Watch the video version of this lesson:
Think back when you first learned how to drive a car. At first, you were really nervous about driving, so you had to consciously think of how to operate a vehicle, right?
- Checking the side view mirrors for anyone/anything behind you
- Looking over your right shoulder, again checking to see if everything is clear for you to back up
- Engaging the transmission in reverse
- Holding onto the brakes until you were ready to back up; then slightly pressing the accelerator so that you began moving backward
- Placing your hands on the steering wheel and turning it in the direction that you were trying to move
You consciously thought out about going through these vehicle maneuvers every time you backed up when you first learned to drive a car. However, after a few weeks/months, driving became more automatic for you, right?
Similarly, if you write out your TOEFL integrated speaking tasks, your TOEFL speaking delivery, language-use, and topic development will become more automatic and natural.
How will writing out my TOEFL integrated speaking tasks improve my delivery?
When you write out your TOEFL integrated speaking tasks, pay attention to the following as you read your script out loud:
- Avoid any word stress shifts with multi-syllabic words; check an online dictionary if you are unsure of how to pronounce a longer word.
- Stress content words and unstress function words in the sentences you speak.
- Pause after natural breaks in your sentences such as transition words. Also, pause after 4-5 content words to create a meaningful thought group. Each thought group should be blended together without any distinct pauses–therefore, the thought group should almost sound like a single drawn out word.
- Vary your tone by using a slightly higher tone at the end of your thought groups; use a falling pitch at the end your sentences.
As you read out loud the script, practice these word stress, sentence rhythm, pacing, and tone tips until your delivery becomes natural. Your pronunciation, if you are already an advanced speaker of English, will become more natural sounding after about 2-3 months of practice.
Will writing out my TOEFL integrated speaking tasks improve my language-use?
Absolutely, writing out your TOEFL responses will help you with your language-use. As you read your script out loud, focus on the following areas:
- Use a program like Microsoft word to determine the Flesh-Kincaid Grade level of the script you wrote. Your grade level is determined by the average sentence length and word length. Make sure that your integrated speaking scripts have average sentence lengths of 20-30 words and word lengths of 4-6 characters. Therefore, your grade level for the integrated speaking tasks that you are writing should be between 12-14.
- In addition, closely read over your scripts before you record them to check for any grammar errors such as points of view shifts, verb tense issues, word form problems, and so on. Aim to make an oral recording of a script that contains few or no grammar errors. If you are not confident in your own grammar skills, join an inexpensive TOEFL Speaking and Writing Service so that you can get feedback on your TOEFL speaking integrated practice tests. These mentors have excellent grammar training so they can point out any problems that you may be having with your language use.
As you read your TOEFL integrated speaking script, concentrate intently on your syntactic variety, vocabulary, and grammar usage. Practice in time will help you to gain more accurate control with your vocabulary and grammar.
Will this help me to improve my topic development?
Indeed, as you write out your TOEFL integrated speaking tasks, you will become more conscious of your topic development. In other words, you will be able to organize and develop your TOEFL integrated tasks in an understandable fashion. Therefore, you will be able to improve your topic development. Keep in mind the following tips as you evaluate your TOEFL integrated speaking scripts for topic development.
- Familiarize yourself enough with the TOEFL integrated speaking tasks so you can create outlines/templates that will help you organize your integrated speaking responses. Do NOT copy templates from any websites.
- As you write your TOEFL integrated speaking scripts, check the reading and listening passages to make sure that you have NOT left anything out. Your goal is to show how the MAIN points in the listening passage relate to the MAIN points in the reading passage. Or, you show what the most important point is in a lecture and how the supporting points relate to that.
- Make sure that you are using 4-8 transition words/phrases in each of your TOEFL integrated speaking task responses.
- Use 4-6 voice markers in each TOEFL speaking response and keep everything framed from the third person point of view; that way your response sounds like a formal oral summary of academic content.
Once I have written out scripts for the TOEFL integrated speaking tasks, what should I do after that?
Here is the strategies/timeline I recommend for writing out scripts:
- Spend an hour each day writing out a script for ONE TOEFL integrated speaking practice test; make sure to check it for delivery, language use, and topic development problems. Then, make your voice recordings. Do this for four weeks.
- Then, instead of writing out your scripts, make brief outlines for your TOEFL speaking tasks. Then, make your voice recordings. Do this for one month.
- Finally, join a TOEFL Speaking and Writing Service so that you can get delivery, language-use, and topic development feedback so that you can monitor your progress. Do this for one month.
- Register to take the official TOEFL exam, and pray to the good Lord above that you score over 26 points.