To make this practice more like the TOEFL, close each question while you are listening to the audio. You may take notes, and you may use your notes to help you answer the questions. When you hear the question, you may look at it and begin preparing your response. Record your response for each exercise.

The audio transcripts are below. At the real TOEFL iBT test, you do not have access to the transcripts. We’re including them here so you can learn from them, but you should look at them after you complete the tasks.

Exercise 3.9.A

For this task, you will listen to part of a lecture. You will then be asked to summarize important information from the lecture. After you hear the question, you have 20 seconds to prepare your response and 60 seconds to speak.

Using points and examples from the talk, describe the duties of different types of managers in large hotels.

Preparation Time – 20 seconds
Response Time – 60 seconds

Exercise 3.9.B

For this task, you will listen to part of a lecture. You will then be asked to summarize important information from the lecture. After you hear the question, you have 20 seconds to prepare your response and 60 seconds to speak.

Using points and examples from the lecture, explain how two features of the earth’s surface influence climate.

Preparation Time – 20 seconds
Response Time – 60 seconds

Exercise 3.9.C

For this task, you will listen to part of a lecture. You will then be asked to summarize important information from the lecture. After you hear the question, you have 20 seconds to prepare your response and 60 seconds to speak.

Using points and examples from the lecture, explain how crowd behavior can be unpredictable.

Preparation Time – 20 seconds
Response Time – 60 seconds

Exercise 3.9.D

For this task, you will listen to part of a lecture. You will then be asked to summarize important information from the lecture. After you hear the question, you have 20 seconds to prepare your response and 60 seconds to speak.

Using points and details from the lecture, describe the Flatiron Building and explain how it got its name.

Preparation Time – 20 seconds
Response Time – 60 seconds

Exercise 3.9.E

For this task, you will listen to part of a lecture. You will then be asked to summarize important information from the lecture. After you hear the question, you have 20 seconds to prepare your response and 60 seconds to speak.

Using points and details from the talk, describe the physical differences that animals had to adapt to when they moved from water to land.

Do not look at the transcripts until after you finish the tasks.

Listen to part of a talk in a hotel management class.

Hotel managers are responsible for the overall operation of their establishment. They see that guests receive good service so they will come back to that hotel. Managers are also in charge of finances and see that the hotel earns a profit without sacrificing service.

The top executive in a hotel is the general manager. In a small hotel the general manager may also be the owner. In large establishments with many facilities, the general manager directs the work of department managers such as executive housekeepers, personnel managers, and food and beverage managers. General managers need to be skilled in areas of leadership and financial decision making. They must be able to judge when to make budget cuts and when to spend money for advertising or remodeling in order to earn profits in the future.

Another type of manager is the controller. Hotel controllers usually work in large hotels, where they are responsible for the management of money. They manage the accounting and payroll departments and find ways to improve efficiency. The controller is an expert at interpreting financial statements, so the general manager and other top managers in the hotel consult with the controller on all financial matters.

Large hotels rely heavily on advertising and public relations to sell their services. Such hotels have sales managers to market the services of the hotel. Sales managers have constant contact with customers and know what selling points appeal to the public. Sales managers need courses in business, marketing, and advertising in addition to hotel management.

Using points and examples from the talk, describe the duties of different types of managers in large hotels.

Listen to part of a lecture in a meteorology class. The professor is discussing climate.

Several features on the earth’s surface influence climate. Two of these features are ocean currents and landforms.

Ocean currents are formed when the earth’s rotation and prevailing winds work together. The prevailing winds push the ocean waters westward in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans until these waters bounce off the nearest continent. This causes two large, circular ocean currents, one in each hemisphere. The current in the Northern Hemisphere turns clockwise, and the one in the Southern Hemisphere turns counterclockwise. These currents move warm water from the equator to the north and south.

Warm and cold currents in the world’s oceans affect the climates of nearby coastal areas. For example, the warm Gulf Stream in the Atlantic Ocean warms the coast of northwestern Europe. Without the Gulf Stream, the climate of northwestern Europe would be more like that of the cold sub–Arctic.

Landforms such as mountains also affect climate. Because of their higher elevation, mountains tend to be cooler, windier, and wetter than valleys. For example, even though Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, stands near the equator, its summit is always covered with snow. Another thing mountains do is interrupt the flow of winds and storms. When moist winds blow from the ocean toward land, then hit a mountain range, the moist air becomes cooler as it’s forced to rise. This causes the air to lose its moisture as rain and snow on mountain slopes that face the wind. The air on the other side of the mountain will be warmer and drier.

Using points and examples from the lecture, explain how two features of the earth’s surface influence climate.

Listen to part of a lecture in a sociology class.

A crowd is a temporary gathering of people who share a common focus. One interesting aspect of crowd behavior is that how the crowd ends up isn’t always clear at the beginning. Crowds can be unpredictable. They have the potential for several different outcomes. For example, the crowd could just break up, or it could turn angry, or the police could break it up, or it could become a riot.

Crowds have an expressive quality. They show strong emotions, and these feelings can be either positive or negative. You’ve probably been at events, for example, when the musicians at a concert were drowned in cheers, or, on the other hand, maybe they were booed off the stage. Maybe you’ve even been in crowds where emotions got out of hand, and everyone stormed the stage or tore down the goalposts. When this happens, the crowd becomes out of control.

But not all expressive crowds are out of control. Some are organized into demonstrations for or against a specific goal. Demonstrations usually have their own rules for behavior— such as marching and chanting—but they, too, can be unpredictable. The mood can change quickly, from peaceful to angry to destructive.

