TfCS Frequently Asked Questions

TfCS Oral Communication Video Assessment FAQs

What is the Tools for Clear Speech (TfCS) program?
Tools for Clear Speech is a set of tutorial services for ELL and nonnative English speakers at Baruch College. Our primary mission is to guide students toward more effective communication skills by helping to improve pronunciation, speech clarity, intelligibility, and pragmatic abilities.

For more information, visit the What is TfCS? page.
Back to Top

Who can participate in the program?
Any student, both undergraduate and graduate, that is currently enrolled in Baruch College can participate in any of the services that we offer.
Back to Top

How much does each service cost?
All of the services that are offered through the Tools for Clear Speech program are completely free!
Back to Top

How do I sign up for an appointment?
Use your Baruch Username and Password in order to access the online schedule. Select the desired workshop from the drop down menu. Next, click any white box that corresponds with the time that you are available. Finally, fill out the form and click “Save Appointment.”

Make an Appointment

Back to Top

Will I receive a confirmation notice for my scheduled appointment?
Yes. A confirmation email is automatically sent to your Baruchmail account after you schedule an appointment. A reminder e-mail is also sent to you a day before your scheduled appointment.
Back to Top

How do I know where I should go for my appointment?
The location where your appointment will take place is listed in the confirmation e-mail.
Back to Top

All the appointments are booked. Is there a waiting list feature?
Yes. Once you have chosen the program or workshop that you would like to sign up for, click on the small clock next to the day that you will like to attend. You will be prompted to fill out a short form. Finally, click the “Join the Waiting List” button.
Back to Top

Is there a limit to the number of one-to-one appointments I can have each week?
You are only allowed to sign up for 60 minutes of instruction per week.
Back to Top

Is there a limit to the number of workshops I can attend each semester?
Clear Speech workshops: There is no limit. Sign up for each workshop as often as you like.
Conversation Hour: You are only allowed to sign up for one session per week.
Back to Top

Is there a limit to the number of Video Assessments I can participate in each semester?
You are only allowed to sign up once per semester.
Back to Top

Is each workshop mandatory?
No. You can sign up for whichever workshop you like and in any order you like.

Keep in mind, we do recommend that you at least schedule a One-to-One Speech Tutorial so that we may be better able to recommend additional services to you.
Back to Top

I am running late to my appointment. What should I do?
If you are running late to your appointment then please call the front desk so that we may make the necessary adjustment to the appointment.

Keep in mind, you must be on time to each of your appointments. Failure to arrive on time to your appointment will allow another student to take your spot. You will also be marked as a “no-show.”

After one (1) “no-show” appointment, your TfCS account will be disabled.
Back to Top

How do I go about cancelling my appointment?
You must cancel your appointment a certain number of hours before the scheduled start time by logging into the scheduling system. Failure to cancel your appointment in advance of the scheduled time will result in a “no-show” appointment, and your account will be temporarily disabled.

For more information regarding the cancellation policy, please visit the TfCS Attendance Policy page.
Back to Top

My TfCS account has been disabled. How can I re-enable it?
Contact the front desk at 646-312-4830 if your account is disabled and you would like to re-enable it.
Back to Top

What is the Oral Communication Video Assessment?
The Oral Communication Video Assessment (OCVA) is a 20-minute diagnostic assessment of students’ ability to speak English effectively and intelligibly in a real-world setting. During the assessment, students are video-recorded while they complete four oral tasks, which include reading a passage aloud, giving directions or instructions, describing a personal experience, and role-playing. Following the assessment, each student’s video will be scored by Professional Speech Consultants, and scores and detailed comments will be provided for each student on Vocat.
Back to Top

Who should take it?
If you feel as though your speech could be clearer, or if you take advantage of any TfCS services, the Oral Communication Video Assessment is for you! It will help you to better understand your challenges and help you build your skills.
Back to Top

Why should I take it?
You should take the Oral Communication Video Assessment in order to obtain an objective view of your individual communicative challenges, and understand which skills you possess, as well as those you might need to work on.
Back to Top

How often should I take it?
You should take the assessment each semester to have a clear picture of how your spoken English skills are developing, as well as the progress you’ve made during your time at Baruch.
Back to Top

Who will have access to my videos and scores?
The assessment will only be accessible by you and the TfCS staff.
Back to Top

How will I be scored?
In the first part of the assessment, the raters will score your pronunciation, stress, intonation and intelligibility. In the next three parts of the assessment, the raters will score the clarity and fluidity of your speech, how effectively you use grammar and vocabulary to convey your ideas, how fully and coherently you present your ideas and how well you put together your communicative strategies to meet social language norms and expectations. Your scores will be based on basic criteria from the OCVA Speaking Ability Rubric.
Back to Top

How can I prepare for the assessment?
Be sure to read your confirmation email carefully, as it contains the room number and time for your assessment. Show up a few minutes early so that you can relax and focus on communicating clearly!

If you have time beforehand, you can do some warm-up exercises to get your muscles ready.
Back to Top

When and how can I check my scores?
When your assessment is scored and ready for your review, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions. Your video, scores, and comments will be available on your private Vocat page and will be visible to no one other than the TfCS staff.

Log in to Vocat

After accessing your scores and comments on Vocat, take some time to fully review your assessment and understand the critique that your Speech Consultants have provided. You should watch the full assessment at least twice to understand your challenges and progress.
Back to Top

Can I talk to someone about my scores?
After reviewing the feedback provided by a Speech Consultant, you may schedule a one-to-one appointment to discuss your assessment.

Make a One-to-One Appointment

Back to Top

How do I sign up for the assessment?
Log in to the TfCS online scheduler and choose “Oral Communication Video Assessment” from the drop down menu. Choose an open appointment that fits your schedule and enter the appropriate information. You will receive a confirmation email after you complete the appointment form.
Back to Top

Where do I take the assessment?
Please check your confirmation email carefully to confirm the time and location of your assessment.
Back to Top