Free TOEFL Lesson

BIG Words will Hurt You

In this series, The TOEFL Speaking is Weird, we are giving you questions to answer about the video.

Questions? Why?

Watching the video, reading the transcript and answering the questions will not just improve your speaking, but improve your reading, listening and vocabulary.

Sound good? Follow this steps:

Step 1 – Watch the video and fill in the blanks

Step 2 – Answer the questions after you fill in the blanks

Step 3 – Download the PDF and check your answers

Step 4 – Congratulations! You didn’t just watch a YouTube video, you went to a real TOEFL Class!

 TRANSCRIPT

(1) Hello, since we are talking about TOEFL Speaking being weird, it might as well have a weird introduction, and today we are going to talk about why big words will hurt you. This is the fourth video in our “TOEFL Speaking is Weird” video ___________________, and today I want to talk about ________ _____________.

(2) A lot of students, a lot of you, think that you don´t have enough vocabulary for the TOEFL or for English in general. And so, you study _________________. I think that a lot of you are right. There´s a huge vocabulary gap between what an English learner knows and what a native speaker knows.

(3) But for the TOEFL Speaking, big words will ___________ _________. Do not try to use big words for the TOEFL Speaking. Let me explain why. I am going to tell you why you should not use big words and I am going to tell you what words you should use ____________, words you can use for almost any _________________ _____________, and I am also going to tell you how to make sure that you sound more like a native speaker.

(4) OK, so let me do that. Big words will hurt you. I want to just give you an example. Let´s say that you learn the word “accumulate” and I usually hear that word when weather __________________ are talking about snow. (Beautiful picture, as always.)

(5) They say that snow “accumulates”. If you look at your ________________, it says “accumulate” means to get together, to collect, to get bigger and bigger. You might see that _________________, you might know the _______________, and you know how to use it, then you try to use it.

(6) On the TOEFL they ask you, “Do you prefer to work in a group or to work as an individual?” and you say, “I prefer to work in a _________________, because that way we can accumulate our knowledge and bring it together to make our projects better.”

(7) That´s just an example. For this accumulate it doesn´t sound ______________. When you say, “I think it´s better to work in a group so we can accumulate our knowledge”, we don´t usually use the word that way.

(8) There are two reasons why it doesn´t sound like natural English. One reason is because you are an English as a second language _________________. Because of that, you have some__________________ ______________ ______________, some certain fluency problems, and it sounds strange, first of all, to use a big word while making simple mistakes.

(9) And it also sounds strange, more importantly, because we don´t speak that way. We don´t talk with these words. ______________ don´t like ______________ _______________. We don´t like big words. Maybe some of us do, but for the most part, Americans value directness, they value clarity.

(10) Remember, the TOEFL is a test to see if you are ready to go to a school in the States. We value directness. When we are speaking, if you want to sound natural, you don´t use big vocabulary words. You sound simple and straight.

(11) One reason, for example, that in English we have a lot of phrasal verbs. We have a lot of phrasal verbs because they are more _________________. I don´t say, “I exited the building.” I say, “I got out of a building.”

(12) I don´t say that “I terminated the contract.” I say, “I ended the contract.”
Or, let me use a phrasal verb there, or I say something that “I finished up the contact”, something like that.

(13) In that situation, we take this kind of ________________ ______________ ___________________ that´s useful for the Reading section, but not for the Speaking section. And we replace it with something more natural.

(14) One way that you could sound more natural is to use simple vocabulary, phrasal verbs, things that native speakers will use usually.

(15) I want to get to what you can use for almost any response. In a lot of your responses, you are going to _______________ _____________ _____________, you give an example to illustrate your opinion and then a conclusion.

(16) You are going to have these three things in a lot of your responses. And every time you can say the same type of transition words to sound more natural.

(17) Sometimes, teachers will teach you something that is a ______________ _________________. For example, with this example, for example, they use “as an illustration”. You might see this in some textbooks, some people may recommend it to you, don´t use it!

(18) When you say, “as an illustration, when I was five years old” blah blah blah. “For example, when I was five years old” – sounds better. “I remember when I was five years old” – even better!

(19) This does not sound natural, we do not speak this way. Try not to sound smart, don´t try to sound smart. Just try to sound like you are fluent and you want to __________________. You want to sound natural.

(20) If you are giving your opinion, “in my opinion” blah blah blah. Let´s say “High school students should wear _______________________. In my opinion, I think high school students should wear school uniforms.”

(21) Let´s sound even more natural. “To me, high school students should wear school uniforms” – much better. Stay away from these __________ ___________.

(22) Conclusion. “These are the reasons why I think students should wear school uniform.” How about “that´s why I think students should wear school uniforms”? Good. “So, I think students should wear school uniforms” – even better.

(23) So, that´s it pretty much. You want to make sure that you sound fluent, that you sound like a native speaker. There´s one other thing that you need to do, that is very important. Is that you need to have ______________ who tells you if you sound a little bit like a _____________.

