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TOEFL Speaking Tips - Learn English with Steve Ford - Test Prep 19


Hello everybody! Welcome to a brand new video lesson with optional closed captions to help anyone who needs to improve their fluency in English for the TOEFL or Job Interviews. Many people need to have the best level of English possible for academic and professional reasons. So in the video you are about to see I am going to cover some ways to categorize the areas of English that you need to improve on

Language Usage(grammar/word choice)

It's no secret that even the most advanced English speakers may be in need of polishing old habits related to grammar and choice of words. Up to a point, English may seem easy, however, when someone reaches a higher level of English, mistakes start to pop up. In my years of preparing people for the TOEFL, job interviews, University program applications and immigration,  I find people tend to make more mistakes under pressure. I recommend you record yourself so that you can believe it with your own ears. Common mistakes in grammar range from: incorrect usage of the present and past perfect, conditional sentences 1,2 and 3, prepositions and articles and so on. Word choice is equally essential to improving your English and widening your horizons beyond your scope of work or studies. For example, in a very formal business meeting or lecture, if someone doesn't hear what you said, he/she might say: "I beg your pardon?". The words would be different if you were talking to your letter carrier. They might say, "sorry? how's that? what?".

Delivery(pace/pronunciation)

Do you know the story of Goldie Locks and the Three Bears? This little girl finds her way into the bear family's house and there are three beds for the mamma bear, papa bear and baby bear. One bed is too hard, one bed is too soft and the last one is just right. This is how advanced English speakers could be categorized. So some speak too fast, some speak too slowly and some speak just right. That is their "pace" of speaking. Pace can certainly improve when someone feels comfortable and it's possible to gain confidence by being sure of your pronunciation. It's important to remember that your pronunciation can get better. I see it every day with my one-to-one students. If you are having problems saying "simultaneously", I will spell it out the way you should say it:
"s + eye + mul+ TAY + nee + iss + lee." Done!

Topic Development

Some people are more left-brained and therefore logical. Staying on topic, developing a sequence of related ideas comes easily to such people. Others, on the other hand,  may be more right-brained and creative. Their ideas might be more colorful and fanciful while at the same time hard for others to follow. My advice to all of you is take what you have to say and try to learn to cut down on redundant ideas and overly descriptive phrases. It's hard to stay on topic, so when we break off on a tangent, we run the danger of going off topic. Topic development and overall speech making is certainly an art and one that we can all develop. Conversely, some may find the question they are asked too abstract and boring, in this case you need to learn to ad lib more. 

Enjoy the video and the quiz everyone!

Steve