TOEFL® Speaking 3 Practice 26

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In this question, you'll first read a short text. The text will go away and you will then listen to a talk on the same topic. You will then be asked a question about what you have read and heard. You'll have 30 seconds to prepare your answer and 60 seconds to speak.

You may take notes while you read and while you listen to the conversations and lectures. You may use your notes to help prepare your response.

We recommend you practice taking notes with a pen and paper like you will during your TOEFL exam.

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Explain sweeping generalization and how the example used by the professor illustrates the concept.
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Explain sweeping generalization and how the example used by the professor illustrates the concept.
Explain sweeping generalization and how the example used by the professor illustrates the concept.

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Sweeping generalization
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Question

Explain sweeping generalization and how the example used by the professor illustrates the concept.

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Sample Answer
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Grammar & Vocabulary Training Exercise
(This exercise trains your speech, listening skills, and speaking comprehension)

Listen to your response and write out exactly what you hear including grammar and spelling mistakes. Use Grammarly to find any common and intermediate level mistakes.

Re-write your response to use correct grammar and spelling and improve the structure then redo the test.



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Pronunciation Training Exercise
(This exercise trains your pronunciation, speech rhythm, timing, and reading)

Click the record button and read out load a Sample Answer Script:. As you speak, your speech will be translated to text. It can take 5 seconds before the text appears, so don't worry and keep speaking.

Click the record button to stop recording; Review the text for any pronunciation errors.



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Answer Template
Here is the answer template you can use:
Note that the X stands for the concept.

From the reading passage, X is described as ______

The professor illustrates/demonstrates X by giving one/two examples.

In the first example, _____

In the second example, ______

(Optional) In summary/So/Therefore, these examples demonstrate/show X

Note-taking tips
When listening and taking notes, you should concentrate on the following three things: the academic topic, transition words, and examples.

There are certain keywords or sentence patterns that professors use to introduce new academic concepts:
1. X is a/an ______ that/who/which/where _________________________
2. X occurs when/where ________________________________
3. A concept/idea/situation________ that/who/which ___________ is referred to as/known as/called X
4. X refers to the idea/concept that ____ or X___ refers to the situation/circumstance where ____

Examples:
Verbal communication is a type of communication that uses words and language.
VC occurs when we use language and speak to each other
The style of communication that uses words and language is referred to as VC.
VC refers to a style of communication where language and words are used


Pay attention to the following transition words that help you capture the main ideas and examples:
Type of connection Transition words
These words show the order of ideas. First/Second/Third
Firstly (or “First of all”)/Secondly/Thirdly (or “Lastly”)
For one thing/For another thing/Finally (or “Lastly”)
In the first place/in the second place/Finally (or “Lastly”)
These words show the addition of information In addition, furthermore, additionally, also, next, moreover, what’s more, on top of that
These words shows conclusions. To sum up, in summary, in conclusion, to conclude, all in all, all things considered ,overall, taking everything into consideration, in a nutshell
These words demonstrate contrast Conversely, on the contrary, by contrast, by way of contrast, on one hand/on the other hand
These words compare or demonstrate similarity Similarly, likewise, by the same token, along similar lines
These words show result. As a result, as a consequence, consequently, therefore
These words state a generalization. Generally, on the whole, in most cases, in general
These words clarify a point. That is, in other words, to put it simply, That is to say, just to reiterate
These words give examples. For example, for instance, take something, for example, to give a clear example
These words state an alternative. Alternatively, as another possibility

Examples:
Good morning! Class! Today I want to talk about an interesting psychological phenomenon: word framing. Basically, a concept that people make choices to describe a situation in a positive or negative way is referred to as word framing. For example, if the weather today is forecast to be cloudy and there is a 50% possibility of rain, according to the forecast many people may take umbrellas with them, but if the weather forecast was delivered as there is a 50% possibility of sunshine then very few people would prepare for a rainy day. Naturally, as you can imagine, word framing can produce significant effects on buyers’ decisions, so many advertisements are carefully worded to render the best outcome. For example, we often hear or read that a certain medicine works for 90% of the patients. That sounds pretty cool right. Let’s say there is another medicine claiming it does not work for 10% of the patients. Which would you choose the first one or the second one? So. Of course, customers would find the first one more attractive and buy it, but both medicines have the same percentage of workability.

