It would be great if we could always enjoy studying English, but we often encounter moments when we have to prove our English skills. This is because there are things that can be obtained only if you need a certain score through the test. Just like TOEFL! TOEFL is a must-prepare test for those who want to study abroad. This is because it is the most preferred test in many English-speaking countries and its daily use is frequent and also required in obtaining a visa.
But it is also true that it is not as easy to prepare as it is important. Because reading, listening, writing, and speaking all have to be above certain scores, not just performing well in one area. And among them, TOEFL speaking is famous for being picky even for those who speak English well. It’s because speaking English well is not all you need, but you need to make sure to fully understand and solve problems on your own.
If you can’t avoid it, you must overcome it well, and overcome it, you have to come up with a perfect strategy! For today, we have prepared for you a traditional way of mastering a new skill. It is called, “know the component first and know yourself next, then you can be successful”. Does this sound boring to you? Or doesn’t it make sense? This might not be attractive since this is not a brand-new tip or whatever. Nevertheless, this strategy is already a well-known successful tip from way before, which is already proved by the traditional ancestors based on their experience. Let’s go back to the basics and begin so that we can get the English TOEFL score.
Know The Component
TOFEL Speaking tests are the components that we need to win against for sure. Before we get right into it, let’s try to analyze the component with two different parts.
How to handle the speaking test well
As the name TOEFL refers, to the Test of English as a Foreign Language, it is a test for foreigners to prove their English level to those who want to study abroad in a country’s main language. Unlike the TOEIC test, which is targeted more at business English, TOEFL emphasizes more of an academic aspect of English. This is clearly mentioned on the ETS TOEFL website.
The TOEFL iBT®” Speaking section is designed to measure your ability to speak English effectively in academic settings. It is composed of 4 tasks that resemble real-life situations you might encounter both in and outside of a classroom.”
As mentioned above, TOEFL Speaking is focused on academic background, so we need to set our minds as we’ve already enrolled in an English-speaking school. On top of that, we need to be familiar with not only the American style but other accents, such as Indian English or UK English. Those countries use English as their national language, but their accents and intonations are totally different. We need to remember that TOEFL also contains various English styles.
Know the structure of questions
We’ve learned that TOEFL is based on scholarly content. We need to find out what the questions for TOEFL Speaking are composed of. Let me analyze it in detail for you.
There are 4 tasks in TOEFL Speaking, and these can be divided into two different sections, independent and integrated. Task 1 can be regarded as an independent question since you need to answer the question based on a script by reading it only, and 3 other tasks are integrated questions because you need to answer them based on the information both from listening and reading.
Task 1 is a question about expressing your opinions about 2 different ideas or asking about your own experience with certain topics. Most people regard this task as a simple question with a low level of difficulty. To prepare for task 1, you need to organize your thoughts clearly for topics and practice expressing your ideas thoughtfully in English.
For task2, it shows you a text description about a certain situation on campus and provides you with a conversation among students talking about the issue. You need to understand clearly the situation based on the text and the conversation so that you can summarize the circumstance based on what you read and heard.
In task 3, you are required to understand a lecture from a professor and answer the questions about it. It provides you with a short text regarding the lecture topic too. This contains somewhat professional content, which might make you feel difficult to overcome. In order to successfully conquer this task, you need to practice telling a story with a clear structure and find an important source in a short amount of time of reading and listening.
Task 4 is about answering questions from a professor’s lecture without reading a text. For this task, it is important to focus on listening from the beginning to the end since there is no reading. If you find important keywords while listening, you should write them down as a reference for your speech and make a short theme based on those keywords.
The overall structure for TOEFL Speaking tasks
Task 1: Telling your personal interests about a situation. Preparation – 15 secs, Speaking – 45 secs.
Task 2: A conversation between 2 students about a campus announcement. Preparation – 30 secs, Reading – 45 secs, Speaking – 60 secs.
Task 3: A lecture based on a text. Preparation – 30 secs, Reading – 45 secs, Speaking – 60 secs.
Task 4: A lecture only. Preparation – 20 secs, Speaking – 60 secs.
We’ve now learned deeply about the component, TOEFL Speaking, and this is the turn to know about ourselves. We need to find out our English level objectively, and our strengths and weaknesses. Knowing yourself is the basic step for setting the best strategy to win.
Let’s start with a self-test
Here’s the official TOEFL webpage. I strongly recommend you take the TOEFL SPEAKING FREE PRACTICE EXAM offered here. All TOEFL tests are conducted on a computer. Therefore, if you use a device such as your computer or smartphone to record it yourself and solve the problem, you can proceed as if it is a real game.
After solving the problem without many studies, listen to it again and check how good you are. This method of recording and checking your voice is also very effective in correcting your tone. You can objectively check whether there are any words or phrases that you often use without realizing it, whether there are any unique language habits that you have, and how fast and pronunciation are.
Deciding how to study
How did you feel after taking the test? You may feel at a loss whether you can prepare for this. But TOEFL speaking is also a test! There are many good ways and tricks to prepare for the test. I strongly recommend you look up these cases and find out how they would fit you to study.
For example, <Memorizing Templates>, which is the most famous for the most people to try. It’s a template that summarizes phrases that usually start when you’re talking about your opinion, or when you’re faced with a certain type of problem. If you memorize this, you just have to put the appropriate words in here, so you can talk without getting stuck.
However, if you use the same template every time, it may seem like a uniform answer, and there is a risk that it will become even from the listener’s point of view. Therefore, it is better to use the template first to speak out, and gradually expand the area so that you can go to your own speech.
If you want to use the template more, I recommend the <TOEFLANKER> website. You will have free access to the most frequently used templates. It’s also a good idea to write down your answers in advance.
So, before you say it, you’re going to practice writing your own English for what you want to say. You can write it down regardless of time and length. But as you keep practicing, you gradually get used to summarizing the content or taking key points to explain it. You can improve your writing skills at the same time!
Now, if you’ve practiced so hard, why don’t you strengthen your skills by speaking in real life? Take advantage of the AmazingTalker service, which allows you to be tutored 1:1 by locals at any time and place you want. The biggest advantage of the service is that you’re free to decide everything. You can find a teacher who is optimized for TOEFL speaking, or you can choose a teacher you like and ask them to prepare a class for you. It is possible to take a single class, so I strongly recommend you participate without any burden.
Focus on the weak parts
If you continue to study like this, you will find some confidence in certain parts, but there will also be weaknesses that you are not confident in. In that case, we need to focus on that part and fill in the gaps! To prepare for this, we will introduce you to the <Test Glide> website where you can prepare for the TOEFL Speaking mock test. Through this website, we can test only what we need using practice questions, mock tests by sections, and mock tests. Also, you can use it for free several times, so please note that you can use it fully even if you don’t sign up for a paid account.
While studying for the exam, you have no choice but to face difficult moments. But this time comes to everyone. Also, you have to overcome this before you can meet yourself again! At each such moment, I hope you will reflect on your goals and concentrate on why we started preparing for the TOEFL. Good luck!