TOEFL Speaking Section- Integrated Task Practice

توضیح مختصر: Don't be intimidated by the integrated speaking tasks on the TOEFL. They do have a lot of parts, but they're really not that hard once you know how to tackle them!

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Integrated Speaking Tasks on the TOEFL

Integrated speaking tasks on the TOEFL ask you to respond to a prompt by referencing a listening passage or a listening and reading passage. These tasks can be intimidating because you have to do so many different things: listening and speaking, or even listening, reading, and speaking all in the same question. But, here’s a secret: they sound worse than they are. Explaining the integrated tasks always makes them sound awful, but when you actually start doing them, they just aren’t that bad.

In this lesson, you’ll work on a practice prompt for the more complicated type of integrated task: a task with reading, listening, and speaking. To do the practice task, you will need:

  • A pen and paper
  • A way to record yourself speaking

Go get those things right now if you don’t already have them, and then come back to start working on the question!

Passage and Listening

For the practice question, you’ll be jumping right into a task with both a reading passage and a listening passage. First, you’ll read a paragraph defining a term, and then you’ll listen to an excerpt from a lecture discussing that term. After that, you’ll read the prompt. You’ll have 30 seconds to prepare your answer to the prompt, and then 60 seconds to speak in response.

Take notes on both the reading and listening passage; you’ll be able to use those notes in planning your response. Here’s the reading to start you off. Just pause the video while you read the text on screen, and press play when you’re ready to hear the listening passage:

‘Industrialization refers to the process of transformation from an agricultural into an industrial economy. In an agricultural society, the economy is largely based on farming. In an industrial society, the economy is based on mass production of consumer goods. Industrial societies are marked by division of labor and extensive use of technology.’

That was the reading passage. Now, here’s the listening passage. Remember to take notes as you listen:

‘The most famous of the industrial revolutions occurred in Britain towards the middle of the 17th century. From an economy centered on small independent farmers, Britain grew into a nation of workers and producers. Men and women left the land and moved to cities, where they worked in the new factories producing everything from clothing to consumer goods to heavy machinery. New machines improved everything from spinning wool to stamping coins, and new specialized forms of labor appeared to serve the increasingly complex needs of the industrial economy.’


Okay, that was both the reading and listening passages. Now, you’re going to get the prompt, and you’ll have 30 seconds to use your notes and plan your response. Ready?

PROMPT: What kind of economy did Britain have before the mid-17th century? What kind did it have afterwards? Support your answer with a brief definition of each type of economy and evidence that the British economy fit that model.

Now, you’re going to have 30 seconds to take notes, plan your response, and prepare what you’ll say, starting… now!

Your prep time’s up! Turn on your microphone or whatever you’re using to record your answer, and get ready to spend 60 seconds speaking about the prompt.

Scoring Your Answer

Now that you’ve responded, it’s time to get some feedback. Listen to the response you just recorded, paying attention to the following potential problems:

  • Timing: Did you run out of time or finish talking way too early? Were you rushing to finish at the end?
  • Fluidity: Is your response full of ‘um… uh… um… uh… ,’ or long pauses where you don’t say anything?
  • Sentence structure: Are all your sentences the same length? Are they all very short? Do you hear yourself using the same few words over and over, or constantly struggling to find the word you need?
  • Grammar: Do you notice any patterns of grammatical errors?
  • Response to the prompt: Did you actually answer the question? Did you use supporting information from both the reading and listening passage?

You might have to listen through your response more than once to hit all of these questions. If you have a friend you’re studying with, it can also be very helpful to trade recordings and grade each other’s answers. Use the questions to identify areas where you could improve for the actual test - for example, if you struggle with grammar errors, look up the ones you tend to make and learn how to fix them.

Don’t freak out about a few small errors, though; you’re not expected to be perfect. The graders know that English isn’t your native language, and they aren’t expecting you to speak it flawlessly. Just use the practice question as a diagnostic to figure out what you need to work on, and go from there.

Lesson Summary

In this lesson, you got some practice with integrated tasks on the TOEFL. In fact, you did the hardest kind of integrated task: one with both a reading and a listening passage. You’ll get two of those on the actual test, plus two more with just a listening passage.

On the integrated tasks with reading and listening, you’ll get 30 seconds to plan and 60 seconds to speak. On the tasks with listening only, you’ll get 20 seconds to plan and 60 seconds to speak. On both types of tasks, you’ll be allowed to take notes on the passage or passages - use these notes wisely because they can really help you.

If you didn’t do as well as you wanted to, don’t panic; that’s what practice is for. Think of it as a starting point and just try to improve from there!