All things TOEFL iBT

Archive for the ‘Speaking’ Category

Independent Speaking/Independent Writing – Good manners

Before you answer the question:

Complaining about or showing disapproval of someone’s annoying behavior nowadays is like making a storm in a teacup: no one seems to care anymore.

Speaking your mind makes you look like the fussy one: someone who is always hard to please.

Would you consider any of these things annoying? Where would they usually happen?

  • Not using the indicator
  • Speeding
  • Not respecting pedestrians
  • Revving the engine
  • Blowing/honking the horn
  • Using the shoulder as a lane
  • Slurping your drink
  • Eating smelly food

Of course, there are many other behaviors that piss us off everyday. Here is the question at hand:

Do people from your country have good manners? Give reasons and examples to support your view.

You have two alternatives: record an answer by clicking on the Vocaroo icon below or write an answer in the Comments.

If you´re recording, don’t take more than 45 seconds.

If you’re going to write about it, write at least 300 words in 30 minutes.

If you want to do both, by all means do so.

Powered by Vocaroo Voice Recorder

Tests and stress

 

When we think about tests, here are some words that come to mind:

cheating

studying

preparation

nervousness

anxiety

midterm

final

makeup

supplementary

book

grades

scores

certification

goals, objectives

multiple choice x discursive

under pressure

One way of doing well in tests is knowing how you react in test-like situations.

What kind of student are you in test situations?

I shake like a leaf  = I am visibly nervous = I tremble = I get the jitters

I freak out

I get goosebumps

I get butterflies in my stomach

I get white as a sheet (of paper)

I get cold sweat

I get cold feet

My mind goes blank = I draw a blank

Here is some more language used to talk about tests and stressful situations in general. Match the sentence halves 1-12 in bold with the other halves in the bullet points in italics below.

  1. I get nervous about …
  2. I get nervous when …
  3. My level of nervousness depends on …
  4. I deal well with  …
  5. I find it hard …
  6. The more nervous I get, the more I …
  7. It’s easy for me …
  8. Ideally, …
  9. In the best case scenario, 
  10. Usually when I do/take/sit a test, I …
  11. I feel grumpy …
  12. If I don’t know the answer to a question, I try not to … 

  • the kind of test I have to do
  • beat about the bush
  • waste a lot of time
  • to be concentrated/focused in tests
  • unexpected/adverse circumstances 
  • make sure and get a lot of rest the night before
  • taking tests
  • if I know I could have done much better at a test
  • I keep my cool in tests
  • to get straight to the point
  • tests don’t bother me
  • I have to give or deliver a presentation
  • stressful situations

Now tell us:

If you could choose the way you could be tested, what would it be and why?

 

Integrated Speaking – Going viral

 

Watch the video and state the main reasons according to the speaker why certain videos go viral. Then, state which in your opinion is the most important or effective way of popularizing a video.

Record your answers on the Voxopop page here.

Independent Speaking – The most important job

Describe a job that you’ve held and explain why it was important.

Step 1: Decide the purpose

present an opinion

explain facts in a lecture or reading

summarize someone else’s opinion

describe something of importance to you

Step 2: State the topic: I think/believe/feel the most important job I’ve had was …

Step 3: State what or why: I believe this was important because …

Step 4: Wrap things up/Conclude: Restate your thesis e.g.

In conclusion the most important job I’ve held was …

For these reasons I mentioned previously, being a … was the most important job I’ve held.

Record your answer on the Voxopop group page here.

More Independent Speaking – Sample answers

Task 1
What was the most important decision that you have ever made? Why was this decision important to you?
Task 2
If you could spend a year living in any city in the world, which city would you choose to live in? Give the reasons why you would want to live there.
Task 3
What do you think of this statement?
Failure often leads to success.
Give an example of why you think this is sometimes true. Give another example of why you think this statement is NOT true. Then state your opinion of this statement.
Task 4
You have received a full scholarship to a good university in your country. You have also been offered a full scholarship to a top university in another country. Which of these two scholarships would you accept? Why?

Independent Speaking – An important decision

Here is topic question that can be used in the Speaking Section of the TOEFL iBT:

What was the most important decision you have ever made? Why was this decision important to you?

 Here is a sample response:

The most important decision I have ever made was when I decided to leave home and live in another country. This decision was crucial for two reasons

In my area of study there are not many opportunities in my city so I needed to venture out on my own to earn experience and find a job that would suit my qualifications or that would allow to apply the knowledge I would have acquired.

Being the youngest child in a large family, I was always under the wings of my parents and siblings, which meant that I always had someone spoon feeding me. I felt that the time had come for me to learn to fend for myself. What better way to gain independence than to live on my own and away from the over-protective eye of my loved ones?

These are the reasons why the most important decision I have ever made was leaving my hometown to live in another country.

Wanna share your important decision? Leave a comment here and try rehearsing your speech by recording your voice on the Voxopop group. Go to the site here.  

 

Recording your voice – Voxopop

To get some speaking practice going,

Your first task on Voxopop:

Click on the link here.

Create an account, wait for the approval to join the group, then record away!