Do moderators ever get irritated?

Dear Amy, Conchita, Mr.Micawber, Jamie (K) and Alan

Tell me frankly if you are ever irritated by your students on the forum? :smiley: What is that one thing that annoys you the most? Is it that when the ‘asker’ is not following you properly or when he/ she asks some other moderator for help after your detailed answer?

I would love to see your views.


Neither one of those things bother me. I especially don’t mind at all when a student asks another moderator for further clarification, because it’s good to get another person’s perspective.

Personally, I find several things very irritating:

  1. When a student posts to the forum instead of looking in a dictionary.
  2. When students try to get the moderators to do their homework for them.
  3. When a student posts a long essay and wants the moderators to function as his unpaid editors.

There is a fourth thing that irritates me, and I don’t know if I really should be annoyed by it or not. It’s something a person you and I know well does frequently. That is when a student puts up masses of posts asking about the esoteric differences between pairs of terms that are essentially not different. I let the other moderators answer those.

Another one that bothers me is when a students is working through a TOEFL cram book and puts up 50 posts asking us to explain individual multiple-choice items in the book. Again, I don’t know if I have a right to be irritated by those, and again, I let the other moderators deal with them. In real, face-to-face life I am also irritated when a student wants my help with TOEFL study instead of with learning English.

One question,Are not the toefl and English the same thing??
I mean… if someone studies the toefl is to improve their English so why you get angry with that???
just curiosity


TOEFL and English are NOT the same thing. A person who has an excellent command of English can do very badly on the TOEFL. Conversely, I have seen people who can barely even speak English get fantastic TOEFL scores. Those second people often have really bad written grammar, too.

A person with a low-intermediate command of English can get a high TOEFL score by learning the types of questions and tricks that the test writers use on the TOEFL, and by learning various strategies for taking tests. At one college we are currently dealing with a student who had the highest possible TOEFL score but can’t talk and has no command of basic grammar when she writes. She simply knows the English of placement tests and knows the test-taking strategies. If we put her in classes that her TOEFL score indicates she can take, she’ll be dead meat in a week.

When I see a post that says something like, “Me trouble one ting on toefl question. Why answer thiis?” then it’s obvious to me that that person needs to be studying English at this point, and not the TOEFL.