate listening and work up to more difficult selections