Six strategies for successful notes on TOEFL® iBT Speaking section


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  • You can improve your TOEFL score by using the strategies recommended by Dr. Pamela Sharpe, author of one of the most widely used books for TOEFL preparation. In this presentation, Dr. Sharpe shares some of the strategies that have helped more than one million students succeed on the TOEFL. Hello. I’m Pamela Sharpe and I have been a teacher for more than 40 years. I have been helping students prepare for the TOEFL . Today I’m here to help you. Together we are going to review six strategies for successful notes on the Speaking section of the iBT TOEFL. Are you ready? Let’s begin.
  • It is important to know how to organize your notes before you begin to take notes. Let me say that again. It is important to know how to organize your notes before you begin to take notes. Let me show you what I mean.
  • In Task 1, you will be asked to talk about a personal experience. Usually that means that you will be describing a person, a place, or an object. Sometimes you will be recalling an experience. You will also be asked to explain the reasons for your choice or to give examples. So, you already know what the task is about. And that means you already know the outline for the notes that you need to take. To save time, you don’t need to write out the categories you see here. Just keep them in mind as you write the notes.
  • Now look at Task 2. First let me explain the term “concession.” A “concession” is a phrase that recognizes that a different opinion is also good. It does not mean that you agree with that opinion. In fact, a concession happens before you express an opposite opinion. For example, I may think that it is better to send children to schools in the community than to teach children at home. But I want to recognize that the opposite opinion is also good. So I will offer a concession. I will start my talk with a concession statement: Although there are many good reasons to home school children, I think that it is better to send children to schools in the community. Here is another example of a concession statement: There are many good reasons to home school children, but I think that it is better to send children to schools in the community.
  • This is Task 3. Notice that you need to start with a summary of the announcement and then a summary of the speaker’s opinion. After that, you should explain the reasons that the speaker has for the opinion. It is important to include the details that the speaker gives for having the opinion, but be careful not to spend so much time on the details for the first reason that you run out of time before you present the second reason.
  • Task 4 begins with a reading passage. Then you hear a lecture. Usually the reading presents a concept and the lecture provides an example. For example, the reading might be a definition of stress and the lecture might give the results of a research study on stress. To prepare for this task, you should summarize the concept as it is presented in the reading passage. Then you should summarize the lecture in one sentence and begin to explain each point. Sometimes a conclusion is appropriate, but remember, this task does not ask you to draw a conclusion based on your opinion. This task requires you to use information from the reading and the lecture.
  • Let’s go on to Task 5. This is a conversation between two people. One person explains a problem and the other person offers some suggestions about how to solve the problem. The outline for your notes should begin with the problem and the suggestions. But in this task, you are also asked for your opinion, so you need to continue by choosing which suggestion you prefer and conclude with reasons why you think that suggestion is better than the others.
  • This is the last task. Remember that you don’t have to write the categories in your notes, but it helps to have them in mind. Start with the main idea of the lecture and then list each point with details. Sometimes there is a conclusion in the lecture. If the lecturer provides a conclusion, you should mention it, but you should not draw a personal conclusion from the lecture. Your notes should be a summary of the lecture, point by point.
  • Use these strategies and you will begin to feel more confident . Now you will be ready to practice for the Speaking section of the iBT TOEFL. You can find several practice tests and more of Dr. Sharpe’s strategies for success at http:// . The more you practice and use these strategies, the better you will do! And to all of the subscribers who have used our Practice Tests for the TOEFL, congratulations for joining a support group online. Best wishes to you for success!
  • Six strategies for successful notes on TOEFL® iBT Speaking section

    1. 1. Six strategies for successful notes on TOEFL ® iBT Speaking section Dr. Pamela J. Sharpe Author of the bestseller Barron’s TOEFL ® iBT (c) Dr. Pamela Sharpe/teflprep 2010
    2. 2. Strategies for Each Task <ul><li>Know how to organize </li></ul><ul><li>notes for each task </li></ul><ul><li>Everything in its place! </li></ul>
    3. 3. TOEFL Task 1 <ul><li>Optional Definition: </li></ul><ul><li>Person OR Place OR Object OR Event: </li></ul><ul><li>Reason 1: </li></ul><ul><li>Details/Example: </li></ul><ul><li>Reason 2: </li></ul><ul><li>Details/Example: </li></ul>
    4. 4. TOEFL Task 2 <ul><li>Optional Concession: </li></ul><ul><li>Preference: </li></ul><ul><li>Reason 1: </li></ul><ul><li>Details AND/OR Example: </li></ul><ul><li>Reason 2: </li></ul><ul><li>Details AND/OR Example: </li></ul><ul><li>Optional Conclusion: </li></ul>
    5. 5. TOEFL Task 3 <ul><li>Announcement: </li></ul><ul><li>Speaker’s opinion: </li></ul><ul><li>Reason 1: </li></ul><ul><li>Details AND/OR Example: </li></ul><ul><li>Reason 2: </li></ul><ul><li>Details AND/OR Example: </li></ul>
    6. 6. TOEFL Task 4 <ul><li>Reading Concept: </li></ul><ul><li>Lecture Example(s): </li></ul><ul><li>Lecture point 1: </li></ul><ul><li>Details: </li></ul><ul><li>Lecture point 2: </li></ul><ul><li>Details: </li></ul><ul><li>Optional Conclusion: </li></ul>
    7. 7. TOEFL Task 5 <ul><li>Problem: </li></ul><ul><li>Suggestion 1: </li></ul><ul><li>Suggestion 2: </li></ul><ul><li>Opinion: </li></ul><ul><li>Reason 1: </li></ul><ul><li>Details: </li></ul><ul><li>Reason 2: </li></ul><ul><li>Details: </li></ul>
    8. 8. TOEFL Task 6 <ul><li>Main idea: </li></ul><ul><li>Point 1: </li></ul><ul><li>Details: </li></ul><ul><li>Point 2: </li></ul><ul><li>Details: </li></ul><ul><li>Optional Point 3: </li></ul><ul><li>Details: </li></ul><ul><li>Optional Conclusion: </li></ul>
    9. 9. (c) Dr. Pamela Sharpe/teflprep 2010 Best wishes for success on the TOEFL! Visit http:// for more tips and practice questions to help you get the score you want!