Alright! For those of you who don’t know what a self-fulfilling prophecy is. Today’s lecture I am going to talk about self-fulfilling prophecy! So.. a self-fulfilling prophecy occurs when a person acts based on a false presupposition, forcing their thoughts to become the reality. I'll give you an example. A bank is run properly for many years, there are no problems whatsoever, and everybody's money is safe. One day, a large group of people came to the bank, the reason is unknown, and many of the customers falsely perceive this to mean the bank is in financial trouble, so they decide to withdraw their money so they do not incur any losses. Unfortunately for the bank, the rumor continued and more people began withdrawing their money and finally the bank did go into financial trouble and ended up going bankrupt. Therefore, the false rumor indirectly became true as a result of their actions.

Here are symbols you can use in your notes.
SymbolMeaningExamples
=refer to, occur, ..etc A concept that people make choices to describe a situation in a positive or negative way is referred to as word framing
Word framing = ppl describe a situation in ✓ or X way.
Because, as a result of, due to, because, owing to Due to the increasing popularity of e-books, there has been a fall in paper book sales.
∵↑e-books, paper books $↓
Therefore Element 43 has radioactive decay, therefore element 43 doesn't last very long, which means if that ever had been present on earth, it would have decayed ages ago.
Elem43 has radioa. decay ∴ it ≠ last long
=>result in, lead to, contribute to, give rise to, cause Carbon dioxide significantly contributes to global warming.
CO => global warming
isn't, doesn't, don't, can't etc. Element 43 has radioactive decay, therefore element 43 doesn't last very long, which means if that ever had been present on earth, it would decayed ages ago.
Elem43 has radioa. decay ∴ it ≠ last long
+many, lots of, a great deal of, etc. Because potatoes have the ability to provide abundant and extremely nutritious food crop, no other crop grew in Northern Europe. As a result, the nutrition of the general population improved tremendously and population soared in the early 1800s.
∵ potatoes /nutri crop/+vitamins => popul↑ in Europe 1800s
++Comparatives Older and more experienced birds who nest in the high density shrub areas have significantly more offspring than those in low density areas, which suggests the choice of where to nest does have an impact on the number of chicks they have.
older birds /nest in high shrub ++offsprings birds/nest in low shrub
+++Superlatives What was even more surprising were all the large organisms that lived down there. The most distinctive of these was something called the tube worm. Here, let me show you a picture. The tube of the tube worm is really, really long. They can be up to one and half meters long, and these tubes are attached to the ocean floor, pretty weird looking, huh?
! +++special = tube warm /long/tubes attached to ocean floor
-Little, few, lack ,in short of/ be in shortage of, etc. As I said the monsoon migrated itself, so there was less rain in the Sahara. The land started to get drier, which in turn caused huge decreases in the amount of vegetation, because vegetation doesn't grow as well in dry soil, right? And then, less vegetation means the soil can't hold water and the soil loses its ability to retain water when it does rain. So then you have less moisture to help clouds form, nothing to evaporate for cloud formation.
- rain in Sahara
land ++dry => vegetation↓
--vegetation => soil ≠ hold water => -water to form cloud
!Important, interesting But what's particularly interesting about these volcanoes is that most of the volcanoes here on Earth are not shield volcanoes. Instead, they are other volcano types, like strata volcanoes, for example, which are a result of tectonic plate movement.
! volcanoes on earth ≠ shield volcanoes = strata volcanoes
tectonic plate => volcanoes on earth

Other symbols:
SymbolMeaning
&And, also, in addition, etc.
~ about/around, approximately, etc.
...And so on
$Sales, money, cost
e.g.For example
i.e.That is
xWrong, incorrect, bad, detrimental, negative, etc.
Right, good, positive, etc.

