Integrated Speaking and Writing Practice

 

Many students are using my TOEFL Speaking and Writing Service BEFORE they are ready for integrated speaking and writing practice. Therefore…

The integrated speaking and writing practice will focus on reading and listening passages.  As you complete these exercises, the reading and listening passages will gradually get longer and more difficult as you move through this lesson. Many students who score lower on the integrated speaking and writing sections because of their limited ability to paraphrase reading and listening passages.  As a result, the lessons on this web page will help you to practice your reading, listening, note-taking, speaking, and writing skills. Your goal is to read and listen to the passages that then paraphrase the ideas using your own vocabulary and grammar. As you read and listen to the passages, write down the most important points from the sentences.  Then use your notes to

  1. write a sentence re-explaining the most important points using roughly the same number of words as the original sentence(s).
  2. orally re-explain the sentence in about the same number of words as the original source.

Integrated speaking and writing practice

Integrated Speaking and Writing Practice: Showing causal relationships

TOEFL cause effect transition words
TOEFL cause effect transition words

During this exercise, read a short passage. Then listen to a passage about the same topic. Finally, create a sentence that will show a cause-effect relationship linking the most important points from the reading and the listening passages. Check the “listening script” and the “suggested paraphrase” to compare your oral or written response.

1. Mount Pinatubo’s volcanic eruption was one of the most powerful explosions over the last 1000 years.

2. A 7.1 earthquake occurred in Ridgecrest, California.

3. During the summer, the sun’s rays directly shine over the Gulf of Mexico, gradually causing it to warm between 85 and 90 degrees F.

4. The government lowered tax rates on businesses and decreased the regulations in order to set up small businesses.

5. Over the past few days, Death Valley, California had temperatures soaring over 120 degrees F. These searingly hot temperatures posed heat-related illnesses for visiting tourists.

6. Local thunderstorms are formed when warm, moisture-laded air over the land or sea quickly rises. These thunderstorms comprise massive clouds that tower up to 40,000 feet into the atmosphere.

7.  Tornadoes are formed beneath supercell thunderstorms. These types of thunderstorms rotate and form a cloud which connects to the ground. Tornadic winds can reach speeds in excess of 350 miles per hour.

8. Not exercising and eating too many calories daily causes obesity. In the United States about 30% of all residents are at least 30 pounds overweight.

9. Preparing for the TOEFL exam can be challenging since the content of the test is so academic.

10. Pollution from cars and factories rise into the atmosphere.

Integrated Speaking and Writing Practice: Explaining contrasts

TOEFL integrated writing strategies

Now that you are used to combining information from a reading and listening passage to show cause-effect relationships, you will now practice some TOEFL-style integrated speaking and writing tasks. In the same manner, you will read and listen to a short passage. However, this time the information in the lecture will contrast or contradict the information in the reading passage. This is similar to the integrated writing task on the TOEFL exam.

  • Create a sentence(s) explaining how the idea in the listening passage contrasts from the idea in the reading passage.
  • Make sure that you use voice markers that identify the information in the paraphrase as coming from either the reading or listening passage.
  • Check the “listening script” and the “suggested paraphrase” to compare your oral or written response.

1. When a bear is ready to attack, it will stand on its two hind legs.

Listening script

Suggested paraphrase

2. Euphemisms help us avoid talking directly about certain topics such as going to the bathroom since discussing bodily functions in public in prohibited.

Listening script

Possible paraphrase

3. Human tears contain sodium chloride or salt. Salt is found in all bodies’ fluids such as blood, sweat, and tears.

Listening script

Possible paraphrase

4. Imperfections in human’s eyes can make vision fuzzy, thereby making the need for glasses or contacts to correct the vision. These imperfections, or astigmatisms, are often inherited from parents.

Listening script

Possible paraphrase

5. Some scientists believe that, during the dinosaurs’ reign more than 65 million years ago, the atmosphere warmed considerably. Moreover, since dinosaurs’ testes hang externally from their scrotums, the warm temperatures, which the great beasts could not tolerate, caused the male reptiles to become sterile. Therefore, they could not reproduce, hence causing their species to die off.

Listening script

Possible paraphrase

6. Chimpanzees, humans’ closest living relatives, are capable of using language by learning more than 200 different types of hand signals. This type of sign language, thus, qualifies these primates as capable of using language.

Listening script

Possible paraphrase

7. In 2014, geologists discovered what they think might be a reservoir or water in the Earth’s mantle more than 1,800 miles below the Earth’s crust. The scientists believe that the amount of water in the Earth’s mantle may exceed more than the volume of water of all the Earth’s oceans combined.

Listening script

Possible paraphrase

8. As far back as 41,000 years, humans made paintings and etchings on cave walls.  To make these paintings, these Neanderthal humans used chisels, charcoal, berries, and bat poop as paint on straw brushes. Most likely these ancient humans made these paintings to express their religious ideas to other tribes.

Listening script

Possible paraphrase

9. Thomas Edison figured out how to harness electricity to light the filament in a light bulb.  In addition, Edison figured out how to send electricity to homes through a grid system of wires. Therefore, Edison is the inventor of the lightbulb and of harnessing electricity.

Listening script

Possible paraphrase

10. A battery is simply a container filled with special chemicals that create electricity through a chemical reaction. Once all the chemicals in a battery have completed their chemical reactions, the battery dies.

