A Guide to the TOEFL (Speaking) Exam: Week Nine + Conclusion

If you haven’t seen – “A Guide to the TOEFL (Speaking) Exam: Introduction + Week One” – yet, then I would recommend starting there. On the other hand, if you’ve already seen it, or if you just don’t care, then welcome to the final installment of my nine-week TOEFL (Speaking) Exam preparation course.

This lesson plan is for a 40-minute class, give or take three minutes because I was lucky enough to have some leeway.

  1. 0:00 – 40:00 = TOEFL (Speaking) Mock Exam 9

Homework Assignment #17 – Task 5 Practice

This is an example of a Task 5 Question, and it should take you less than 4 minutes to complete. Keep in mind, during the exam you will listen to a short passage (take notes as you listen), then you will receive the question. After that you will have 20 seconds to prepare your response, and 60 seconds to deliver it.

As ever, I pay special attention to the following when critiquing your responses:

  1. Delivery: How clear is your speech? Good responses are those in which the speech is fluid and clear, with good pronunciation, natural pacing, and natural-sounding intonation patterns.
  2. Language Use: How effectively do you use grammar and vocabulary to convey your ideas? How well can you control both basic and more complex language structures? Did you use appropriate vocabulary?
  3. Topic Development: How fully did you answer the question, and how coherently did you present your ideas? Good responses generally use all or most of the time allotted, and the relationship between ideas and the progression from one idea to the next is clear and easy to follow.

[Begin audio at 4:40 — TOEFL Speaking, Task 5 Samples]

Q: “The professors discuss two possible solutions to the woman’s problem. Describe the problem, then state which of the two solutions you prefer and explain why.”

*For Key Points see HW17 (PDF) file attachment.

***Bonus Task 5 Sample Question — Exam English***

Listen, it’s easy to find sample Task 5 Questions, all I did was search YouTube for: “toefl speaking exam task 5 sample questions”

Homework Assignment #18 – Task 6 Practice

This is an example of a Task 6 Question, and it should take you less than 4 minutes to complete. Keep in mind, during the exam you will listen to a short passage (take notes as you listen), then you will receive the question. After that you will have 20 seconds to prepare your response, and 60 seconds to deliver it.

[Begin audio at 6:27 — TOEFL Speaking, Task 6 Samples]

Q: “Using points and examples from the lecture, explain how flying squirrels are affected by the biological clock.”

*For Key Points see HW18 (PDF) file attachment.

***Bonus Task 6 Sample Question — Exam English***

Listen, it’s easy to find sample Task 6 Questions, all I did was search YouTube for: “toefl speaking exam task 6 sample questions”

TOEFL Scoring Rubric, Attachments, and Presentation

This scoring table is copyrighted by the Educational Testing Service. They are the creators of the TOEFL Test, and their book, Official Guide to the TOEFL Test with DVD, Fifth Edition (2017), is the definitive guide. If you’re serious about getting the highest possible score on this exam, then buy it.

toefl_speaking_rubrics

attachments

Parting Thoughts

First and foremost, if you’ve made it this far then I only have one thing to say to you: bravo1. You’ve completed 72 total TOEFL Speaking Tasks — nine mock examinations + eighteen homework assignments. That’s impressive. 

There’s a popular American expression, often uttered by weary athletes after an important game: “I left my heart on the field.” It means that they strove, with every fibre of their being, to do their absolute best. It’s the antithesis of quitting. Athletes who leave their hearts on the field have no regrets. They never look back and say: “If only I had tried harder.” It’s my hope that, as you progressed through this course, you left your heart on the field. I hope that you challenged yourself, strove with all your might, and I hope that you have no regrets. 

Now, for those of you sitting there thinking — I didn’t leave my heart on the field — I have good news: you can try again, because there are second chances in TOEFL preparation. So relax, grab some coffee, and get back after it. 

P.S. I’m sure you’ve noticed that, in many cases, the “key points” are really just sample answers. That’s the case because I didn’t want to copy and paste the same formulas over and over again, I wanted to give you something original to work with — something that you could analyze, breakdown, and reference to improve your own responses.

P.P.S. I’ll be posting a bonus section that includes: an abridged version of my notes on the speaking section of The Official Guide to the TOEFL Test, as well as four mock reading exams.

