TOEFL Speech Topics

Making a speech is a daunting task for many people. Doing it in a language that isn't your mother tongue adds to the pressure. Students taking the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) -- wearing headphones and speaking into an Internet microphone -- will be speaking about six topics. According to Online English, the independent tasks require speaking about personal experiences or offering opinions, while the integrated topics assess reporting and listening skills. The TOEFL topics follow a pattern, so that helps you prepare for the 60-second speech topics.

  1. Personal Preference

    • A question will appear on the screen and you have 15 seconds to prepare and then you have to speak on the subject for 60 seconds. Topics in this section could include things such as recommending a place in your country for tourists to visit, talking about why a class is important or discussing why someone is instrumental in the country. You are required to give examples and to include details.

    Choice

    • In this speaking assignment you have to pick one or the other of two choices offered -- whether you would rather travel by train or car, if you would rather watch television or read a book -- and defend your selection. Like the personal preference question, you need to supplement your speech with details and examples.

    Fit and Explain

    • Educational Testing Service advises that for this speaking task you have to read a 75 to 100 word passage about an educational issue, such as whether tuition fees should be raised or why a student council is important. Next, you listen to a 60 to 80 second clip of someone commenting on the issue. You have to summarize the speaker's opinion of the topic in your own words.

    General/Specific

    • Like the last speaking task, this next task requires you to read a passage and listen to a 60 to 90 second recording from a lecture that addresses an idea, clarifies a term or describes a process. Your speaking task is to identify the important information and identify the essential features of the term, such as "phenomenology" or "eco-friendly," process or idea. This task allows for 30 seconds of preparation and then requires 60 seconds of speaking.

    Problem/Solution

    • This section starts with listening to a passage -- 60 to 90 seconds -- where the speaker identifies a campus-related problem -- which could be similar to the topics in the "fit and explain" task -- and then offers two possible solutions. After 20 seconds of preparation, you have to summarize the problem and speak for 60 seconds offering your opinion about how the problem would best be resolved.

    Summary

    • In the final section you will listen to a 90 to 120 second passage that offers concrete examples of a theoretical concept or term. As well as offering a summary of the lecture and demonstrating comprehension of the examples, you have to relate it to the general topic of the lecture.

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