How the Next Generation TOEFL Test Measures Listening Skills

Description of the Next Generation TOEFL Listening Section
The next generation TOEFL Listening section consists of four to six lectures and two to three conversations that take place In an Enqlish-speakinq academic setting. The time for this section is 60 to 90 minutes.

• Assess a test taker's ability to understand a SE)!!f':'cclFliained portion of an academic lecture . " •

Can be either a monologue bly the professor or an interactive lecture with one or students participating '(e.g., making comments, ,asking questions, answering questions) , Last 4 to 6 minutes and-are about !;lBO-BOO words long

• Are associated with six multiple-choice questions on the content of the lecture and the way the content is presented Test.takel;S "VIIIne.ep,to 4rlq~~~tan~ Ill,ain ldeas, st)!;lportlng details, organizational features, and relationsHips 'Qet\,o/~e1] They Will also need to be able to' draw appropriate-lnferences-and itlentify speaker purpose and attitude. Pletures on the computer screen are provided to indicate the setting and the role(s) of the speaker(s). .. Assess a test taker's ability to l!:Ir;lqer,stand, conversations that take place in English-speaking academic setting • • Involv.e two speakers, one of whom is a student Last about 3 minutes, withlabol:rt 1,2to '25 exehanqes


• Are associated with five tnultiple-choice questions on the conversation


content and/or nature of

The ponver'satidn 'may take plapedl;lning an office heur. with a professor or teaching 'assistant, or i~ may bea "service encounter"'with a librarian, 'registrar,departme(ltal secretary, etc. The five questions assess the-understandlnq of the main ideas and the relationship between iEl.eas,Important details, implications, and speaker purpose. and attitude in the conversatlon, Pictures are provided to Indicate the specific setting and role of speakers. The basic elements of the conversation are: • One of the speakers introduces the situation by explaining a need, problem, or questlonof a concrete, practical nature.

• The other speaker's response leads to the development of the sltuatien. • The outcome of the situation is identified. • Language in the lectures, and conversation includes features that are typical of oral language; tor example, [polite] interruptions, misllnderst~ndings and clarifications, misspeaks, hesitations, sentence fragments

Scoring The raw score on the Listening section is converted to a scaled score of 0 to 30.



. 3. ns·· . Forni g"e'heraliz:ations }::onclusions 6.Wn jn this: example. r:lpnethel~~s have' been. purpose? whatinfom:natiom .-. Some·per$onalitjiforrn~tlqn [Click b(l2al'lsw~Js.!rs.tiolJ questions andc9nt~nt'qtJestiotjs..l Her aC. • According to the pt0fessor.lIclt ir1f6nn~tlon ls' often caJled'''rmaRlng aniriference~" ' . they wi! I·hear it only ORCe: So. as. There are tWQ types of Baste Understanding questions. to see her professor? Supporting aetall questtlii.l1..A researql'i projectQh c!irnatechahg~ Why does theestudent AnsWer: To talk -aboirt a report' she is writing go.demic motivation.. InfQn:i1'a:tlon. • Wha~does th~ profess9rqffer to dotorthe-man? Answer: Review the first version of his paper • What' does the woman want to know ab'oot tn~ p01ltical science 'tloned in the.' BasiG lJrtderstanding guestioos assess the main eoiot .ay take' notes W~ile· they listen to-me I~cttlre . Identify connections.: rn~ill Idea guesfion"s aM sl1pporting detail ql:Jestlohs. . SUpporting detail gu~stions a.B. Draw abOu~ the irr)PQr:t~t'lt details of a con. Qonr. cle~fJy iddi.orrect:ans~er choices: ' What are the speakers mainly tliscussing? Answer. Q!Jesti6ns 1. if a detail is very small al)d not . baSI'0"types of 'Ckmnectin§.a.cenversatlon? How tnanY. If irnRlit. m.e :rhetoriosl mganizatiol1 2. 6x?implesof. n'otmir'orones. Examples' ef supPQrtil'1g detail questibnS and correct answers: .ns .:ifly'qr it may_ h~vebee~ left impliqit .olthem s~eWi!1 need t~ take courses rnen- Some .and c.ersation o~ lectu\e.: . ·!)tatemeiiit of Answer'1: Answer 2:. but cared in the qU9)l'tion. or cORVersatlon.andjmportallt~E1tailsdf'a conversation or lectl)re.s4pporth'Jg.ClU'esti'dns~organiza.should not be ~sses'sed: Su'pp6rting' aetail questions ask abcilolt importemt details'.tak<. Imtegrate'several pieces!l>f lnfotmatlon 4.~lth9u~h: tesX. ..shotlldthe studeht inciu€le inhei: . . .sic Understanding Questions .:it!· it Sho!!llq. rpay have beer ~t~ted explic. Main idea questions ask for the overall content or purpose of a conversation or lecture..a qtlestjp. detay qUElstlpns have two an~:iI\I~~sj this wlll be.a. MClke predictions based on what was heard There. This· overpll tOll1ic or purpose.ltiforniation . are' two.lXIain • • ide.sno.ectilllg. Listening . Recogt:li?.and 5.clearly in'ferab!e>Whderst~ndihg imp.(not d irectly sta~eio). p'resented asasfgnifit:an' point that detail ..

