Listening on TOEFL iBT

In this section, you will be asked to listen to lectures and conversation. these listening tasks will have a definite structure, which is similar to the reading passages we just studied. there will be an introduction, supporting details or examples, and a conclusion.

Let’s take a closer look at the structure of these lectures and conversation.

In a lectures, you can expect to hear the following :

  • Opening : The teacher or professor will greet the class and announce the topic of the lecture.
  • Purpose of the lecture : After stating the topic, the speaker will usually mention the focus of this particular lecture.
  • Details and/or Examples : The lecture will usually include several supporting details and/or examples.
  • Conclusion : conclusion in the lectures will not always be obvious. Some lectures or talks will end rather abruptly.
Additionally, an academic lecture or talk on the TOEFL is also likely to contain :
  • Question and/or comments: During the lecture, a student will often ask a question or make a comment. The answers to these question typically reinforce the speaker’s purpose. 
In a conversation, you can expect to hear the following:
  • Greeting: The two people talking will first exchange greetings.
  • Statement 0f problem/issue: Conversation on the TOEFL typically revolve around a problem or an issue faced by one of the speakers.
  • Response: After the problem or issue is raised, one of the speakers will response, usually by making a suggestion to the other.
  • Resolution: The conversation will end with some sort of closing or resolution to the problem.
Your challenge in the Listening section is similar to your challenge in the Reading section of the TOEFL. When listening to a conversation or lecture, you need to do the following:
  1. Identify what the topic is.
  2. Figure out why the topic is being addressed.
  3. Note the supporting examples.
You have practiced identifying these parts in the previous chapter. Now the challenge is to apply what you have learned to the Listening section. There are some things, however, that make the listening tasks especially difficult.