Achieve a great TOEFL Speaking Score – TOEFL Pronunciation tips
Georgie Harding – Founder & Head Speech Pathologist
How to Improve TOEFL Pronunciation and Speaking Score
I’m going to help you improve your TOEFL Pronunciation and Speaking Score with some easy to follow activities and a checklists.
Complete the checklist under each area of assessment and boost your skills for a great TOEFL pronunciation and speaking score.
Did you know all TOEFL Speaking tasks are scored on these three components:
- Delivery: how clearly and intelligibly you speak (this includes pronunciation, flow, intonation, and pace)
- Language use: how well you use grammar and vocabulary to express yourself
- Topic development: how coherently you construct your response by connecting thoughts and elaborating on ideas
So, how much English speaking practise are you getting at the moment? Remember that your English speaking skills won’t improve just through living in an English speaking country.
Your listening skills and comprehension will but speaking – NO! Your English speaking will only improve with active effort and practise. In other words – you need to SPEAK English to improve. Not a little but A LOT!
To improve your TOEFL pronunciation and speaking score you will need to commit to practising EVERYDAY to specifically improve your spoken English. I recommend at least 30 minutes a day, but the more you do, the more you will improve!
Let’s Get Started!
Now we know what the examiners are looking at when they give a TOEFL speaking score, let’s look at HOW to improve!
I’m going to give you a CHECKLIST of 3 things to complete for each area you will be scored on. These will boost your skills for a better TEOFL speaking score.
CHECKLISTS FOR IMPROVING YOUR TOEFL SPEAKING SCORE
Improving your TOEFL Pronunciation Speaking Score for Delivery
(how clearly and intelligibly you speak (this includes pronunciation, flow, intonation, and pace).
- Rate: check your rate or speed of speaking.
- No Mumbling! check your are opening and moving your mouth enough for clear English. Some non-native English speakers speak English with a mouth position that is too closed. This is called ‘mumbling’ in English and results in unclear speech. See more on moving your mouth enough for clear English. Speakers of the following languages in particular need to check this: Russian, Mandarin, Japanese, Farsi, Korean and speakers of Eastern European languages.
- Word Stress & Emphasis: In English the emphasis and word stress you use has a big effect on how clear your English will be to listeners. If you use stress that is too flat or incorrect stress it will make some words you say unclear.
Improving your TOEFL Pronunciation and Speaking Score for Language Use
(how well you use grammar and vocabulary to express yourself)
Today we are going to correct the biggest grammar mistakes I hear non-native speakers make that brings down their TOEFL pronunciation and speaking score. You need to check and correct them to get a better TOEFL speaking score!
Record yourself talking in detail about what you did yesterday using this online voice recorder. Listen back to your recording and check the following.
- Past Tense: are you using the past tense correctly? Listen back to the recording. Did you use the past tense correctly? Or did you say things like ‘yesterday I walk to the shop’, ‘I see my friends’. These are incorrect – where are the PAST TENSE endings? Insetad it should be ‘yesterday I walked to the shop’, ‘I saw my friends’ etc. Leaving off past tense endings is an obvious grammar mistake and it is also very confusing for your examiner. Your examiner needs to hear correct past tense endings to understand what happened in the past, what is happening now and what will happen in the future. If you need more help with how to pronounce past tense endings, this is covered in details in a full Speech Active online course.
- Plurals: Record yourself and describe in detail what you can see in the room around you and out the window. Afterwards, listen and check your plural endings. Did you say ‘I see some chair’ or ‘I see a few car’? It should be ‘I see some chairs’ and ‘I see a few cars’. This is another obvious grammar mistake that will affect your TOEFL pronunciation and speaking score.
- Correct them: Talk for 5 minutes each evening focusing on past tense and plurals. For past tense, talk about what you have done that day in detail for 5 minutes focusing on using the correct past tense. Actively check your past tense endings and plural endings as you speak. Within a matter of days, your use of these two grammatical markers will be vastly improved. This helps your listener to understand what you have to say.
