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Learn English with Steve Ford - TOEFL Podcast 1 - freeversion

Hello everybody! Here is TOEFL Podcast 1

full 14 minute version with podcast and text for download available!

Hello! Hello! Hello Everybody! Welcome to TOEFL Talk One!

Yes, your first TOEFL Talk podcast to help you master the speaking section of the TOEFL Test.You can also use this to advance your English speaking in general. So welcome to all of you.The thing that I am going to be addressing today is to be giving you some background information about the speaking section and trying to address something which seems to be a common denominator for everybody which is nervousness. Yes everybody contacts me on Skype, they send me e-mails, they leave me comments under my TOEFL and IELTS videos talking about nervousness. Everybody's nervous. So, I'm going to try to give you a game plan so that you can defeat nervousness. Yes, we're going to defeat nervousness together.

The speaking section of the TOEFL has six questions. Much like any speaking section for an academic test, the questions start off as more general and end up as more specific. Question 1 deals with general topics which the examinee has 30 seconds to prepare for and 45 seconds to answer. So, today I am going to talk about the following aspects of question 1:

What makes you nervous the most?

Even speaking in your language can be nerve wracking let alone having to speak into a microphone in a room with other nervous examinees doing the same thing. So we have a collective nervousness going on here. And if you are not properly trained for that day, chances are that you are going to go with the rest of the bunch of people there and become just as nervous as they are. So let's try to follow a certain direction here. It's very important to zero in, to focus on your weaknesses and strengths when speaking in English so that you are confident at all times the day of the test. Essentially I find that students have some of the following challenges to overcome for the day of the speaking section of the exam:

1.working on your pronunciation

I think it was in my video TOEFL Talk 3 where I talk about a student I had who wanted to show me just how advanced he was by speaking quickly. He would link all of his words together as a native speaker does, but he didn't have even an intermediate level of pronunciation and I couldn't understand a word of what he was saying. After a while I could see that he was becoming quite frustrated because he could see really what he was trying to do was getting him nowhere. So let's try to learn from this gentleman's mistakes, he's obviously a kind of person who did not listen to himself. He did not do any kind of self-evaluation and this is key.

Now, in the extended version of this podcast, I will be talking about how to overcome pronunciation difficulties regardless of your nationality.The first thing you want to work on with your pronunciationis your vowel sounds. Vowel sounds with a capital v, Vowel sounds. The best way for you to learn or re-learn English pronunciation and yes even many professionals who are immigrants living in the US/Canada and UK this goes for you too. You need to work out a spelling system in English of your own to help you see the way the word should be pronounced.