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Speaking Section


In this lesson will look at what's on the TOEFL speaking section. So you're gonna have a few different types of speaking tasks. What do you have to talk about? Well, the first question in this section is independent meaning it doesn't include any reading or listening. You talk about your own experiences and your opinions, things from your own head.

You don't have to summarize anything. You just have to give your thoughts. The next questions are integrated. That is you will listen and read or just listen and then summarize what you've heard or read. Two of those will be about lectures.

You'll listen to a professor talk to a class, and then you'll summarize what the professor said using your own words. The other one will be about student life. There will be a conversation, and you'll summarize what you heard about those students lives and their problems or their discussions with their friends or professors.

Will look at this more in detail later in the lesson. For now, let's move on to talk about the clock. As always, the speaking section is timed, just like the other sections on the TOEFL, all of the TOEFL is of course timed. Now, the speaking section is interesting, because the clock is very short. You don't really have much time.

The Independent task, the first one gives you 45 seconds to speak. And before you speak, the test only gives you 15 seconds to prepare. That might seem kind of crazy. 15 seconds, what can you do in 15 seconds? It's barely enough time to pick up your pencil write down a word, one word, and put your pencil back down.

It's very, very short. But don't panic. Don't be scared by this. You only have 45 seconds to speak because that's all you need. You don't need more time. You don't need to say a whole essay.

You just need to give a few sentences. They don't need very much from you at all. They only want 45 seconds worth of talking. The next tasks are integrated tasks, and they're a little bit longer. These are the ones that asked you to summarize a lecture or summarize a conversation.

And maybe summarize a lecture and a reading or a conversation and a reading. You get 60 seconds to speak on integrated tasks with 20 to 30 seconds to prepare. Because you have such a short time for all of these tasks, you need to use that time very carefully. Don't spend too much time talking about one topic if you need to mention three other topics also.

You need to go quickly and carefully through everything that you want to say. And yes, this does cause stress. The best way to deal with stress is to practice speaking with a clock. Do it often, use the timer on your phone or computer or watch or whatever, and speak about a topic for exactly 45 seconds or 60 seconds, one minute. Do that again and again and again.

When you're on a train or when you're on the bus, when you don't wanna talk to yourself because maybe other people might think you're crazy. Do all of these in you head. Take out your phone, time yourself and speak for 60 seconds in your head I about some specific topic. Do it when you're cooking ,do it when you're walking, do it all the time.

The more repetitions you have the better. The best way to manage time is to structure your speaking. Now you don't have a lot of time to plan and structure what you wanna say, might seem like it's a little bit difficult if you only have 15 or 20 seconds. But you do have enough to create a very quick, very general, very simple structure, that you'll follow when you speak.

The basic structure is something like this. Now, this can really change depending on the speaking task. Question one is very different from question number four. But we'll look at the specific structures for each question in later lessons. For now, just understand this very general structure of the big idea and then detail 1, detail 2, etc.

This is what your notes will look like in that 15 seconds before you speak, or 30 seconds before you speak. What's the main idea, what's the first detail, second detail etc. You'll want to use that structure to manage your time. Say for example, you can spend about 15 seconds speaking about the main idea. Then you can spend 15 seconds speaking about detail 1, and you can spend 15 seconds speaking about detail 2, etc..

That way you can organize your thoughts, and you can finish on time, you can say everything you want to say. Now, this 15 seconds for each one is not exact of course and it does change between different topics, different speaking questions. The important idea is that you will match the clock at least in a rough way. So it might be 10 seconds for the main idea or it might actually be 5 seconds for the main idea.

But you want to know exactly when it's time to move from the main idea and start the next part and then you move from the next detail on to detail number 2, etc, etc. Now, let's go back and review the individual speaking tasks one by one. The first question is independent. It's just about your opinion.

You make a choice and you explain it. You give reasons. The question asked you to make a choice from two things cats or dogs black or white up or down, you shall like to one of them and give reasons why you chose that one. Tasks two and three are integrated with reading and listening, you will read and listen and then you'll speak.

So one of this will be about a conversation and one of them will be about a lecture. They're very different tasks, but the structure of reading and listening is the same between them. You'll have about 1 minute to read and about 2 minutes, more or less, for the listening.

These are shorter, especially the reading is very, very short. Then what you'll see on the reading section of the TOEFL or the listening section of the TOEFL. Still, the big part of the task is speaking, summarizing. After each of those, as I said, you're asked to summarize. What are you asked to summarize though?

You have to summarize the listening especially. The reading gives you extra detail but both questions ask about the listening and there's even more of that. The last question, question 4, is integrated with listening only. There's no reading. You'll get one lecture, a professor talking, and after that you will just summarize what you heard.

Okay, that's all for what you'll see on the TOEFL speaking section.

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