Tracy looked at the TOEFL iBT speaking prompt on the screen:
If you were to move to another city, which city would you choose. You have 15 seconds to prepare your response and 45 seconds to speak.
It had been almost 5 weeks since Tracy joined the Online TOEFL Course “The 7-Step System to Pass the TOEFL iBT,” and she had made slow but steady improvements in her vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, listening, reading, writing, and speaking proficiency. Still, her speaking proficiency needed more improvements, so she would continue her iBT speaking practice until her mentor was consistently scoring her between 24-28 points.
To start off her response, Tracy began, “If I had to move to another city, I would move to Beijing. I have several reasons to support my point of view.” However, the next day when her iBT speaking mentor gave her feedback, he suggested that Tracy create a more sharply-focused topic statement, around which she could organize the body of her response:
“If I had to move to another city, I would move to Beijing because it offers educational and employment opportunities.”
In fact, her TOEFL iBT speaking mentor gave her a model of how she could answer the question under the imposed 45-second time constraint while still getting a high score:
If I had to move to another city, I would move to Beijing because it offers educational and employment opportunities.
First of all, I would like to move to Beijing because it offers educational opportunities that I do not have in my city. For example, the University of Technology and Business in Beijing has a university specializing in business. Since my goal is to get a degree in accounting, moving to Beijing would make it easier to reach my academic goal.
Second of all, I would also move to Beijing because it provides many employment opportunities. Since this city has hundreds and hundreds of small and large companies, it would be fairly easy for me to get a job as an accountant if I moved to Beijing. For example, Boeing just located their American business in Beijing, and they are now hiring many accountants to work for their firm.
For these two reasons, I would love to move to Beijing.
After Tracy looked at the model, she realized that her speaking response did not have the coherent organization of the model response, so the next time she completed an independent speaking practice test she would:
1. Create a more sharply-focused topic statement as her introduction and make sure that this part of the response was 8-10 seconds.
2. Be sure to restate the speaking speaking prompt as she introduced her first and second point in her response.
3. Use specific details in the body of her response so that she could more effectively develop her argument.
The tactics that Tracy had learned would surely help her improve her TOEFL speaking score, so she was excited to get TOEFL iBT speaking feedback from a mentor who was truly interested in helping her improve her academic speaking proficiency.