A Guide to the TOEFL (Speaking) Exam: Week Eight

If you haven’t seen – “A Guide to the TOEFL (Speaking) Exam: Introduction + Week One” – yet, then I would recommend starting there. On the other hand, if you’ve already seen it, or if you just don’t care, then welcome to week eight of my nine-week TOEFL (Speaking) Exam preparation course.

This lesson plan is for a 40-minute class, give or take three minutes because I was lucky enough to have some leeway.

  1. 0:00 – 8:00 = Word Choice Practice Exam III
    • Give students 2:00 to read the notes and instructions, then 5:30 to take the exam.
  2. 8:00 – 10:00 = Quickly read through the correct answers to the WC practice exam.
  3. 10:00 – 15:30 = Watch “The Art of Debate: Never Lose an Argument Again” by THNKR.
    • Instruct students to watch closely, listen carefully, and take notes.
  4. 15:30 – 21:30 = Debate practice. 
    • First, break students into pairs, and have them debate each other. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):
      1. Competitive video gaming should be an Olympic event.
      2. Owning and operating gas-powered vehicles should be illegal.
      3. When self-driving cars are cheap enough for all car owners to afford, it should be illegal for people to drive.
      4. Movies portraying vampires in a positive light should be banned.
      5. It should be illegal to manufacture and distribute disgusting ice cream flavors, such as Old Betsy’s “Cow Patty-swirl with Boogers”.
      6. In Disney World it should be legal to sell chewing gum. It’s not right now, by the way.
      7. It should be illegal to give out healthy food, such as apples and carrot sticks, to trick-or-treaters on Halloween.
    • Then, instruct each pair of students to debate another pair.
  5. 21:30 – 40:00 = TOEFL (Speaking) Mock Exam 8

Homework Assignment #15 – Task 3 Practice

This is an example of an “Integrated” Task 3 Question, and it should take you less than 5 minutes to complete. Keep in mind, during the exam you will only have 45 seconds to read a short text, then you will then hear a short conversation, or part of a lecture, on the same topic. You may take notes during both the reading and listening sections. Next you will see a question concerning the information you read and heard. Finally, you will have 30 seconds to prepare your response, and 60 seconds to respond.

As ever, I pay special attention to the following when critiquing your responses:

  1. Delivery: How clear is your speech? Good responses are those in which the speech is fluid and clear, with good pronunciation, natural pacing, and natural-sounding intonation patterns.
  2. Language Use: How effectively do you use grammar and vocabulary to convey your ideas? How well can you control both basic and more complex language structures? Did you use appropriate vocabulary?
  3. Topic Development: How fully did you answer the question, and how coherently did you present your ideas? Good responses generally use all or most of the time allotted, and the relationship between ideas and the progression from one idea to the next is clear and easy to follow.

Plan to Enlarge the Library

We plan to enlarge the library by 20,000 square feet, and the space will be devoted to increased shelf space for printed materials and more desks for students. The university plans to transform the main library into a learning and information center that will fulfill our promise to offer the best possible environment for academic success and high achieving students in the 21st century. The work is expected to begin in early February and it will be completed next year.

[Begin audio at 5:46 — TOEFL Speaking, Task 3 Samples]

Q: “The man expresses his opinion of the announcement, state his opinion and explain the reasons he gives for holding it.”

*For Key Points see HW15 (PDF) file attachment.

***Bonus Task 3 Sample Question — Exam English***

Listen, it’s easy to find sample Task 3 Questions, all I did was search YouTube for: “toefl speaking exam task 3 sample questions”

Homework Assignment #16 – Task 4 Practice

This is an example of an “Integrated” Task 4 Question, and it should take you less than 5 minutes to complete. Keep in mind, during the exam you will only have 45 seconds to read a short text, then you will then hear a short conversation, or part of a lecture, on the same topic. You may take notes during both the reading and listening sections. Next you will see a question concerning the information you read and heard. Finally, you will have 30 seconds to prepare your response, and 60 seconds to respond.

Cyclic Population Change

An ecosystem is a functional system that includes an ecological community of organisms together with the physical environment, interacting as a unit. One aspect of ecosystems, cyclic population change, refers to species changing the size of their population cyclically. Populations change over time due to many different circumstances such as their size and their climate change. However, as these circumstances repeat, the populations of these species return to their original state.