High Scoring Answer Analysis

This question requires you to integrate all three skills: reading, listening and speaking at once. Unlike question 3 about a campus issue, this fourth question of the Speaking section focuses on an academic topic. You will have 50 seconds to read a short section of an academic article. After reading the announcement, you will listen to an excerpt of a lecture. The lecture often explains more thoroughly the topic mentioned in the short reading. The question often asks you to combine the information from both the reading and the conversation to provide a summary of the two. Let’s look at an example for this question.

Example:

Read the following passage

Paradox of choice refers to the idea that humans deal with greater anxiety today because of the vast number of choices they face. When a person is given more choices, they have heightened expectations that can also result in disappointment when their desires aren’t satisfied. This need to satisfy their desires by making the right choice creates apprehension.

Audio Transcript

What is the paradox of choice? Does more choices mean better? Today, whether we are buying a pair of jeans, ordering a cup of coffee, or selecting a cellphone every decision has become increasingly complex due to the overwhelming choices presented to us. Psychologist Barry Schwartz advocated; eliminating consumer choices could greatly reduce anxiety for shoppers. Having too many options sometimes makes it difficult to make a decision. I'll give you an example. When I was a kid, there were only a few selections. I could only choose a few oversized fitting shirts, but I had no regrets, because there was no one to blame but the world. In addition, my expectations were low, so I knew to expect a poorly made shirt. However, recently I was trying to decide on buying a shirt from a local shopping mall and it took me an hour to try on all the different shirts. I ended up with the best fitting shirt I have ever worn, but I was disappointed. Why? Why was I disappointed? I picked a great shirt. But, it was not perfect. With the choices today, my expectations have sky rocketed, so the shirt was not living up to my expectations. So, who can I blame? Well, with all the shirt selections, I blamed myself. I was disappointed with myself for not choosing a shirt that lived up to my expectations. This is a classic example of paradox of the choice. The burden of decision-making amplified with overwhelming decisions often leads to buyers’ anxiety.

Using the main points and examples describe paradox of choice

Answer:

Paradox of choice is described in this lecture as a person's anxiety to make decisions because of the overwhelming amounts of choices given today. The professor quoted Barry Schwartz in that he believes that eliminating consumers choices could greatly reduce shopper's anxieties. The professor gave two examples one from his childhood and one from the present day. He mentioned that when he was a kid, he would go to a clothing store to buy a shirt and there would only be few choices all of which were poorly made. The shirts were oversized, but he was still happy because his expectations were low. He expected the shirts to be oversized, but he did not have a choice, so he bought them. However, in the present day, he has too many choices when buying a shirt, so it took him an hour to pick out one shirt. Although the shirt fit him perfectly, he was disappointed in himself, because the shirt did not meet his expectations. He felt that he could have picked out an even better shirt.

Analysis and comments

Overall, this is a good response to this question.

  • The speech starts off with the definition of the concept from the reading. With this definition included, the speech is much easier to understand and follow because listeners will have some background knowledge on the subject matter before the speech discusses further the concept.
  • The speech includes the main point of the lecture which is the connection between eliminating choices and lowering people’s level of anxiety. Furthermore, it also includes professor’s examples to help illustrate the main point better. The speech talks about the example of the professor buying a shirt when he was young and buying a shirt now. Unlike sample 1 which only lists out the examples, sample 2 goes in length in fully explaining the examples to prove the connection between the examples and the explanation of the concept. You can tell that the second sample is much more convincing and easy to follow.
  • The second sample does not include personal experience and opinions of the speaker. It focuses solely on the reading and the lecture. That is how a response to this question should be.

