TOEFL Writing - Task 1


Hi. Welcome back to I'm Adam. Today's lesson is for those of you who will

be taking the TOEFL test. And, as usual, when I do a lesson about the English tests, I will

speak at a more natural pace, a little bit faster than usual. If you're a beginner, don't

worry, you can still listen and still practice your listening skills, and get some vocabulary

from the lesson. But it will be a little bit faster, perhaps a little bit more difficult.

Let's begin.

So, we're looking at the TOEFL task 1, the writing section. This is the integrated task.

I'll put it this way. Now, what does that mean by "integrated"? It means they're giving

you... Giving you a reading section, they're giving you a listening section, and they're

wanting you to write. So you're practicing three skills in one task. Okay? Not easy,

but not that difficult if you practice it. So I'm going to give you four tips on how

to approach this section of the test.

Now, for those of you who have done the practice test, or have taken an actual TOEFL test,

or are preparing for one, you know that what will happen is you will be given a reading

section-okay?-you will be given three minutes to read it and prepare whatever notes you

need, then... This will be on the computer screen. Then it will disappear, then you will

hear a lecture that is related somehow to what you read. That will go on for about a

minute or two, and then it will stop. Then, you will be given the question. Basically,

the question is going to tell you how to relate the listening to the reading. Okay? It is

crucial that you take notes, both for the reading and the listening. You can't try to

keep all of this in your head. It will not help you when you... When you have to start

writing. You will have 20 minutes to write. You should aim for about 200 words, let's

say. That should be enough to convey all of the information that they're asking. What

you have to remember is right away, they're...

You're going to have to do one of two things. You're either going to have to counter. You

have to show how the listening, the lecture counters or goes against what was written

in the passage, or how the listening supports what was written in the passage. Okay? It's

going to be one of those two things. So, as soon as the listening starts, you have to

understand right away: Are you going to be countering? Are you going to be supporting?

You don't need to wait for the question. It should be very obvious to you, as soon as

the lecturer starts to give the lecture: What is he doing, or what is she doing? Is she

going against the reading, or is she giving support to the reading? Or is she giving information

that draws on information from here that they work together? So counter or support, identify

it right away, and then you know how to set up your notes.

So, here, I showed you a very basic way of taking your notes. Take out with the reading

first, obviously, you're going to have three minutes. Skim the reading. What does that

mean? It means look through it pretty quickly. Don't read every word; you don't need to.

Although the reading disappears from the screen, it does come back. When the listening is finished

and they give you your question and the timer starts, the reading comes back. If you need

to go back and get some more information, you can do that. It's there. So, of course,

that means you have to concentrate very hard on the listening. You only hear it once, it

doesn't come back. If you didn't get any information, you're out of luck.

So, set up your notes like this. Put your reading here. Make sure you get your first

point with the example, your second point with the example, your third point with the

example. Okay? Once this is set up, the listening becomes easier, because now you're just going

to be matching points. So this point, what was said for that point? What was said for

this point is going to be said here. What was said for this point is going to be said

here. Usually, there will be no more than three. Sometimes it'll just be two. Rarely

will you have four, but usually three is the right number. So, look for three points here

with their examples, look for... Listen for the three points here that basically correspond.

Now, keep in mind, often they will be followed in the same order; you'll get first point,

second point, third point, it will be followed in the same order. Sometimes it'll be mixed

up. It doesn't matter. If this point was said first, and then this point was... They went

like this, it doesn't matter. You can still go like this. It doesn't affect the strategy,

because you're still going to be matching point for point when you're actually writing

your summary. Okay? So, skim. Read very quickly. Now, how are you going to do that? You're

going to not worry about details right away in the reading. You're going to go for the

general idea and the general points. You're not... You're not going to worry about details.

Again, these, you will concentrate on the details in the listening, and then when the

reading comes back, you can go back to it and make sure they match. Okay? So you're

going to focus. This is where all your information...

This is where your main information is coming from.

Read the topic sentences of every paragraph. Remember, and when you're doing your writing

as well, especially for task 2, every paragraph should begin with a topic sentence. It should

give the reader an idea of what this paragraph is about. One paragraph, one main idea. Many

sub points, but one umbrella idea, one general idea. So read the topic sentences, and identify

the key term or key terms, or identify the key focus of this paragraph. Once you have

those key focus or key terms, then you're looking for those key terms in the rest of

the paragraph.

If you're talking about the topic sentences, members... Like, this is the one you'll see

on the ETS site as the example, way... How to manage groups. Do you do team work, or

do you let individuals do it? Right? So the first paragraph is talking about...

Excuse me.

The first paragraph is talking about how teams work better. Okay? This is in the reading

section, and then team members. Then the key word is "team members" or "group" or anything

that's related to that. In the rest of the paragraph, you're looking for those words:

"team", "group", "team", "group", etc. And you're looking for the verbs associated with

them. So: "Groups work better together.", "Groups want to achieve together.", "Groups

help each other." So: "work together", "achieve more", etc., all these verbs. So that's what

you're going to be looking for, that's what you're going to be writing. Your point one,

they work better together. Two, they help each other. Three, they take responsibility

as a group. No individual gets promoted or demoted alone.

In the listening, you're going to be listening for those same ideas as you had here, and

you're going to give the examples, too. Examples are very, very, very important. You have to

mention at least two key examples in your summary. Again, you don't have to try to include

everything. You can't; you don't have time, you don't have space. 200 words, 225, it's

not enough. Okay? But you have to have at least a couple of key examples to show the

contrast. Okay? And... Okay, we're going to get to another point of which details to pick

out, but remember that you're looking for key terms so you can set up your notes like

this. Okay? Let's look at some more ideas.

Okay, so now you're thinking: "Okay, well, what do I write down? What do I pay attention

to from the reading or from the listening?" Okay? So we're looking at picking out details.