[Begin audio at 6:26 — TOEFL Speaking, Task 4 Samples]

Q: “Using points and examples from the lecture, describe the changes among wolves and mice.”

*For Key Points see HW16 (PDF) file attachment.

***Bonus Task 4 Sample Question — Exam English***

Listen, it’s easy to find sample Task 4 Questions, all I did was search YouTube for: “toefl speaking exam task 4 sample questions”

TOEFL Scoring Rubric, Attachments, and Presentation

This scoring table is copyrighted by the Educational Testing Service. They are the creators of the TOEFL Test, and their book, Official Guide to the TOEFL Test with DVD, Fifth Edition (2017), is the definitive guide. If you’re serious about getting the highest possible score on this exam, then buy it.

toefl_speaking_rubrics

Attachments

A Guide to the TOEFL (Speaking) Exam: Week Seven

If you haven’t seen – “A Guide to the TOEFL (Speaking) Exam: Introduction + Week One” – yet, then I would recommend starting there. On the other hand, if you’ve already seen it, or if you just don’t care, then welcome to week seven of my nine-week TOEFL (Speaking) Exam preparation course.

This lesson plan is for a 40-minute class, give or take three minutes because I was lucky enough to have some leeway.

  1. 0:00 – 8:00 = Word Choice Practice Exam II
    • Give students 2:00 to read the notes and instructions, then 5:30 to take the exam.
  2. 8:00 – 10:00 = Quickly read through the correct answers to the WC practice exam.
  3. 10:00 – 17:00 = Speaking exercise… Watch the “NSA Clip” from Good Will Hunting
    • Instruct students to watch carefully and listen closely because, after watching the clip, they will take turns performing the monologue with a partner.
    • Don’t forget the transcript.
  4. 17:00 – 20:00 = Breakdown one or two of the student’s responses to this week’s homework assignments.
  5. 20:00 – 40:00 = TOEFL (Speaking) Mock Exam 7

Homework Assignment #13 – Task 1 Practice

This is an example of an “Independent” Task 1 Question, and it should take you less than 2 minutes to complete. Keep in mind, during the exam you will only have 15 seconds to prepare your answer, and 45 seconds to deliver it, after your Task 1 Question is presented to you.

As ever, I pay special attention to the following when critiquing your responses:

  1. Delivery: How clear is your speech? Good responses are those in which the speech is fluid and clear, with good pronunciation, natural pacing, and natural-sounding intonation patterns.
  2. Language Use: How effectively do you use grammar and vocabulary to convey your ideas? How well can you control both basic and more complex language structures? Did you use appropriate vocabulary?
  3. Topic Development: How fully did you answer the question, and how coherently did you present your ideas? Good responses generally use all or most of the time allotted, and the relationship between ideas and the progression from one idea to the next is clear and easy to follow.

Q: “Talk about an experience in your life that made you feel embarrassed. Describe it, and explain why it was embarrassing.”

*For Key Points see HW13 (PDF) file attachment.

***Bonus Task 1 Sample Question — Exam English***

Listen, it’s easy to find sample Task 1 Questions, all I did was search Google for: “toefl speaking exam task 1 sample questions”

Homework Assignment #14 – Task 2 Practice

This is an example of an “Independent” Task 2 Question, and it should take you less than 2 minutes to complete. Keep in mind, during the exam you will only have 15 seconds to prepare your answer, and 45 seconds to deliver it, after your Task 2 Question is presented to you.

Q: “Explain why you agree or disagree with this statement: You should always give your server a tip, even if their service is poor.”

*For Key Points see HW14 (PDF) file attachment.

***Bonus Task 2 Sample Question — Exam English***

Listen, it’s easy to find sample Task 2 Questions, all I did was search Google for: “toefl speaking exam task 2 sample questions”

TOEFL Scoring Rubric, Attachments, and Presentation

This scoring table is copyrighted by the Educational Testing Service. They are the creators of the TOEFL Test, and their book, Official Guide to the TOEFL Test with DVD, Fifth Edition (2017), is the definitive guide. If you’re serious about getting the highest possible score on this exam, then buy it.

toefl_speaking_rubrics

attachments