Low Scoring Answer Analysis

This question requires you to integrate all three skills: reading, listening and speaking at once. Unlike question 3 about a campus issue, this fourth question of the Speaking section focuses on an academic topic. You will have 50 seconds to read a short section of an academic article. After reading the announcement, you will listen to an excerpt of a lecture. The lecture often explains more thoroughly the topic mentioned in the short reading. The question often asks you to combine the information from both the reading and the conversation to provide a summary of the two. Let’s look at an example for this question.

Example:

Read the following passage

Paradox of choice refers to the idea that humans deal with greater anxiety today because of the vast number of choices they face. When a person is given more choices, they have heightened expectations that can also result in disappointment when their desires aren’t satisfied. This need to satisfy their desires by making the right choice creates apprehension.

Audio Transcript

What is the paradox of choice? Does more choices mean better? Today, whether we are buying a pair of jeans, ordering a cup of coffee, or selecting a cellphone every decision has become increasingly complex due to the overwhelming choices presented to us. Psychologist Barry Schwartz advocated; eliminating consumer choices could greatly reduce anxiety for shoppers. Having too many options sometimes makes it difficult to make a decision. I'll give you an example. When I was a kid, there were only a few selections. I could only choose a few oversized fitting shirts, but I had no regrets, because there was no one to blame but the world. In addition, my expectations were low, so I knew to expect a poorly made shirt. However, recently I was trying to decide on buying a shirt from a local shopping mall and it took me an hour to try on all the different shirts. I ended up with the best fitting shirt I have ever worn, but I was disappointed. Why? Why was I disappointed? I picked a great shirt. But, it was not perfect. With the choices today, my expectations have sky rocketed, so the shirt was not living up to my expectations. So, who can I blame? Well, with all the shirt selections, I blamed myself. I was disappointed with myself for not choosing a shirt that lived up to my expectations. This is a classic example of paradox of the choice. The burden of decision-making amplified with overwhelming decisions often leads to buyers’ anxiety.

Using the main points and examples describe paradox of choice

Answer:

In the lecture, the professor discusses the paradox of choice. The professor quoted Barry Schwartz in that he believes that eliminating consumers choices could greatly reduce shopper's anxieties. The professor provides examples from his personal life to further illustrate the concept. When he was younger, he would buy a poorly made shirt and still be happy. Recently, he went to the mall to buy a shirt. He got a nice shirt but still felt disappointed about himself. I think the idea of paradox of choice is correct and easy to relate. I feel the paradox as well. Every time I go to a shop, I’ll feel pressure because of all the choices I have for the same products. It is stressful, and it can make me very unhappy. I agree with the professor.

Analysis and comments

Wrong things

  • The first wrong thing about this speech is its lack of concept definition. The reading often contains the definition of the concept. That definition is utterly important for your speech. By giving the definition or overall idea of the concept, you are giving important background knowledge for your listeners so they can understand what to come next in your speech. Without a definition from the reading, like in this example, if you don’t already know what ‘paradox of choice’ is from this question, you will be confused listening to this speech.
  • When talking about the example the professor provides, the speech fails to explain thoroughly how those examples connect with the concept the professor is explaining. Listing out the examples is not enough. You also need to explain and show clearly the connection between the examples and the concept. The examples should be used to help the listeners understand the concept better, so adding examples without showing how they fit in with the explanation of the concept only makes the listeners confused.
  • The biggest problem with this speech is how the speaker adds his own opinions and experience about the concept. Do not include your experience and opinion in the speech. This question only asks for the summary and combination of the reading and the lecture. Anything besides the lecture and the reading is irrelevant. Talking about the speaker’s opinions will not only be distracting but also takes up the time you can use for talking about the concept.

Right things

  • Even though the speech misses out on the definition of the concept in the reading, it does includes the main point of the lecture which is the idea that eliminating consumers choices will reduce shopper’s anxiety.
  • The speech does attempt to include the examples from the lecture to help with explaining the concept of paradox of choice.
 
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