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Copy of TOEFL Listening

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Keith Morrison

on 8 December 2014

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Transcript of Copy of TOEFL Listening

TOEFL Listening
Type of conversations
There are two types of conversations in TOEFL:
office hours
service encounters
Type of Lectures
Lectures in TOEFL iBT represent the kind of language used when professors teach in a classroom. The lecture excerpt may be just a professor speaking, a student asking the professor a question, or the professor asking the students a question. Each lecture is approximately 5 minutes in length and is followed by six questions.
Lecture topics cover a broad range of subjects. You will not be expected to have any prior knowledge of the subject matter. All the information you need to answer the questions will be contained in the Listening passage.
Listening Materials
There are two types of Listening materials on the TOEFL iBT, conversations and lectures. Both are based on the actual speech that is used in North American colleges and universities.
What is the TOEFL Listening section?
In the TOEFL iBT Listening section you will listen to four to six lectures and
two to three conversations. There will be six questions per lecture and five
questions per conversation. You will have a total of 60 to 90 minutes to answer
all of the Listening questions.
TOEFL Listening Question Types
Basic Comprehension Questions
1. Gist-Content
2. Gist-Purpose
3. Detail

Pragmatic Understanding Questions
4. Understanding the Function of What Is Said
5. Understanding the Speaker’s Attitude

Connecting Information Questions
6. Understanding Organization
7. Connecting Content
8. Making Inferences
Each lecture or conversation is three to six minutes long and, as far as possible, represents authentic academic language. For example, a professor giving a lecture and interactions between students and the professor.
Office hours are interactions that take place in a professor’s office. The content may be academic or related to course requirements
Service encounters are interactions that take place on a university campus and have non-academic content. Examples include inquiring about a payment for housing or registering for class
In general these topics are divided into four major categories:

Arts
Life Science
Physical Science
Social Science
Major Categories
Arts lectures may be on topics such as:

Architecture
Industrial design/art
City planning
Crafts: weaving, knitting, fabrics, furniture, carving, mosaics, ceramics,
etc; folk and tribal art
Cave/rock art
Music and music history
Photography
Literature and authors
Books, newspapers, magazines, journals
Life Science lectures may be on topics such as:

Extinction of or conservation efforts for animals and plants
Fish and other aquatic organisms
Bacteria and other one-celled organisms
Viruses
Medical techniques
Public health
Physiology of sensory organs
Biochemistry
Animal behavior, e.g., migration, food foraging, defensive behavior
Physical Science lectures may be on topics such as:

Weather and atmosphere
Oceanography
Glaciers, glacial landforms, ice ages
Deserts and other extreme environments
Pollution, alternative energy, environmental policy
Other planets’ atmospheres
Astronomy and cosmology
Properties of light, optics
Properties of sound
Electromagnetic radiation
Particle physics
Technology of TV, radio, radar
Math
Chemistry of inorganic things
Computer science
Social Science lectures may be on topics such as:

Anthropology of non-industrialized civilizations
Early writing systems
Historical linguistics
Business, management, marketing, accounting
TV/radio as mass communication
Social behavior of groups, community dynamics, communal behavior
Child development
Education
Modern history (including the history of urbanization and industrialization
and their economic and social effects)
Understanding the gist
Understanding the gist of a lecture or conversation means understanding the general
topic or main idea. The gist of the lecture or conversation may be expressed explicitly or implicitly. Questions that test understanding the gist may require you to generalize or synthesize information from what you hear.
How to Recognize Gist-Content Questions
Gist-Content questions are typically phrased as follows:
What problem does the man have?
What are the speakers mainly discussing?
What is the main topic of the lecture?
What is the lecture mainly about?
What aspect of X does the professor mainly discuss?
Tips for Gist-Content Questions
Gist-Content questions ask about the overall content of the listening passage. Eliminate choices that refer to only small portions of the listening passage.

Use your notes. Decide what overall theme ties the details in your notes together. Choose the answer that comes closest to describing this overall theme.
Type 1: Gist-Content Questions
Type 2: Gist-Purpose Questions
Some gist questions focus on the purpose of the conversation rather than on the content.
This type of question will more likely occur with conversations, but Gist- Purpose questions may also occasionally be asked about lectures.
Gist-Purpose questions are typically phrased as follows:

