The TOEFL iBT® Test: Improving Your Speaking Skills

Advice for Speaking
Skill: Speaking about Academic Course Content
Performance Level: Fair
Score Range: 18–25

  1. Practice speaking for a limited time on different academic topics.
    • Read a short article from a newspaper or a textbook. Write down key content words from the article.
    • Write down two or three questions about the article that include the content words.
    • Practice answering the questions aloud. Try to include the content words in your response.
    • After practicing, record your answers to the questions.
  2. Concentrate on speaking clearly with good pronunciation and intonation.
    • Try to speak in "thought groups." It is difficult to understand you if you speak word by word.
      • Take a reading passage and mark the thought groups first. Then read it aloud paying close attention to these groups of words and ideas.
      • Get a book on tape or get a transcript from a news report, interview or play. Listen to the performance and mark the pauses, stress and intonation on the transcript. Then read the transcript and try to imitate the pauses, stress and intonation patterns.