TOEFL Teaching Material – Transition Words Worksheet

There’s a ton of EFL/ESOL teaching material littered across the Internet, I know, and not all of it is fantastic. There are some diamonds in the rough, of course, but if you’re teaching the TOEFL, I’m well aware of how frustrating it can be to find material that’s both appropriate for TOEFL students and relatively well written. Well, I’m giving it my best shot to help correct that.

To that end, here’s the first of what I hope to be several TOEFL worksheets: an activity for pairs, group work, tutoring or studying alone. The worksheet gives students the opportunity to use words and phrases such as “nevertheless” and “what’s more” in speech and in writing. Bear in mind that this is meant to supplement a lesson, not be the lesson.

Download This Worksheet

This worksheet is available for download in both US letter and A4 formats. Pick the version that’s easier for you to print!

The instructions below are included as the first page of the pdf.

Complete TOEFL Prep Advice

If you’d like more comprehensive help teaching the TOEFL—and not just handouts for classroom use—online material is the best way to assign out-of-class work and monitor student’s progress. And if you have a connected classroom, it gives much better simulation of the real test during classroom time than you’d be able to get out of a book.

Still, if you’re working with a full class without computers, you’ll probably want a book. Check out our book reviews for thorough breakdowns of strengths and weaknesses.


There are a number of different ways to use the following worksheet, but the basic idea is that each sentence can be followed up on with a student-generated sentence that uses one of the given transition adverbs.

For example, the first sentence, “I can’t swim very well,” can be followed by “Regardless, I love to spend time on the beach” or “That is, I never really learned.”

Here are a few suggestions for logistics:

As a spoken, pair exercise:

  • The first student chooses any one adverb from the list. Their partner then chooses a sentence to build off and gives one sentence that follows logically. Each sentence on the sheet may be used only twice. They take turns choosing adverbs and creating sentences until all the adverbs have been used.
  • Using the first sentence on the sheet, the first student selects an adverb from the set and follows the given sentence with their own sentence, using their chosen adverb.  Their partner then continues on the same topic with one more sentence using another adverb. Each time a sentence is spoken, the adverb used may not be repeated in a future sentence on the same topic. This continues, alternating, until neither partner can think of logical ways to continue with the adverbs left available.  They then move on to the next sentence on the paper to start a new round.  At that point, all adverbs are once again free to be used.

As a solo, writing exercise:

  • After each sentence, write two sentences that might logically follow, using one of the listed adverbs in each new sentence.


  • Before starting the exercise, elicit which adverbs are more strictly for written or spoken English (formal or informal) and which sentences are more likely to be from spoken English.
  • All of the given transitions can be categorized as one of the following. Have students label them before or after the exercise.
    • Contrast
    • Comparison
    • Continuation
    • Explanation
    • Consequence
    • Generalization


Did you find this worksheet useful? Let us know in the comments!


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  • Lucas Fink

    Lucas is the teacher behind Magoosh TOEFL. He’s been teaching TOEFL preparation and more general English since 2009, and the SAT since 2008. Between his time at Bard College and teaching abroad, he has studied Japanese, Czech, and Korean. None of them come in handy, nowadays.

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