anti' What is [dentifiea .ss effect? WMat is the order the steps in the process descr. 3.ganization of what is sai(zi.e listel'lin'g the Af'lswer: From the "most complete parts of Mis w.)· What does the professor imply about the:people who admit students to graduate school? Answer: They are influenced by the appearance of an application. but it is clear ttl at he is looking for city popullatiot:lsl and that he has looked at some books already.uatemaJa Linking quEistiol1sa.roject'? frlalt 10 the least G0r:iil1:llete Qrgamization-rhetorici.fption' 'Organization ql1e_s~ions Orgaf'lizatien <iluestioos assess th~ ability to reeognize tl:le br. Example: • In wmat order does the stlJdeiit tell his pr0fessOl"alDbl:.nthe lnforrnatlon in 0rde~ to make .abilityto idemtify relationships that have baen stated er clearly implied ilil the conversation or lecture. dedtlcing ptediGting makth!.ally have less interntior'lal organization tha. these Flamicular types of questions are-asked more frequently about lectures than aoaClt cenversatlons. but It is:strongly lrnplled. A'ctiens jl'jolude: 1.'il connection gwestioos assess the ability to ltlenti~ how a particulat statement' coonElctsrhetet:ically with respect to the entire dlscourse. drawing an inference cause and effect an outeome. digressions 5. 2.tlship. ~However. lnttoductory or cc.'~uestjan ~pe.) Examples: .~I::IGfI a relatlo.l a generalizaflon • These questions reqwi!:e test1akers te IIAk together· ir:tformation f~om mora than one statemer:lt tn the listening passage.' Wl:tat.and then to performsome action cl!.) • 28 Llstenln. Since coia). exernpllflqatlon 4.n leetnres. the reratior:lship between 3. what is identlfied as cause . iBentify diseowrse elements such as 1. ~He '~ever states this 0l!lt~ight in tt:!.if a questlol'l asks theitest taken te make an lnfsrance about an entire IisieniP1g passage.)lQs questions as§9. tepl'c. but they did not contain what he needed.mChlJ(jir:l~remarks Example: • Why does tae proiessor tor's office? Answer: To demonstrate tell the studSflt about the appointment ' a way ofr'emElmbering things at the doc- G6ntentql:Jestrons IdeliltiMflg relationsl. shifts main topie ana'Subt0p[C 2. tpe man impJy.ibed? Wliiat two things are aeing comp. (This is not stated outright in the listening the ~est taker to iden'tlfy orrecegn'ize stated reJaUornshi~ between pieces of books he has already lo-oked at? Answer.ared? af ExamjDle: • What comparison doss the professor and 'Mexico? Answer: The length of their ccastlines make between G. acout t~eref.G . For example. This includes assessing the ability to.'do. it is a MainlClea ql!lestlon.lersatlol"1s Q9tler.Oe~er. They do not list popUlaHon by ciW.

