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

For this task, you will write a response to a question about a reading passage and a lecture. You may take notes, and you may use your notes to help you write your response. Your response will be scored on the quality of your writing and on how well you connect the points in the lecture with points in the reading.

Typically, an effective response will have 150 to 225 words.

Reading Time – 3 minutes Get your timer ready!

Compared to other energy sources, wind energy is available, abundant, affordable, and clean. The wind is a renewable natural resource that is available everywhere. In the United States, the wind supply is abundant. Wind power could provide 20 percent of the electricity in the United States, with turbines installed on less than one percent of the nation’s land area. Within that area, less than five percent of the land would be occupied by wind equipment; the remaining 95 percent could continue to be used for farming or ranching.

Wind energy is one of the lowest–priced renewable energy technologies available today. It is affordable enough to compete with coal, oil, and gas. The wind is free, and with modern technology it can be captured efficiently. Better turbine technology has helped reduce the cost of wind energy by more than 80 percent since the 1980s. In several places around the world, energy companies offer wind–generated electricity at a cost that is almost half the cost for coal power, and around one–fifth the cost for nuclear power.

Most importantly, wind power is safe and environmentally friendly. Once the wind turbine is built, the energy it produces does not cause greenhouse gases or other pollutants. Wind is a much cleaner source of fuel than coal, oil, and gas, so there are fewer emissions of carbon dioxide, sulfur, and other gases that cause global warming, smog, and acid rain. Wind power will decrease our dependence on fossil fuels, which is critical to the health of all living things.

Now listen to the recording. When you hear the question, begin your response. You may look at the reading passage during the writing time.

Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they challenge specific points made in the reading passage.

Writing Time – 20 minutes Get your timer ready!
Do not look at the transcript and key points until after you finish the task.

Key points:

•The lecture states that the amount of energy produced from the wind is unpredictable. This challenges the point in the reading that wind energy is available and abundant.

•The lecture states that wind energy is expensive to develop. This challenges the point in the reading that wind energy is low priced and affordable.

•The lecture states that wind energy has some negative impacts on the environment. This challenges the point in the reading that wind energy is safe and environmentally friendly.

Now listen to part of a lecture on the topic you just read about.

While it’s true that wind power is a promising source of energy, there are some drawbacks. One is that the amount of energy produced is unpredictable. The strength of the wind

can vary from none at all to storm force. Consequently, wind turbines don’t generate the same amount of electricity all the time. Also, wind is very spread out. This means it would take a large number of wind generators—and large amounts of land— to produce electricity in useful amounts. We can’t build wind turbines everywhere, simply because lots of spaces aren’t windy enough to generate power.

Another drawback is the cost. Wind energy is expensive to develop. Even though the cost has decreased in the past few decades, the technology for wind requires a higher initial investment than it does for fossil fuel generators. And ideal locations for wind farms can be very expensive to buy. Good sites are often located in remote areas, far from the cities where the electricity is needed. This means that transmission lines have to be built to bring the electricity from the wind farm to the city.

Furthermore, wind power plants do have some negative impacts on the environment. For example, there’s concern about the noise produced by the blades. One wind generator makes a low, swooshing sound, so you can imagine the amount of noise several dozen of these generators will make. Another problem is the high number of birds killed by flying into the blades. Migrating birds like strong winds, and it’s common for them to fly into wind turbines. In one case, researchers found two hundred dead birds on a wind farm in California.

Summarize the points made in the lecture, being sure to explain how they challenge specific points made in the reading passage.