Why does the student visit the professor?
Why does the student visit the registrar’s office?
Why did the professor ask to see the student?
Why does the professor explain X?
Tips for Gist-Purpose Questions
Listen for the unifying theme of the conversation. For example, during a professor’s office hours, a student asks the professor for help with a paper on glaciers. Their conversation includes facts about glaciers, but the unifying theme of the conversation is that the student needs help writing his paper. In this conversation the speakers are not attempting to convey a main idea about glaciers.
In Service Encounter conversations, the student is often trying to solve a problem. Understanding what the student’s problem is and how it will be solved will help you answer the Gist-Purpose question.
How to Recognize Gist-Purpose Questions
What are detail questions?
Detail questions require you to understand and remember explicit details or facts from a lecture or conversation. These details are typically related, directly or indirectly, to the gist of the text.
Tips for Detail Questions
Refer to your notes as you answer. Remember, you will not be asked about minor points. Your notes should contain the major details from the conversation or lecture.
Do not choose an answer only because it contains some of the words that were used in the conversation or lecture. Incorrect responses will often contain words and phrases from the listening passage.
If you are unsure of the correct response, decide which one of the choices is most consistent with the main idea of the conversation or lecture.
How to Recognize Detail Questions?
Detail questions are typically phrased as follows:
According to the professor, what is one way that X can affect Y?
What is X?
What resulted from the invention of the X?
According to the professor, what is the main problem with the X theory?
Type 3: Questions
Type 4: Understanding the Function of What Is Said Questions
What kind of questions is this?
The first type of Pragmatic Understanding question tests whether you can understand the function of what is said. This question type often involves replaying a portion of the listening passage.
How to Recognize Understanding the Function of What Is Said Questions
Understanding the Function of What Is Said questions are typically phrased as follows:
What does the professor imply when he says this: (replay)
What can be inferred from the professor’s response to the student? (replay)
What is the purpose of the woman’s response? (replay)
Why does the student say this: (replay)
Tip for Understanding the Function of What Is Said Questions
Remember that the function of what is said may not match what the speaker directly states.
Type 5: Understanding the Speaker’s Attitude Questions
What kind of question is this?
This type

of Pragmatic Understanding
question
tests whether you understand a
speaker’s
attitude or opinion. You may be
asked a
question about the speaker’s
feelings
, likes and dislikes, or reason for
anxiety
or amusement.
How to Recognize Understanding the Speaker’s Attitude Questions
Understanding the Speaker’s Attitude questions are typically phrased as follows:
What can be inferred about the student?
What is the professor’s attitude toward X?
What is the professor’s opinion of X?
What can be inferred about the student when she says this: (replay)
What does the woman mean when she says this: (replay)
Tip for Understanding the Speaker’s Attitude Questions
Learn to pay attention to the s
peaker’s
tone of voice. Does the speaker
sound
apologetic? Confused? Enthusi
astic? The
speaker’s tone can help you an
swer this
kind of question.
Type 6: Understanding Organization Questions
What kind of questions is this?
In Understanding Organization questions you may be asked about the overall organization of the listening passage, or you may be asked abo
ut
the relationship between two portions
of
the listening passage. Here are two ex
ampl
es:
Explanation
The first of these questions asks about the overall organization of information, testing understanding of connections throughout the whole listening passage.
The second asks about a portion of the passage, testing understanding of the relationship between two different ideas.
How to Recognize Understanding Organization Questions
Understanding Organization questions are typically phrased as follows:

How does the professor organize the information about X?
How is the discussion organized?
Why does the professor discuss X?
Why does the professor mention X?
Tips for Understanding Organization Questions
Questions that ask about the overall organization of the passage are more likely to be found after lectures than after conversations. Refer to your notes to answer these questions. It may not have been apparent from the start that the speaker organized the information chronologically, or from least to most complex, or in some other way.

Pay attention to comparisons made by the speaker. When the speaker mentions something that is seemingly off-topic, you should ask yourself what point the professor is making.
1. How does the professor organize the information that she presents to the class?
In the order in which the events occurred
2. How does the professor clarify the points he makes about Mexico?
By comparing Mexico to a neighboring country
Type 7: Connecting Content Questions
What kind of questions is this?
Connecting Content questions measure your understanding of the relationships among ideas in a text. These relationships may be explicitly stated, or you may have to infer them from the words you hear.
It's about organizing....
The questions may ask you to organize information in a different way from the way it was presented in the listening passage. You might be asked to identify comparisons, cause and effect, or contradiction and agreement. You may also be asked to classify items in categories, identify a sequence of events or steps in a process, or specify relationships among objects along some dimension.
Example
How to Recognize Connecting Content Questions
Connecting Content questions are typically phrased as follows:

What is the likely outcome of doing procedure X before procedure Y?
What can be inferred about X?
What does the professor imply about X?
Tip for Connecting Content Questions
Questions that require you to fill in a chart or table or put events in order
fall into this category. Clearly identifying terms and their definitions as well as steps in a process will help
you answer questions of this type.
In this question you are asked to present information in a different format from that in which it was presented in a lecture.
First
Second
Third
What kind of question is this?
The final type of connecting information question is Making Inferences questions. In this kind of question you usually have to reach a conclusion based on facts presented in the listening passage.
How to Recognize Making Inferences Questions
Making Inferences questions are typically phrased as follows:

What does the professor imply about X?
What will the student probably do next?
What can be inferred about X?
What does the professor imply when he says this: (replay)
Tip for Making Inferences Questions
In some cases, answering this kind of question correctly means adding up details from the passage to reach a conclusion. In other cases, the professor may imply something without directly stating it. In most cases the answer you choose will use vocabulary not found in the listening passage.
Type 8: Making Inferences Questions
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