The best way to practice speaking is with native speakers of English. If you do not live in an English-speaking country, finding native speakers of English might be quite challenging. In some countries, there are English-speaking tutors or assistants who help students with conversation skills and overall communication skills. It is ckritical to find them and speak with them as often as possible. Another way to practice speaking is by joining an English club whose members converse in English about movies, music, and travel. If a club does not exist in your area, start one and invite native speakers to help you get started.
* Independent Speaking Tasks
– Make a list of topics that are familiar, and practice speaking about them.
– Describe a familiar place or recount a personal experience.
– Later, state an opinion or a preference and present clear, detailed reasons for it.
– Make a recommendation and explain why it is the best way to proceed.
– Practice giving one-minute responses to topics.
* Integrated Speaking Tasks
– Find a textbook that includes questions about the material at the end of chapters, and practice answering the questions orally.
– Read a short article (100–200 words). Make an outline that includes only the major points of the article. Use the outline to orally summarize the information.
– Find listening and reading material on the same topic covered by the article. The material can contain similar or different views. (The Internet and the library are good places to find information.) Take notes or create outlines on the listening and reading material:
– Recognize the attitude of the speaker or the writer of the original material through intonation, stress, and word choice. This helps to understand their point of view and plan an appropriate response.
* All Speaking Tasks
– Increase vocabulary and learn to use idiomatic speech appropriately.
– Learn grammatical structures and use them naturally when speaking.
– Work on pronunciation, including word stress, intonation patterns, and pauses. (There are a number of products and websites that can help you develop pronunciation skills.)
– When practicing for the TOEFL iBT using the tips above, take 15 seconds to think about what you’re going to say before you speak. Write down a few key words and ideas, but do not attempt to write down exactly what you are going to say. (Raters will be able to detect responses that are read and give them a lower rating.)
– Use signal words and expressions to introduce new information or ideas, to connect ideas, and to mark important words or ideas. This will help the listener easily follow what you are saying.
For example, “on the one hand…,” “but on the other hand…,” “what that means is…,” “The first reason is…,” “another difference is…”)
– Make recordings of the above activities and evaluate your effort by asking yourself these questions:
– Taking notes on the reading and listening material in the integrated Speaking tasks on the TOEFL iBT test is allowed. Since the reading and listening material is very brief, taking notes on the material may not be necessary. However, the activity described above will help test takers prepare for entering the academic setting. If test takers can do this well, they will most likely succeed on the integrated Speaking tasks on the TOEFL iBT test.
Theo IIG Vietnam.