angle-up angle-right angle-down angle-left close user menu open menu closed search globe bars phone store

Inside the TOEFL® - Listening Attitude Questions

Transcript

Video duration: 4:33

People in this video

Michael
Narrator
Professor

Intro

[music playing]

MICHAEL: Hi, I'm Michael from ETS. Today on Inside the TOEFL Test, we're going inside the TOEFL iBT Listening section. Specifically, the Attitude questions. 

On-screen:
Inside the TOEFL® Test – Listening
Attitude Questions

Michael: Attitude questions ask you to show understanding of the speaker's attitude or their feelings about something.

On-screen: Question Structure
Attitude Questions – Attitude or feelings

Michael: You can recognize attitude questions because they include phrases like "What is the professor's attitude…?", "What does the student think about…?" and "What can be inferred…?"

On-screen: Recognizing the Question Type

  • What is the professor's attitude?
  • What does the student think about…?
  • What can be inferred…?


Michael: To identify the speaker's attitude, listen for phrases like "What I think..." or "It seems to me…" in the lecture or conversation. The attitude question will then refer to how valid the speaker's argument is or how sure of the facts the speaker is.

On-screen:

  • "What I think…"
  • "It seems to me…"

How valid is the argument?
How sure of the facts is the speaker?
Michael: When you're answering Attitude questions, listen for the tone of the speaker's voice. For example, if a conversation has someone accepting an apology, their tone would be gentle and understanding.

On-screen: Listen for the speaker's tone of voice
Sample Questions
[image of students in a classroom listening to a professor]

Michael: Now let's look at a sample attitude question from a literature lecture about detective novels, including one titled The Moonstone. First, listen to the excerpt:

PROFESSOR:
Today I'd like to introduce you to a novel that um some critics consider the finest detective novel ever written. Um, it was also the first. We're talking about The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. Now, um, there are other detective stories that preceded The Moonstone historically—Um, notably uh the work of Poe . . . um, Edgar Allen Poe's stories, such as "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" and . . . um, "The Purloined Letter." Now these were short stories that featured a detective . . . uh, probably the first to do that. But The Moonstone, which follows them by about twenty years—it was published in 1868—uh, this is the first full-length detective novel ever written. Now, in The Moonstone—if you read it as . . . uh, come to it as uh, a contemporary reader— what's interesting is that most of the features you find in almost any detective novel are in fact already present. Um, it's hard at this juncture to read this novel and realize that no one had ever done that before, because it all seems so strikingly familiar. It's, it's really a wonderful novel and I recommend it, even just as a fun book to read, if you've never read it.

MICHAEL:
Now, here's attitude question.

On-screen: What attitude does the professor express when he says this:

  1. He is impressed by the novel's originality.
  2. He is concerned that students may find the novel difficult to read.
  3. He is bored by the novel's descriptions of ordinary events.
  4. He is eager to write a book about a less familiar subject.

NARRATOR:
What attitude does the professor express when he says this:

PROFESSOR:
Um, it's hard at this juncture to read this novel and realize that no one had ever done that before, because it all seems so strikingly familiar.

MICHAEL:
Different attitudes are expressed in all of the answer choices.
But you can tell that the speaker's attitude toward the book is positive because he states, "it's really a wonderful novel and I recommend it". You can also tell the speaker thinks the book is original because he mentions multiple times that the novel is the ‘first' of its kind. For example, when he says "this is the first full-length detective novel ever written." Therefore the correct answer is A.

On-screen: What attitude does the professor express when he says this:

  1. He is impressed by the novel's originality.
  2. He is concerned that students may find the novel difficult to read.
  3. He is bored by the novel's descriptions of ordinary events.
  4. He is eager to write a book about a less familiar subject.

[green check next to answer option A]

Michael: Here's a listening tip that will help with attitude questions:
As you practice your listening skills, you will start noticing each speaker's style and their tone of voice. Then ask yourself these questions: Is the speaker's voice calm or emotional? Relaxed or nervous? Certain or confused? Enthusiastic or bored? What does the speaker's tone of voice tell you?
Watching comedy television shows is a good way to practice recognizing a speaker's tone of voice.

On-screen: Skill Building Tips
Listening for Tone of Voice

[image of professor]

Is the speaker's voice:

  • Calm or emotional?
  • Relaxed or nervous?
  • Certain or confused?
  • Enthusiastic or bored?

What does the speaker's tone of voice tell you?

Michael: There are lots of ways to improve your English skills. Whatever you do, keep practicing. And good luck on your TOEFL test.

On-screen: For more information about the TOEFL® test and to register, visit the TOEFL® website at www.toeflgoanywhere.org

[END]