L. Pragmatic Unelerstandil19 questtons assess not ol'lly what is said. bscause Usteni'mg section q(:J. COFII'l9ctililg infQrmatl~A questlens als0.stan~lng·is often best assessE:ld in a format known a~ ReJl)lay. h_ecurrently works with? . that has come in the convers~tion E!lild'the' apeaker's.tgs that go beyond the literal illte~pretati.'estionsare not meant to assess merr:i0r.standir:1!!1 meaf71lr. but it is not the approprlate lnterpretatlon of ttais . Other posstele attitudes include amusement. _ Filepl9Y guestions:Mariy Pragmatic Uhderstanding. or by reinforciF)_gthe·lnt~r. tlil a Rel'lJay Gluestion.l'er tell from tlili:ll. or about the speaker's purpose or motivation.questiQt"1s . Function Ii/tJestions FllInctiQn~purpose gllestioms focus 01:1 what the speaker is tro/il1g to accomplish. Unli~eSuppot:ting 8etall questions.ewss for his room? Answer: She' is ~dt ~llJre that it is due today. S'tanqe Gjuestfons: questlon« StaAce. right" can hs. Pra!2lftlCl. a There are. Ar.deqree of certainty about 'some fact or about the source of the speaker's informatlon. Exa'mple: • What does the woman imply about the money the man . among man:yrothers.aJiling of an utterance can ol"ll¥' be determined by Its context. Listening .! utterance like.agmatic Undefs~anding is eloseJy:tied \r\llti:J 'liii1akfhg lnferemees about speaker's stql'lCe'0r attitude..iem:M.::ely:. speaker gives clues to the correct meaning by usil"lg a certain tone _of voice. least in part at onintonatien and/or the use of vel'¥.y. anxiety. "yeah. Often they focus on the meaning or function of a relatively short utterance. but also' how it is said. concern.? basic'types GlffDragt:matit: Understanding Stance questlons a)'. Therefore.egrated. depehdiqg 01ll how it Is said. qorwersation whatIs motivating the spea:ker to ask for. Pr.isfenjng Quest jon' lY»ls' Pragmatic Understanding Questions Umder. ana dislike.lestloi'1s.questionsassess thetest taker's underst9. a part oft lie listenifcig text: is repeat.eo tofeetJstt:le test ta~erTs attention on tlfle specific utterance to be assessed.ely opposite mtlanings.use the replay fermat on ehtji. Example: • Why does the ptofessor mer:lti0'ril tfte XYZ Affair and the Jay Treaty? Gorrect answer: T0 encoLirage tne.] they focus not on how ililform:ation is organized and int. tlile correct'm'e. Since th~y ar-e not factual in their fOG[Js)they are gene~ally net based on things that a listener would take notes on.lded r'!eaning in the speeeh SllrrGlUfldingttlat utterance.ticl:Jnder. up Example: • What is-.on isan lrnporrant G1~pectof language pr. the.tnat'll"lformatI01'l? A wrong answer Is oftena p:ossible iAterpretation 'of the utterance. Unlike CQhr:1ec~inglr:lformaHon questions.ofic. but on the speaker's Intentions and atfitwdes· toward that information.m¢ahing! gwesfjons: 6ftEm.. For this reason.t1ding of the' speaker's attitude 'about' sornethlng. boredom.l Functlon qll.particwlar context. Par ex-ample" ~s question rhetoric'al or is-lt actl!lall~ askll'lg for Iflformation? a Cap 'the Ii~ter.tme studel1lt'$ attitude toward tnepeeple Answer: He likes-tl'lem. student to learn the relationships between ave'nts Wror:tg answer: To elillphasize the importance of internatlonal laws Wrong atlswer: To fili1d out if the student has read the textbook Functio~:. specific phrrasir:lgs.