What kind of details or which details should you note down? So, take note of repetitions.

Anything that's been stressed, anything that's been said more than once is something that's

obviously very important to either the reading or the lecture, so make sure that you pay

attention to repetition, and take note of that. Again, if you... If it's repeated in

the le-... Sorry. In the listening, you can relate it back to the reading after when it

comes back to you. Okay? So pay attention to anything that's being repeated.

Don't try to include everything. Now, with... Which details are going to get you the score?

That's really irrelevant. Okay? It's not important. They don't expect you to get everything. So

if Student A gets these two points, and Student B gets, like, A, B, and student... The other

student gets C, D, that's okay, as long as they are strong points. Of course, Student

A and Student B eventually will get at least one point that's the same. Okay? Try to get

all the main arguments, but don't try to put all the details. Okay? Especially names. So

I've put here "names", we're going to look at that in a second. If you can't spell the

name or if you couldn't hear it, don't try to write it. Let it go, but make sure you

still get that argument. Okay? We'll talk about that in a second.

Follow the order the lecturer did. So, in your writing, how you're going to present

the points, do it according to how the liste-... The listening section gave it to you, how

the lecturer presented it, because then it's easier to follow the notes, as we saw before,

and then relate those back to the reading. Your focus is always going to be on the listening

section, more than the reading. So you want to follow the lecturer's order of presentation,

and he or she will stress the points in order of importance. So the first point is probably

the most important, the second is probably second most important, and so on. So follow

that order.

Next: Focus on the key terms from the reading. So whatever key terms you took from the reading

in your notes, like we saw before, you're going to listen for those in the lecture,

and you're going to make sure you note them down as well, so then you can do the comparison

or contrast accordingly.

And again, names are only useful if you actually know them, you can spell them, and you know

how to capitalize or not capitalize, etc. If they're comparing movies, for example,

and you... The lecturer gives an example of a movie, usually they'll give you ones that

you can spell or the ones that are very common, but if you didn't catch it, don't worry about

it. Get the argument. Don't worry about the movie name. Or if you have two other good

arguments, concentrate on those.

Use lots of synonyms. I think I walked into that, sorry. Use lots of synonyms. That'll

give you the vocabulary bonus points. Again, you're still writing, you still have to be

demonstrating your ability to write based on understanding, or reading, and a listening

passage, but you still have to show vocabulary. Use synonyms as much as you can. Okay, so

that's in terms of the details.

Next, in terms of the actual writing, what you should do, what you should not do. Do

not use personal pronouns. Don't say: "I", don't say "me", don't say "my". This has nothing

to do with you. You're listening to the... You're reading the author, you're listening

to the lecturer. These are two people who gave you information, and all you are doing

is giving a summary. Okay? So you're not giving your own opinions, you're not doing anything

except basically rehashing or saying again what you read and what you listened to. You

can use the pronoun "we" only if the lecturer used the pronoun "we". If he or she used it

in the lecture, go ahead and use it. But, if not, don't add it.

What you should do: "The author states this", "The lecturer states that", or

"The passage says this",

or "The lecturer suggests that". No "I", no "you", no "he", no "she". "Author",

"lecturer", "author", "lecturer" or: "passage", "lecturer", "passage", "lecturer". Those are

the only pronouns, those are the only references you're going to use in your writing to keep

it a summary. Okay? One more and we're... And we're good to go.

Okay, finally, a lot of people are not sure how to set up their summary, how to do their

writing itself. Right? Remember you have 20 minutes. You're going to have to do a lot

of work in a very short amount of time. You want to have your structure set up. Now, if

you took your notes properly, the way I showed you at the beginning: "Reading, point, point,

point, example, example", then it's already done. All you have to do is put it into paragraphs

and sentences.

So, a very straightforward structure. The introduction. The reading passage states what?

The professor or lecturer... If it's a professor, they will tell you if it's a professor, etc.

If you're not sure, just say: "Lecturer", because it's always somebody giving a lecture;

it's fine. "The lecturer counters or supports", etc. "this by saying that". That is it. That

is all you need to say in the introduction. Just get to the point. This is... One is saying

this, and the other is saying that. Is there a contrast? Is there support? Is there addition? Etc.

Body paragraph one, you're going to give the first argument made. Now, how you begin, it's

up to you. You can say: "The lecturer", "The professor suggests that the reading's idea

of", whatever the point is, "is wrong because..." Or: "The reading says that..." Or: "Uses this

example to support this idea. The lecturer counters by saying this and that." Give the

reading one sentence per paragraph.

Again, you're concentrating on the listening. Okay? How... You're going to say:

"How does the listening contradict or how does the listening support what was written in the passage?"

Excuse me.

Focus on the listening. Give the reading one sentence just to give the point,

give the example, and then concentrate on how the listening relates to that point.

Body paragraph one, point one, example one. Body paragraph two, point two, example two,

etc. Three, four, it depends on how many points you want to mention. Three should be enough,

which would mean you would have four paragraphs: introduction, three body paragraphs.

Now, you do not need a conclusion paragraph, you do not need a conclusion statement because

you're not making a conclusion. You're not reaching a conclusion. Okay? All you're doing

is giving a summary. And you don't need to give a summary statement at the end because

the whole thing is a summary, so you don't need to say: "So, overall, the lecturer or

the professor thinks that..." Well, no. If you didn't do it here, you're not going to

do it here. Okay? It's all in the body. Make sure all the information is there. You're

done. Get ready for the task 2, get ready for the essay, the independent. Okay?

If you're not sure about some of this stuff,

come to, ask me all the questions you want in the forum.

I'll put a little quiz on there to make sure you understand the little

subtleties and the little key points, here.

Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel, and I'll see you again soon. Bye.