TOEFL Integrated Speaking Tips, Part 2


In my last post, I gave you some TOEFL Integrated Speaking Tips for reading. Today we’ll look at listening tips for this part of the TOEFL.

The types of audio tracks in TOEFL Integrated Speaking

Each of the three Integrated Speaking Tasks has an audio track. Tasks 2 has audio of a conversation about student life. And in tasks 3 and 4, you’ll listen to academic lectures. The lecture audio tracks are both very similar; they both briefly explain some kind of academic concept. Task 2, on the other hand, has a unique conversation audio track, different from the conversation tracks you hear in TOEFL Listening. Specifically, in Task 2, one speaker does most of the talking, as he or she expresses an opinion about a school-related issue.

Tips for listening to the conversation in TOEFL Integrated Speaking

In the Task 2 conversation, remember that one student will have a strong opinion about the information in the reading passage. You should be able to tell which student is the opinionated one right away. From there, focus on listening to the opinionated student. What the other student says isn’t so important; the opinionated student’s responses are the real key to the task.

Tips for listening to lectures in TOEFL Integrated Speaking

Now let’s look at strategies TOEFL Integrated Speaking lectures (the ones in Tasks 3 and 4). In both cases, the TOEFL lectures are structured like written essays. They’ll have an introduction, conclusion, and body paragraphs. In fact, you even can see the ideas actually separated into paragraphs if you look at the official TOEFL lecture transcripts provided by ETS (and lecture transcripts from other TOEFL prep companies such as Magoosh). Once you realize a TOEFL lecture has the same structure as an academic essay, you can learn to “read” the lecture, easily identifying the main points from its well organized, predictable structure. Your notes will look similar to the notes you might take on an academic reading passage. To practice this approach, check out our blog’s tutorial on “reading” a TOEFL lecture.

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  • David Recine

    David is a Test Prep Expert for Magoosh TOEFL and IELTS. Additionally, he's helped students with TOEIC, PET, FCE, BULATS, Eiken, SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT. David has a BS from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and an MA from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. His work at Magoosh has been cited in many scholarly articles, his Master's Thesis is featured on the Reading with Pictures website, and he's presented at the WITESOL (link to PDF) and NAFSA conferences. David has taught K-12 ESL in South Korea as well as undergraduate English and MBA-level business English at American universities. He has also trained English teachers in America, Italy, and Peru. Come join David and the Magoosh team on Youtube, Facebook, and Instagram, or connect with him via LinkedIn!

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