rGiE..MaRe jf.lrstandreJatiol'lship..profess0r' mentlotil the· expanslon 0'1Ceflf!.j!lle·of_the Southwest. exernpllfi~ ca:tior1'S. devel0ptneAt 0.ant 'det:ails _ ef a '€Oil"lversatiQIiI pr 1E!~tun~ BasIc Understanding: Supporlirrg Aocordlng to 'the p!wfessar.IleN.clsib"n· UnC1Ier§ltMd the. qecisiol1ls more qwickly. Aprooess for impro'lling decision-'mak.'statement maqe ill the lecture.V' People Con.1ided with several different . in a' s PIOC9SS).in@..19Y. digre~sfotils! Sf aside st~tefT19111tS In lectures and cOr.utilderstamd the deG:jsioFl'ti'li9:Y - Take notes 011"1 major points amd ...eneration TOEFL test.r:isor'lof twO app~oa0l.).Jrlsrn.Sbuthwes. eeps.J1Jainrdea or rzturgose ofa eenversatlon 0~lectll:r~ ."l\tersations Organization questibns • I0 emphasize tl7leimpGl1tance gt the railroad to t/1e.l~nefltea l)1any.. cfti:Jse~ etf~6t1 e_6mpai'e~col'1trast. Ur'ld£:lTstan:d the.g.. the Information p'rS"seMt:e€l Reco!1lr.advantaqe of the ~ate5t techno1(.fessor.. form gef'ileraliza~ pr.g.mdfor • To.Sample Listening Questions From the Next Generation TOEFL Test Below are examples of each of the question types in the Listening.deta.nformatii:m pres_enteql(e. the pro. make. Grand Cai)¥on to_llItist il'lGlttstty • . !3asrc t.tern'tourIsm. can lD$tter.does:-:1. m0bm~y of Native a dlscusslon of V' To provide baekgrol. l.sliletween i.0r oO'Rllersatian eased on ·Whafis implied Listenin_q .eoiG..uestions Content • The history I"lortrayed sy tl1e touristindUstzy not . The correct answers are marked with a (. Recoglli.consensus within gr0ups.) in a cGnvl['ll'satien or·lectur..rtformatior:.Jize topic changes.<DutCQiTi9S: People can take.. along with related learning objectives for each..necting !nformation: the· railroad 'in the[llnet~enth W~y doss "the . People are prb\. • To explain tae increased American peoples. • • • 'People can make. ~e Gra!19 Canyon Hailwayhas t.jfer:enceS.zethe 0rganizafion of. Make inferelilce~. Wha:t .the S0Ut!1west.A method for gainln'g.abouttheentlra rsdtlre or conversation based PFI WhaJis_ implied makililg.t-an outcome.Jr. give faced in the an exam. section of tile next g. questions .. dangers teurists . ACGordlp.lry? >.idea • A e<:lrnpa. . 'Information. .N~tive Arnericap groups .c. ans graw eODclysions CilDout . Make eonnsetlons between or a:malagtlile pieces ofi.. farmiAg in.hiderstanding: Main .oaluaJing business plans..aJways IS accurate: • • Native AmeriGanart arid culture have not been ih.. w·liiat is one important result of uSing AHP? -.' A fbrmu~a fore.res to ds.Cipi to l10pse demonstrate? " Two Native American -groups $hare control of tfle.itquestkms impartantdetaits .a....1.fluel1lc"ed by tOl. . .e ti0f1S[ Connectitlg . im:pdr:t.

" • She knows which book the man needs. Listening 31 . .. conclusion. ' Example 1: What does the woman Recognl'zt3a speaker's attitude Stance questions mean when she says this: "All of Europe. Hmmm . inferences. complaining. The irnpor. . it may be small. it'sobviousJy a KE30.:leptscan understand the mathematics wjt~out his help. The woman has not yet-reached a ccncluslor.fu1.elof detail now..... suggesting) Recognize how stressand lntonation help convey -the speaker's intended meaning Make. /. Recognize a speaker's purpose or motivation (e. this: fFhis text will only be heard. and draw conclusions about a speaker's attitude ahe( de~ree of certainty /. • She is tao b~sy to flndthe information for the man. it: qrbits.. . til:ilenin9 .} Professor Now there's some AHP software. form generalizations. • The man easily convinced the woman to change' her rnlnd.Il'l. it's in the Kuiper belt. Pragmatic Understanding: What does the professor mean when he says. it~smade of the-same materials. • He wants the students to use the AHP software for an assignment.S's Pragmatic Understanding.theAtrlP .wei!.Questron :typ. • She is not sure she has heard the man correctly.. lets you go the math.. What can be inferred about the students? • :J7hey both disagree with the professor' is use. form generaliiations..and .'" He wants to give only a general explanation of AHP.. apologizing. Example 2: Replay: $peaker 1 Hm.. I mean. Rec0griize a speaker's degree of certainty RecQQMizEl how stress and lntonationhelp convey the speaker's 'intende-d meaning Make lnfersnces. I'd still call 'it a planet: like I said before .g. • He thinks the stu(. /. and draw conclusions about a speaker's purpose or motivation Function questions • He does not thlnR. it orbits the same way and it's way smaller than any other planet.tant thing that I want to . but it's got an atmosphere and a moon.'" They have coma to different conclusions about Rluto.about Pluto. Speaker 2 Come on . I think it's clear•. but l'm not: gonna:get into that' about is not the mathematics of it so much as the concept. .tne Sl. out there that .'" She is not sure she can find the Information for-the man.

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