(24) Sometimes you start using templates for the TOEFL, or you are not sure how you sound to other people. You might hear a ______________ of yourself, you should _____________ __________ your voice, you might ask your friend how you sound, but what you really need is a _________________ to tell you how to sound more fluent.

(25) And that´s what we do at toeflspekaingteacher.com. We do a speaking evaluation, we do a lot of stuff but one thing that we do is a _____________ _______________. You get on a 30-minute Skype call with a TOEFL Speaking ________________; they give you some TOEFL Speaking questions and they tell you exactly how you sound, and let you know what you need to do, what your weaknesses are, what your strengths are, how natural you sound Speaking English, and tell you how to improve.

So, check that out. That´s it. Thanks for watching and see you next time guys, take care, bye-bye. Bye.

 QUESTIONS

1. In paragraph 5, the word accumulate, is closest in meaning to…
a. assemble
b. dissipate
c. snow

2. The word clarity in paragraph 9 is closest in meaning to
a. honesty
b. straight
c. clearness

3. The word illustrate in paragraph 15 is closest in meaning to
a. adorn
b. draw
c. explain

4. The word evaluation in paragraph 25 is closest in meaning to
a. assessment
b. evolution
c. review

5. Why does the lecturer state in paragraph 8, “…it sounds strange to use a big word while making a simple mistake”?
a. to emphasize the importance of using English that feels natural
b. to highlight the difference between fluency and conversational English
c. to suggest that the TOEFL graders are looking for big words in student responses

6. What two qualities does the professor claim are valued by Americans?
a. natural and complex statements
b. bold and interesting statements
c. clear and simple statements

7. Why does the lecturer bring up phrasal verbs in paragraph 11?
a. to provide an example of more interesting phrases to use in your response
b. to highlight the fact that Americans don’t value academic English in conversation
c. to emphasize the idea that phrasal verbs are helpful in both the reading and listening

8. Why does the lecturer say “…don’t try to sound smart…”
a. it’s more important to use phrasal verbs
b. it’s more important to sound natural
c. it’s more important to manage your time well

9. What do you think is the main idea of this lesson?

10/11. List two of the most important lessons you have learned from this lesson:
A.

B.

12. What do you plan on doing next? How will you apply what you have learned?

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Free TOEFL Lesson

Stop answering questions, start answering themes

In this series, The TOEFL Speaking is Weird, we are giving you questions to answer about the video.

Questions? Why?

Watching the video, reading the transcript and answering the questions will not just improve your speaking, but improve your reading, listening and vocabulary.

Sound good? Follow this steps:

Step 1 – Watch the video and fill in the blanks

Step 2 – Answer the questions after you fill in the blanks

Step 3Download the PDF and check your answers

Step 4 – Congratulations! You didn’t just watch a YouTube video, you went to a real TOEFL Class!

 TRANSCRIPT

(1) Hello, since we are talking about TOEFL Speaking being weird, it might as well have a weird introduction, and today we are going to talk about why big words will hurt you. This is the fourth video in our “TOEFL Speaking is Weird” video ___________________, and today I want to talk about ________ _____________.

(2) A lot of students, a lot of you, think that you don´t have enough vocabulary for the TOEFL or for English in general. And so, you study _________________. I think that a lot of you are right. There´s a huge vocabulary gap between what an English learner knows and what a native speaker knows.

(3) But for the TOEFL Speaking, big words will ___________ _________. Do not try to use big words for the TOEFL Speaking. Let me explain why. I am going to tell you why you should not use big words and I am going to tell you what words you should use ____________, words you can use for almost any _________________ _____________, and I am also going to tell you how to make sure that you sound more like a native speaker.

(4) OK, so let me do that. Big words will hurt you. I want to just give you an example. Let´s say that you learn the word “accumulate” and I usually hear that word when weather __________________ are talking about snow. (Beautiful picture, as always.)

(5) They say that snow “accumulates”. If you look at your ________________, it says “accumulate” means to get together, to collect, to get bigger and bigger. You might see that _________________, you might know the _______________, and you know how to use it, then you try to use it.

(6) On the TOEFL they ask you, “Do you prefer to work in a group or to work as an individual?” and you say, “I prefer to work in a _________________, because that way we can accumulate our knowledge and bring it together to make our projects better.”

(7) That´s just an example. For this accumulate it doesn´t sound ______________. When you say, “I think it´s better to work in a group so we can accumulate our knowledge”, we don´t usually use the word that way.

(8) There are two reasons why it doesn´t sound like natural English. One reason is because you are an English as a second language _________________. Because of that, you have some__________________ ______________ ______________, some certain fluency problems, and it sounds strange, first of all, to use a big word while making simple mistakes.

(9) And it also sounds strange, more importantly, because we don´t speak that way. We don´t talk with these words. ______________ don´t like ______________ _______________. We don´t like big words. Maybe some of us do, but for the most part, Americans value directness, they value clarity.

