The TOEFL iBT® Test: Improving Your Speaking Skills

Advice for Speaking
Skill: Speaking about Campus Situations
Performance Level: Fair
Score Range: 18–25

  1. Practice speaking English every day. This will develop your fluency and confidence.
    • Find a speaking partner. Set aside time each week to practice speaking with your partner in English.
    • If you can't find a native English speaker, find a friend who wants to practice speaking English and promise to speak only English for a certain period of time.
  2. Practice speaking about everyday issues relevant to students' lives.
    • Read articles from campus newspapers or on the Internet.
      • Discuss the articles with a speaking partner or friend.
      • Practice summarizing the articles and expressing your opinions about the articles.
    • Listen to a college radio station in your area.
      • Make a list of the kinds of topics being discussed.
      • Use the list to generate discussion topics with your speaking partner or friend.
  3. Concentrate on speaking loudly and clearly with good pronunciation and intonation.
    • Practice speaking in "thought groups." It is difficult to understand you if you speak word by word.
    • Remember to pause after prepositional phrases and related thought groups.
    • Drop your voice and make your intonation go down to indicate that your thought is complete or that a sentence has ended.
    • Add emotion and feeling to what you are saying. Practice the same speech in your native language and pay attention to your hand movements and emotions. Use the same emotion when you give your response in English.
  4. A good resource is the book English for Academic Success, published by Houghton Mifflin. There are 16 books with a companion website.