In some crowds, there’s a feeling that something should be done, but a lack of certainty about what to do. This leads to a particular mood based on that uncertainty, and finally, to a breaking of the rules.

Using points and examples from the lecture, explain how crowd behavior can be unpredictable.

Listen to part of a lecture in an architecture class.

In the late nineteenth century, New York’s early “skyscrapers” were steel–framed stone buildings that were only eight or nine stories tall. Then, in 1902, the city got its first true skyscraper. It was called the Flatiron Building, and it was the first structure to come close to being the ideal skyscraper—that is, an office tower that stood apart, forever free on all sides.

The Flatiron Building is twenty–two stories tall. It has a steel frame that’s covered on the outside with stone. The first three stories give a sense of heaviness to the lower part of the building. The next thirteen stories have windows grouped in pairs, with carved geometric patterns between them. The top stories are even more decorated with columns and arches, and the top is a heavy crown of carved stone.

The Flatiron Building is different from most other skyscrapers because of the shape of the site it’s built on. The irregular, triangle–shaped site was the result of three streets coming together. Because the site is surrounded by streets, the Flatiron Building will always stand alone, separate from other buildings on all three sides.

The building’s name—actually its nickname—was a joke about its flatiron shape. At that time, electric irons hadn’t been invented, so clothing was pressed with a flatiron, a heavy triangle–shaped piece of iron that was heated on top of a stove. People joked that the building looked like a flatiron, and the name stuck.

Because the Flatiron Building was so narrow, a famous photographer said it looked like the front end of a huge steamship. We can honestly say that this bold design, this strange, tall, thin building, changed the design of the office building forever.

Using points and details from the lecture, describe the Flatiron Building and explain how it got its name.

Listen to part of a talk in a biology class. The professor is discussing animal life in water and on land.

Animal life began in water. When some animals moved from water to land, it was a dramatic event in animal evolution because land is an environment that is very different from water. There were several important physical differences that animals had to adapt to.

The first difference between water and land is the oxygen content. Oxygen is at least 20 times more abundant in air than in water, and it spreads much more quickly through air than through water. Consequently, land animals can get oxygen much more easily than water animals can—that is, once land animals evolved the appropriate organs, such as lungs.

A second difference is in the density of water and air. Air is much less dense than water, and because of this, air provides less support against gravity than water does. This means that land animals had to develop strong legs to support themselves. They also needed a stronger skeleton with better structural support—a skeleton and bones designed for standing and moving in air rather than in water.

And a third difference between life in water and on land is, on land, the temperature of the air changes more easily than it does in water. This means that land environments experience severe and sometimes unpredictable cycles of freezing, thawing, drying, and flooding. Therefore, land animals need to protect themselves from temperature extremes. Land animals had to develop behavioral and physiological strategies to survive in warm and cold temperatures. And one important strategy is being able to maintain a constant body temperature—a physiological strategy that birds and mammals possess.

Using points and details from the talk, describe the physical differences that animals had to adapt to when they moved from water to land.

Extension

1

Listen again to the sample lecture. As you listen, fill in the missing information on the blank lines in the script. Do not try to write down every word. Take brief notes about only the key information. Check your notes with the audio script above.

Listen to part of a talk in a world history class. The professor is talking about ___________________________________________________.

In the nineteenth century, there were several periods when large numbers of people _____________________________________________________________________. These mass migrations were ______________________________________________________________. One major movement was _____________________________________________________. This migration of Europeans involved around _______________________________________. Another mass migration was ____________________________________________________. Another was ____________________________________________________.

These large movements of people were made possible by _____________________________________________. Another important factor was _______________________________________________________________. In some places, immigrants were _________________________________________________. This is what encouraged a lot of people—both immigrant and native–born—_________________________________.

The majority of the people in these mass migrations came from _____________________________________________________________________. The immigrants were motivated mainly by ________________________________________________________________________________. Since most of the immigrants were unskilled workers, ______________________________________________________.

2

Listen to your recorded response to one of the speaking tasks in Exercise 3.9.A through 3.9.E. Analyze and evaluate your response by answering the following questions:

a. Does my response accurately summarize the main idea and major points from the lecture?

b. Does my response include relevant supporting details and explanation from the lecture?

c. Is my response coherent? Would it be easily understood by other listeners?

d. Does my response answer the question effectively? Why or why not?

e. How can I improve my responses for this type of question in the future?

3

Share and discuss your recorded response to one of the speaking questions in Exercise 3.9.A through 3.9.E. Work in a group of three or four students. Listen to each student’s recorded response. Discuss each response by answering the following questions:

a. Does the response accurately summarize the major ideas from the lecture?

b. Does the response include relevant supporting details and explanation from the lecture?

c. Is the response coherent? Why or why not?

d. Can the response be easily understood? Why or why not?

e. Does the response answer the question effectively? Why or why not?

Make suggestions that will help each student improve in the future.

4

Obtain a recording of a real college or university lecture. Topics in history, anthropology, sociology, and psychology are good choices. Bring the recording to class. With the whole class, listen to two minutes of the recording. While you are listening, takes notes about important information in the lecture. Do not try to write down everything. Write only the key words and phrases that you think are important to remember.

Then break into groups of three or four students. Compare your notes with the notes taken by the others in your group. Listen again to the same two–minute recording. In your group, discuss the key points made in the lecture. Choose one person to read your group’s list of key points to the whole class.