(10) Remember, the TOEFL is a test to see if you are ready to go to a school in the States. We value directness. When we are speaking, if you want to sound natural, you don´t use big vocabulary words. You sound simple and straight.

(11) One reason, for example, that in English we have a lot of phrasal verbs. We have a lot of phrasal verbs because they are more _________________. I don´t say, “I exited the building.” I say, “I got out of a building.”

(12) I don´t say that “I terminated the contract.” I say, “I ended the contract.”
Or, let me use a phrasal verb there, or I say something that “I finished up the contact”, something like that.

(13) In that situation, we take this kind of ________________ ______________ ___________________ that´s useful for the Reading section, but not for the Speaking section. And we replace it with something more natural.

(14) One way that you could sound more natural is to use simple vocabulary, phrasal verbs, things that native speakers will use usually.

(15) I want to get to what you can use for almost any response. In a lot of your responses, you are going to _______________ _____________ _____________, you give an example to illustrate your opinion and then a conclusion.

(16) You are going to have these three things in a lot of your responses. And every time you can say the same type of transition words to sound more natural.

(17) Sometimes, teachers will teach you something that is a ______________ _________________. For example, with this example, for example, they use “as an illustration”. You might see this in some textbooks, some people may recommend it to you, don´t use it!

(18) When you say, “as an illustration, when I was five years old” blah blah blah. “For example, when I was five years old” – sounds better. “I remember when I was five years old” – even better!

(19) This does not sound natural, we do not speak this way. Try not to sound smart, don´t try to sound smart. Just try to sound like you are fluent and you want to __________________. You want to sound natural.

(20) If you are giving your opinion, “in my opinion” blah blah blah. Let´s say “High school students should wear _______________________. In my opinion, I think high school students should wear school uniforms.”

(21) Let´s sound even more natural. “To me, high school students should wear school uniforms” – much better. Stay away from these __________ ___________.

(22) Conclusion. “These are the reasons why I think students should wear school uniform.” How about “that´s why I think students should wear school uniforms”? Good. “So, I think students should wear school uniforms” – even better.

(23) So, that´s it pretty much. You want to make sure that you sound fluent, that you sound like a native speaker. There´s one other thing that you need to do, that is very important. Is that you need to have ______________ who tells you if you sound a little bit like a _____________.

(24) Sometimes you start using templates for the TOEFL, or you are not sure how you sound to other people. You might hear a ______________ of yourself, you should _____________ __________ your voice, you might ask your friend how you sound, but what you really need is a _________________ to tell you how to sound more fluent.

(25) And that´s what we do at toeflspekaingteacher.com. We do a speaking evaluation, we do a lot of stuff but one thing that we do is a _____________ _______________. You get on a 30-minute Skype call with a TOEFL Speaking ________________; they give you some TOEFL Speaking questions and they tell you exactly how you sound, and let you know what you need to do, what your weaknesses are, what your strengths are, how natural you sound Speaking English, and tell you how to improve.

So, check that out. That´s it. Thanks for watching and see you next time guys, take care, bye-bye. Bye.

 QUESTIONS

1. In paragraph 5, the word accumulate, is closest in meaning to…
a. assemble
b. dissipate
c. snow

2. The word clarity in paragraph 9 is closest in meaning to
a. honesty
b. straight
c. clearness

3. The word illustrate in paragraph 15 is closest in meaning to
a. adorn
b. draw
c. explain

4. The word evaluation in paragraph 25 is closest in meaning to
a. assessment
b. evolution
c. review

5. Why does the lecturer state in paragraph 8, “…it sounds strange to use a big word while making a simple mistake”?
a. to emphasize the importance of using English that feels natural
b. to highlight the difference between fluency and conversational English
c. to suggest that the TOEFL graders are looking for big words in student responses

6. What two qualities does the professor claim are valued by Americans?
a. natural and complex statements
b. bold and interesting statements
c. clear and simple statements

7. Why does the lecturer bring up phrasal verbs in paragraph 11?
a. to provide an example of more interesting phrases to use in your response
b. to highlight the fact that Americans don’t value academic English in conversation
c. to emphasize the idea that phrasal verbs are helpful in both the reading and listening

8. Why does the lecturer say “…don’t try to sound smart…”
a. it’s more important to use phrasal verbs
b. it’s more important to sound natural
c. it’s more important to manage your time well

9. What do you think is the main idea of this lesson?

10/11. List two of the most important lessons you have learned from this lesson:
A.

B.

12. What do you plan on doing next? How will you apply what you have learned?

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TOEFL Speaking Evaluation

What you need to know about yourself

Clarity is just a click away

$25



Meet with a TOEFL Speaking Teacher and discover your strengths, weaknesses and what you need to do to improve. This 30-minute evaluation can change your life

TOTAL VALUE: $679

SMART CHOICE