TOEFL® Speaking 4 Practice 52

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In this question, you'll listen to part of a conversation or a lecture. You will then be asked a question about what you have heard. Your response will be scored on your ability to speak clearly and coherently and on your ability to accurately convey information about what you heard. You'll have 20 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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Using the main points and examples from the lecture, describe two primary reasons why railroads contributed to the rapidly growing economy in America in 17th century
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Using the main points and examples from the lecture, describe two primary reasons why railroads contributed to the rapidly growing economy in America in 17th century
Using the main points and examples from the lecture, describe two primary reasons why railroads contributed to the rapidly growing economy in America in 17th century

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Railroads
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Question

Using the main points and examples from the lecture, describe two primary reasons why railroads contributed to the rapidly growing economy in America in 17th century

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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 structure
In the TOEFL Integrated Speaking Task 4, there are lectures where two different aspects or subtopics of a bigger topic are discussed. For example:
- Using the main point and examples from the lecture, describe the two ways of discovering an invention.
- Describe two adaptations that the Arctic butterfly has developed for cold climates.
- Describe slump and creep.
- Describe two negative impacts of logos.

In this case, your response should include the following:
1. The explanation of the topic
2. The first example or the first concept
3. The second example or the second concept
4. A conclusion


There are some questions that ask you to explain the concept mentioned in the lecture together with the two examples provided by the professor. For example:
- Using two examples from the lecture, describe camouflage.
- Using two examples from the lecture, describe ecological succession.
- Using two examples from the lecture, describe the relationship between Biodiversity and ecosystem restoration.

In this case, you can use the following template to form your response.
The lecture is about ______
The professor uses two examples to demonstrate ______
In the first example, ______
In the second example, ______
In summary/Therefore/Ultimately, ______
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 can help you 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")

Instead of "First", "First of all" and "Firstly", we can use "To begin with", "To start with", or "For starters". We can also use "First and foremost" to state that the first key point is the most important one among all key points.

Likewise, instead of "Finally" and "Lastly", we can use "Last but not least" to state that the final key point is just as important as the others, despite it being mentioned last.

These words can help you add information In addition, furthermore, additionally, also, next, moreover, what's more, on top of that
These words can help you conclude or to summarize: 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 can help you demonstrate contrast Conversely, on the contrary, by contrast, by way of contrast, on one hand/on the other hand
These words can help you compare or demonstrate similarity Similarly, likewise, by the same token, along similar lines
These words can help you state a result. As a result, as a consequence, consequently, therefore
These words can help you state a generalization. Generally, on the whole, in most cases, in general
These words can help you clarify a point. That is, in other words, to put it simply, That is to say, just to reiterate
These words can help you give examples. For example, for instance, take something, for example, to give a clear example
These words can help you 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 is similar to the fourth question in the Speaking section. You will have to summarize an academic lecture. However, instead of combining an excerpt of an article and a short speech, you will only listen to a lecture. This question is a combination of a listening and speaking question. You will have to listen and take notes of the lecture as you did in the listening section, then you will have to summarize the lecture again in your own words. It is more complicated than the previous Academic topic speaking question is because you don't have a reading to set a background knowledge for you on what the professor is about to talk about. Everything you listen is everything you will have to prepare for your speech. Let's look at an example for this question.

Example

Audio transcript

Okay! so we said that Co-evolution happens when two species reciprocally affects each other's evolution. In addition, and in fact Co-evolution is an extremely example of mutualism. For example, honey birds and bird pollinating flowers have evolved a mutualistic relationship. The flower has nectar suited to bird's diet, the color suited to bird's vision and the shape is perfect size for bird's beak. Bird pollinating flowers usually have a higher volume of nectar pollinated by insects. This meets birds' high energy requirements. Therefore, the blooming time of bird pollinating flowers usually coincide with honey bird's breeding season.

Another example of co-evolution can be found in Acacia ants and Acacia trees. The Acacia trees have large hulk which Acacia ants live in. The tree makes a substance that can be used by ants as food, while the ants defend trees from herbivore by attacking plant insects and other plants competing sunlight like..plant? That is grown under Acacia trees. Ultimately, in the relationship of co-evolution, two species rely each other's survival, while reciprocally affecting each other's evolution.

Use the main point and examples from the lecture, describe coevolution.

