TOEFL Speaking Question Type: INTEGRATED LISTENING/READING/SPEAKING: QUESTIONS 4 : and the sample answer.
Question 4 is the second of the Integrated Speaking Tasks. For this task you will read a short passage about an academic subject and listen to a professor give a brief excerpt from a lecture on that subject. You will then be asked a question which you will answer based on what you have read and heard. You will have 60 seconds in which to give your spoken response.
The topics for this question are drawn from a vari¬ety of fields: life science, social science, physical science, and the humanities. Although the topics are aca¬demic in nature, none of the written passages, lectures, or the questions themselves requires prior knowledge of any academic field in particular. The language and con¬cepts used are designed to be accessible to you no mat¬ter what your academic specialization may be.
The reading passage is usually between 75 and 100 words in length. It provides background or context to help you understand the lecture that will follow. The reading passage will usually treat the topic in some¬what general and abstract terms, and the lecture will treat the topic more specifically and concretely, often by providing an extended example, counterexample, or application of the concept presented in the reading. To answer the question that follows the lecture, you will need to draw on the reading as well as the lecture, and integrate and convey key information from both these sources.
For example, some tasks will contain a reading passage that gives the definition of a general principle or process and a lecture that discusses a specific instance and/or counterexample of the principle or process. For a pairing like this, you might be asked to explain the principle or process using the specific information from the listening. Or another pairing might include a reading passage that describes a prob¬lem and a lecture that presents the success, failure, or unintended consequences of an attempt to solve the problem, together with a question that asks you to explain the attempt to solve the problem and account for its results.
The sample question 4 task presented below is a typical example. It begins with a reading passage discussing a general concept—the domestication of animal species— by describing two characteristics that make an animal species suitable for domesti¬cation. This passage is coupled with a lecture in which the professor talks about the behavior of two species of animals—a familiar domesticated animal that has both of the characteristics and a common, undomesticated species that lacks these charac¬teristics. The question asks you to apply the more general information you have learned in the reading to the examples discussed in the lecture, and explain how the behavior of the two species of animals is related to their suitability for domestication.
Find listening and reading material on a topic that you like. The reading and the listening
material can provide similar or different views. Take notes on what you listen to and read
and create outlines. Use your notes and outlines to orally summarize the information and
ideas from the listening and reading materials. Try to paraphrase what you have heard
and read by using different words and grammatical structures.
The following example shows how a question of this type will be presented to you on your computer. Question 4 will be presented visually in the same way as Question 3.
First you will hear the narrator say this:
In this question you will read a short passage on an academic subject and then listen to a talk on the same topic. You will then answer a question using information from both the reading passage and the talk. After you hear the question, you will have 30 seconds to prepare your response and 60 seconds to speak.
Then you will hear this:
Now read the passage about animal domestication. You have 45 seconds to read the passage. Begin reading now.
The reading passage will then appear on the screen:
For thousands of years, humans have been able to domesticate, or tame, many large
mammals that in the wild live together in herds. Once tamed, these mammals are used for
agricultural work and transportation. Yet some herd mammals are not easily domesticated.
A good indicator of an animal's suitability for domestication is how protective the animal is of its territory. Non-territorial animals are more easily domesticated than territorial
animals because they can live close together with animals from other herds. A second
indicator is that animals with a hierarchical social structure, in which herd members follow a leader, are easy to domesticate, since a human can function as the "leader."
A clock at the top of your computer screen will count down the time you have to read. When reading time has ended, a picture of a professor in front of a class will appear on the screen:
And you will hear this:
Narrator Now listen to a lecture on this topic in an ecology class.
Then you will hear the lecture:
So we've been discussing the suitability of animals for domestication ... particularly animals that live together in herds. Now, if we take horses, for example ... in the wild, horses live in herds that consist of one male and several females and their young. When a herd moves, the dominant male leads, with the dominant female and her young immediately behind him. The dominant female and her young are then followed immediately by the second most important female and her young, and so on. This is why domesticated horses can be harnessed one after the other in a row. They're “programmed" to follow the lead of another horse. On top of that, you often find different herds of horses in the wild occupying overlapping areas—they don't fight off other herds that enter the same territory.
But it's exactly the opposite with an animal like the uh, the antelope . . . which . . . well, antelopes are herd animals too. But unlike horses, a male antelope will fight fiercely to prevent another male from entering its territory during the breeding season, OK—very different from the behavior of horses. Try keeping a couple of male antelopes together in a small space and see what happens. Also, antelopes don't have a social hierarchy—they don't instinctively follow any leader. That makes it harder for humans to control their behavior.
When the lecture has ended, the picture of the professor will be replaced by a screen instruct¬ing you to get ready to answer the question. Then the question will appear on the screen and will be read aloud by a narrator as well.
4. The professor describes the behavior of horses and antelope in herds. Explain how their
behavior is related to their suitability for domestication.
Preparation Time: 30 Seconds
Response Time: 60 Seconds
After you hear the question, you will be told when to begin to prepare your response and when to begin speaking. A "Preparation Time" clock will appear below the question and begin to count down from 30 seconds (00:00:30). At the end of 30 seconds you will hear a short beep. After the beep, the clock will change to read "Response Time" and will begin to count down from 60 seconds (00:00:60). When the response time has ended, recording will stop and a new screen will appear alerting you that the response time has ended.
To answer this question, you would use information from both the reading pas¬sage and the lecture, linking the specific information the professor provides in the lecture with the more general concepts introduced in the reading. For example, you could begin your response by saying that herd animals can be easily domesticated if they have a hierarchical social struc¬ture and are not territorial, and that this is why it is easier to domesticate horses than antelopes. You would want to provide some details about the behav¬ior of horses, pointing out that their hierarchical social structure makes them willing to follow one another and thus allows a human being to act as their leader. You could also say that because horses are not territorial, they can be har¬nessed together without fighting. You would probably want to contrast horses' behav¬ior with that of antelopes, which are territorial. You could explain that unlike horses, male antelopes fight if they are together, and that because antelopes do not have a social hierarchy, humans can\'t control them by acting as their leader. Notice that you are not asked to summarize all the information in the reading and in the lecture about animal domestication and horses and antelopes. But you should provide enough information so that even a listener who had not read the passage or listened to the lecture would be able to understand your explanation.
Other question 4 tasks include such pairings as a reading passage about malaria that discusses, in general terms, what is now known about the causes of this disease, how it is spread, and how it can be prevented, coupled with a lecture about the his¬tory of malaria research that describes the work of one particular doctor in the 1800s. The question that follows this lecture asks you to describe the doctor’s beliefs about the cause of malaria and the recommendations he made to prevent its spread, and then to explain why his recommendations were effective. To answer this question, you would tell how the doctor's recommendations were in line with what is now known to be true about the disease. Here, as in all speaking questions that are based on academic content, you are provided with all the facts necessary to give your response, and no outside knowledge is assumed.
Read a short article. Make an outline that includes only the major points of the article. Use
the outline to orally summarize the information. Then add detail to the outline and orally
summarize it again.
Record your own voice in testbig and listen to make sure that your pronunciation and fluency of speech are clear. And the speaking exports in testbig.com will evaluate your response using the TOEFL iBT Speaking rubric.
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