Listening script

Possible paraphrase

Integrated Speaking and Writing Practice: Sequencing ideas numerically, chronologically

During the listening section, you may listen to ideas that are presented in chronological and numerical order.  During the speaking section, a speaker may explain several reasons why s/he agrees or disagrees with a new policy. On the writing section, you may read or listen to a passage that explains several ideas in a numerical order.

During this exercise, read and listen to the passage.

  • Create a sentence(s) showing how the information in the listening passage adds to the information in the reading passage.
  • Make sure that you use voice markers that identify the information in the paraphrase as coming from either the reading or listening passage.
  • Check the “listening script” and the “possible paraphrase” to compare your oral or written response.

1. In the 1950’s, computers were the size of houses. In the 1960’s, transistors, or tiny devices controlling electronic signals, replaced vacuum tubes, helping to dramatically reduce the size of computers while increasing their computing power.

Listening script

Possible paraphrase

2. There are many large living things on our planet. The Blue Whale at a length of 30 meters is the largest animal, the Ostrich, which is 2.7 meters high, is the largest bird, and the Whale Shark, 14 meters long, is the largest fish.

Listening script

Possible paraphrase

3. The heart is the body’s engine by pumping blood to every cell.  The blood delivers oxygen, vitamins, and minerals, and hormones to the cells in one’s body. In addition, the blood takes away bad minerals such as carbon dioxide and other wastes. Finally, when one’s breathes, balloon-like organs called lungs take in oxygen which is absorbed in the blood.

Listening script

Possible paraphrase

4. Birds have feathers so that they can fly; the feathers also keep them warm and dry, and they can make the birds more attractive to their mates.  Mammals have protective coverings called fur which help them to retain body heat and act as a trap for smelly chemicals called pheromones. Like other animals, humans have hair, although they have evolved to become less hairy since clothes, not hair, are what keep them warm.

Listening script

Possible paraphrase

5. Students trying to improve their TOEFL reading scores may overlook some important practices. First, students need to practice reading 45 minutes a day. They can read newspapers, magazines, and books geared toward adults. Second, students should work hard at increasing their vocabulary so that they have a base of about 1,500-2,000 college-level words. Third, students should complete speed reading exercises so that they gradually increase to 300 words per minute with 60%-80% comprehension.

Listening script

Possible paraphrase

6.   In 1835, Mark Twain was born as Samuel Langhorne Clemens in Florida, Missouri, the sixth child of John Marshall and Jane Lampton Clemens. Samuel and his family moved to Hannibal, Missouri in 1839.  Young Clemens revered the steamboats and their pilots who would often stop at his city during their travels on the Mississippi River.

Listening script

Possible paraphrase

7. The platypus appears to be a combination of a duck with its bill and webbed feet, a beaver because of its wide tail, and an otter because of the body and fur of the animal. The platypus is truly a unique animal.

Listening script

Possible paraphrase

8. Different types of natural disasters can cause heavy damage on a community or even a larger area. One particular disaster is a large ocean wave called a tsunami. These large ocean waves are caused by earthquakes, landslides, and volcanic eruptions. A last and unlikely cause of these devastating waves are giant meteors that crash into the ocean.

Listening script

Possible paraphrase

9. To survive, thunderstorms need warm, wet air.  A column of warm air, called an updraft, quickly rises through the atmosphere. The strength of an updraft depends on how different the temperatures are in different parts of a storm. In really strong thunderstorms, updrafts can be more than 100 miles per hour.

Listening script

Possible paraphrase

10. Inflation is an increase in the general level or prices of goods and services over a period of time. Put another way, inflation means that consumers have reduced purchasing power.

Listening script

Possible paraphrase

Integrated Speaking and Writing Practice: Exemplifying ideas

Transition Words to Introduce Examples
Transition Words to Introduce Examples

During the TOEFL listening, speaking, or writing sections, you may listen to a passage that explains an academic concept and then provides an example(s) to illustrate that concept.

During this exercise, listen to the passage.

  • Create a sentence(s) explaining the academic concept and the example that the speaker uses to illustrate it.
  • Make sure that you use voice markers that identify the information in the paraphrase as coming from either the reading or listening passage.
  • Check the “listening script” and the “possible paraphrase” to compare your oral or written response.

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

Defining concepts

During the TOEFL listening, speaking, or writing sections, you may listen to a passage that defines an academic concept.

During this exercise, listen to the passage.

  • Create a sentence(s) defining the academic concept.
  • Make sure that you use voice markers that identify the information in the paraphrase as coming from either the reading or listening passage.
  • Check the “listening script” and the “possible paraphrase” to compare your oral or written response.

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

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Listening script

Possible paraphrase

Support for your TOEFL Integrated Speaking and Writing Practice

Now that you completed these integrated practice exercises, you are now ready to tackle TOEFL-level speaking and writing practice tests.  You can use my TOEFL Speaking and Writing Feedback Service if you want to start sending me speaking and writing practice tests to my email box.  I will evaluate, score, and recommend specific lessons after I read or listen to every practice test that you send me.

Good luck!

Michael Buckhoff
Michael Buckhoff

Michael Buckhoff, Online TOEFL Course

mbuckhoff@aol.com

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