Overview: TOEFL Speaking Task 4
There are four tasks in the TOEFL Speaking section, and in general, the tasks are divided into two groups. Task 1 is for the independent task, and Task 2, Task 3, and Task 4 are for the integrated part of the TOEFL Speaking Section. Today, we are going to focus on Task 4 of the TOEFL Speaking section. Similar to Task 2 and Task 3, Task 4 is also part of the integrated task. However, it is slightly different than Task 2 and Task 3. Task 4 only includes the listening part, whereas, in Task 2 and Task 3, the students will have to through the reading part before the listening part. Also, the listening part in Task 4 is around 2 minutes. I will thoroughly analyze Task 4 for you in the following part of this article. Let us get started.
Listenings for TOEFL Speaking Task 4
The topics for this task are quite academic. In Task 2, there is a basic conversation between two students and a letter from another student or an announcement. However, in Task 4, we have a different concept. During the listening part, we will have to deal with an academic topic. However, we do not need to have prior knowledge regarding to that topic. Even If you have no idea about the subject, you can still score a full mark on this task. Do not worry about what kind of subject you will be dealing with during the TOEFL Speaking Task 4.
The lecturer will always begin with a term or a name of the topic and will explain it at the beginning. It would be best if you directly typed it down at the beginning of the lecture. Afterward, the professor will be providing some examples, perspectives, different opinions, or even pros and cons. You will then be summarizing these details during your speech. Make sure that you catch these details carefully and note them on your worksheet by using some keywords.
The topics for Task 4 can be various. You might come across a topic related to “History,” “Art,” Literature,” Biology,” and “Psychology.” As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, no prior knowledge about these subjects is required. Even if you have no clue about that specific topic, you won’t be having any issues. Also, the topic will be general and not detailed. However, knowing some ideas regarding these subjects might be of your advantage. For that reason, I suggest you practice with different topics. By doing that, you will get accustomed to hearing lectures about different topics.
The whole challenge in this task is to follow along with the lecture and take notes carefully and needed. You do not have to write everything down completely. Focus more on the details because these will be evidence that you have clearly understood the listening.
How to Respond to TOEFL Speaking Task 4
When it comes to responding to Task 4, you will be having 20 seconds of preparation. This preparation time is valuable for you to prepare your perfect response. If you have already written down the essential parts of the listening now, it is time for you to put them together, underline the most important points and remove the keywords you think have no value for your response.
During the 20 seconds, you really need to focus on what you are going to say during your speech. You shouldn’t think about what or which point you have missed from the lecture. It means that your concentration will be solely on your speech. Think about how you will start your introduction and then what kind of transition words you will use to switch to the development part of your speech.
After the preparation time is over, it is time for you to respond appropriately to Task 4 in the TOEFL Speaking Section. Start with the introduction part and briefly restate the topic, followed by its explanation. Afterward, you will proceed to the development part of your essay. The development part is the part of your speech where you will reveal all those details you have noted on your worksheet. It is now time for you to convey those details in an organized way. I suggest you use chronological order. What I mean by that is that. Start with the first reason you have heard while listening to the lecture, and then switch to the second reason or second example. By doing that, your response will be more organized and structured. This will also give a decent impression to the person who will assess your speech.
How to Get a High Score in TOEFL Speaking Task 4
The trick here is all about how you will convey your notes. As you know, there are two critical criteria in TOEFL.
- What do you say?
- How do you say?
These are the two essential criteria that you all need to think about. Imagine you have perfect notes in front of you, and you are ready to deliver your speech. If you can’t put the ideas together or, better to say, glue the pieces of the puzzle, you won’t be getting a whole picture. For that reason, this glue here will be the transition words. You need to master when and how to use these transition words. After mastering them, practice as much as you can and integrate them into your speech because all you have to do in this task is to gather the ideas together and present them in the best way possible.
Try to fit everything that you want to say within 1 minute. If you think you are going to run out of time during your speech. Please do not cut it and jump to a conclusion because the details in the development part are more important than a small conclusion. However, a speech with a full response including introduction, development, and the conclusion, of course, will be more effective.
For more information please visit ETS website: https://www.ets.org/toefl/test-takers/ibt/scores/getting/