Answer:

The professor used two examples to explain coevolution. The first example was regarding hummingbirds and bird-pollinated flowers. The example explains that over time, hummingbirds have evolved to feed on certain flowers and therefore, those flowers have evolved to produce the perfect amount of pollen and adopted a shape fit for the bird's vision and size. Over all, the flowers keep the birds alive with food, and the birds keep the flowers from extinction by spreading their seeds, which produces more flowers. The second example the professor used regards Acacia ants and Acacia trees. The example explains that the ants protect the trees by fighting off intruding organisms like other insects and plants, while the trees provide a home and food for the ants. Ultimately, the professor used the two examples to describe how certain living beings have evolved to need one another to survive and therefore explaining their coevolution.

Analysis and comments

  • This is a speech with good organization: a brief description of the concept, general introduction of the examples, more specific details with each example and finally a short conclusion by the end.
  • The examples are mentioned and explained correctly and in great details. The speaker introduces both examples of the birds-flowers and trees-ants then describe their relationships accurately. The explanations of the relationship help illustrate the concept much better, make the speech easier to follow and understand.

Low Scoring Answer Analysis

This question is similar to the fourth question in the Speaking section. You will have to summarize an academic lecture. However, instead of combining an excerpt of an article and a short speech, you will only listen to a lecture. This question is a combination of a listening and speaking question. You will have to listen and take notes of the lecture as you did in the listening section, then you will have to summarize the lecture again in your own words. It is more complicated than the previous Academic topic speaking question is because you don't have a reading to set a background knowledge for you on what the professor is about to talk about. Everything you listen is everything you will have to prepare for your speech. Let's look at an example for this question.

Example

Audio transcript

Okay! so we said that Co-evolution happens when two species reciprocally affects each other's evolution. In addition, and in fact Co-evolution is an extremely example of mutualism. For example, honey birds and bird pollinating flowers have evolved a mutualistic relationship. The flower has nectar suited to bird's diet, the color suited to bird's vision and the shape is perfect size for bird's beak. Bird pollinating flowers usually have a higher volume of nectar pollinated by insects. This meets birds' high energy requirements. Therefore, the blooming time of bird pollinating flowers usually coincide with honey bird's breeding season.

Another example of co-evolution can be found in Acacia ants and Acacia trees. The Acacia trees have large hulk which Acacia ants live in. The tree makes a substance that can be used by ants as food, while the ants defend trees from herbivore by attacking plant insects and other plants competing sunlight like..plant? That is grown under Acacia trees. Ultimately, in the relationship of co-evolution, two species rely each other's survival, while reciprocally affecting each other's evolution.

Use the main point and examples from the lecture, describe coevolution.

Answer:

Co-evolution happens when two species reciprocally affects each other's evolution. In addition, and in fact Co-evolution is an extremely example of mutualism. The professor uses two examples to explain this concept. The first example was of hummingbirds and a type of flower. The bird's diet suit what the flower has. The flower's color and shape suit the birds’ eyes and beaks. Because of the flowers, the birds are blooming during the breeding season. The second example is about the Acacia trees and ants. The Acacia trees have huge hulk which can be home for the ants. The ants protect the Acacia trees from other insects. The ants also protect other trees. The professor ultimately uses the two examples to explain the reliance for survival between two species.

Analysis and comments

Wrong things

  • The first problem with this speech is how the speaker repeats the same word by word what the professor says in its opening sentences, instead of paraphrasing them. Try to always paraphrase whenever you can. In the worst case, when you can’t think of any way to rephrase a sentence, or run out of time to think then use the exact words. Having information in exact words is not good, but it is still better than not having information at all.
  • The biggest problem with the speech is that the speaker misunderstands the examples. Both examples, the speaker, misunderstands the nature of the co-evolution relationship. The speaker includes all the members of the relationship: first example he talks about the bird and flowers; the second example, he speaks of the trees and ants. The correct information is that the flowers are shaped specifically for the birds, and the birds help spread the pollen for the flowers, so the flowers are blooming during birds breeding season. The speaker understands it wrong and thought that the birds produce more during their breeding seasons because of the shape and color of the flowers. In the second example, the ants protect the trees from other insects and other trees, not that the ants also protect other trees. Try to understand the examples and the explanation for them thoroughly and correctly. Those examples are not easy to understand so take careful notes when listening to the lecture.

Right things

  • The speech provides a brief definition of the concept first then follows up with examples and explanations of those examples. That is the ideal organization of the speech for this question.
  • The speech introduces the two examples then before listing the examples; the speaker adds ‘the first example,' and ‘the second example.' That is a good organization. Listing the number before listing out the example helps the listeners follow the speech easier, makes the speech more organized and reasonable.
  • Finally, there is a conclusion that redefines the concept and confirms again how the examples help explain the concept.
 
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