Improving your TOEFL Speaking Score for Topic Development
(fluency – how coherently you construct your response by connecting thoughts and elaborating on ideas)
What are you doing at the moment to improve your fluency? Remember that the ONLY way to improve your fluency is to SPEAK! Luckily you can do this by yourself. YES! That’s right, speaking out loud to yourself is a proven way to improve your English fluency. I recommend that between now and your test you speak as much English as possible – to others AND out loud to yourself. You need as much speaking practise as you can get on a wide range of topics.
- Watch our video: 1 Daily Habit to Fantastic English Fluency and do the recommended practise for 15 minutes each day as described in the video.
- Speak as much English as you can every day. Ideally for a better TOEFL Speaking Score, you should be speaking at least 1 – 2 hours of English every day. But the more the better!
- As recommended in the 1 Daily Habit to Fantastic English Fluency start to use podcasts to develop your vocabulary on a wide range of topics. Start a ‘NEW VOCAB LIST’ and each day add 6 new words (from the podcast or other source). Describe and use each word on the list in detail out loud. Cover the ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘when’, ‘where’ and ‘how’ of each word.
This site has a good list of practise TOEFL speaking test questions that you can start with.
Summary on how to get a better TOEFL Pronunciation & Speaking Score.
To re-cap on how to improve TOEFL Pronunciation and Speaking Score, complete the actions listed above and focus on ACTIVELY SPEAKING ENGLISH out loud for at least 30 minutes everyday.
In an ideal world I would say to you – stop speaking your first language between now and your TOEFL exam. This is really the BEST way to boost your English speaking skills quickly. Would that be possible for you? Ideally you would speak in English 100% of the time and your house mates or family can speak to you in whatever language they choose but you always speak in English. That would be my number one golden tip that will bring your the most improvement for a brilliant TOEFL speaking score.
If you are really serious about boosting your English speaking skills for TOEFL pronunciation and your TOEFL pronunciation then it’s time to enrol in a Speech Active course. You will boost your pronunciation, fluency and conversation skills and all areas of your spoken English to get a better TOEFL speaking score.
See these comments from students on how they got a better IELTS & TOEFL speaking scores with Speech Active.
I found everything about the course helpful. In just a couple of lessons my confidence levels were increased and my fluency and accuracy of pronunciation improved. I would recommend this course to anyone who needs help with their accent. I decided to take this course as part of my preparation for TOEFL. And, I got my target score (>100) on my first try! The course helped me improve not only speaking skill but also listening skill. Email reminders encouraged me to stay motivated. Thanks you very much!
I did the IELTS test before I took this course with only 5.5 for the speaking. Then after about 6 weeks of starting this course, I did the test again and it was increase to 6.5. Amazing! I hope to get my 7 for the speaking when I complete the whole course.
In the past, I learned to pronounce by copying others e.g. in class or on TV. It just gave me a general idea and sometimes made me quite confused. After taking this course, I know more secrets about pronunciation. Also for the first time I find English speaking can be so beautiful, just like music with pitches. Now I become very confident with my speaking and dare to speak with any people.
Recently I got 7.5 for IELTS speaking. It was a great improvement because I had never got over 6.5 for that band before. After taking the course, I am much more confidence in my speaking. And I also pay closer attention on how people pronounce and stress the words and I am able to recognise the difference. It is an amazing journey. I would highly recommend every non-native English speaker to take the course. It is extremely helpful.
This course helped me to improve my pronunciation and listening skills significantly which are essential for IELTS test.It helped me to get high scores in these two areas.
More free resources to boost your skills for your TOEFL Speaking test ?
As mentioned above make sure you join our free English Pronunciation Course. It’s the perfect place to start improving your pronunciation for a better IELTS score.
Listen to all the Consonant Sounds & Vowel Sounds in English and record your own speech and compare it to a native English speaker.
Open your ears and listen carefully to the way people around you speak English. Listen as much as you can to the sounds they make.
If you have any questions about our courses and how we can help you get a better TOEFL speaking score please get in touch with us. We look forward to hearing from you.