How would you respond to these sample TOEFL Speaking prompts? They are questions 1 and 2.
Tradition is sometimes controversial. As society changes, so do the borderlines between what is acceptable and unacceptable. In some cases, public opinion on traditions about gender roles or religious observance change. At the same time, many who immigrate to a different country with its own culture struggle to hold on to the customs they have learned and valued.
How do you feel about changing traditions? Why do traditions change? Is it right to give up some cultural or religious traditions if you are in a new country? Should people practice the same traditions as their parents or grandparents? Why?
Share your thoughts in the comment box below.
Even if you’re not preparing for the TOEFL, TOEFL Cafe can be a great resource. Here are three ways I like to use it with students.
1. Assess Your Speaking Speed. Since TOEFL Cafe has a timer for your response, it can give you a better idea of how quickly you speak. Of course, speed doesn’t necessarily equate to clarity, but it can indicate some other problems, like inadequate vocabulary or pronunciation issues. If you constantly run over the time limit despite having a well-focused response, you might want to think about asking a tutor to help you with intonation because it can help speed up your speaking.
2. Use the Prompts as a Jumping Off Point. Many of the prompts ask questions about your opinions or beliefs. Students can use these questions to design interviews for peers in order to practice their speaking and listening skills. After picking a question they are interested in, students can do research and conduct interviews to assess public opinion on the topic. Once they are done with their research, they can develop it into a presentation.
3. Develop Your Note-taking Skills. How do you organize information into easy-to-read notes? If you take notes, can you understand them the next day? With short listening and reading passages, TOEFL Cafe can be a good tool for practicing note-taking. Some questions, like prompts #3, 5, and 6 are particularly useful because they involve different speakers and sources of information. TOEFL Cafe can help you create a note-taking system to help you in other situations later on.
What do you think? How would you use this free resource?
In the last blog post, you heard a little bit about TOEFL Cafe. Today, I suggest you try it out. Visit the website and choose a series of questions to answer. Try all six of the speak prompt challenges. When you’re done, come back and share your experience in the comment box below.
Now it is time to practice summarizing writing. Here you will find links to three articles that you can read. Try to summarize the articles in the comment box. Remember to use the guideline presented earlier in the week.
Article #1: Funding Your U.S. Study by Doug Bernard
A short post on the Voice of America blog about studying in the United States.
Article #2: When and How to Say “Enough!” by Martha Beck
A longer article from Oprah Magazine on how to improve your life.
Article #3: 4 Steps to Take if Your Boss is a Micromanager by Dr. Peggy Drexler
This is longer article on a problem that sometimes arises in the workplace.
Here you will find three "notes". Summarize the main idea of each page in the comment box below.
East Bay ESL is an English language school for learners in the San Francisco East Bay.