TOEFL Q15: Laptop Loaning Service

Directions

In this lesson, your tutor will help you go over question three from the TOEFL speaking test. Read the text below out loud with the tutor.

Laptop Loaning Service for Students

Effective the first week of March, the school will begin loaning laptops to students. By offering this service, the university hopes to make the computer labs less crowded. The service will also give students greater flexibility in where they choose to study. To borrow a laptop, visit any university computer lab and show your student I.D. card to a computer center employee.


Reading time: 45 seconds

Listening

Listen to a short conversation related to the reading.
Note to tutor: read the text to the student. The text is not presented to the student in the actual test.  

W: What do you think about the school’s plan to loan laptops to students?

M: In all honesty, I’m not convinced that the plan will be successful.

W: Yeah, I feel the same way. I think the school should use the money for other things.

M: Oh, for sure. Like the desktop computers in the computer labs. Most of them are really old and need to be updated.

W: Yeah. I once tried to do an assignment for a design class in the computer lab, but I couldn’t because the computers were too old to run the program I needed.

M: Exactly. I’m also worried that the service in the computer labs will deteriorate. There will probably be a lot of students checking out these laptops. Because of this the staff probably won’t have time to answer questions or to help students if they have any problems.

W: I hear you. I just hope the school will reconsider its plan before it’s too late.

Question

The man expresses his opinion about the school’s announcement. Explain his opinion and the reasons he gives for holding it.


Preparation time: 30 seconds l Response time: 60 seconds

Summarize

Use the chart below to explain the woman’s opinion about the announcement.

Guideline
Main Idea The man in the conversation is __ that his school ’s plan to loan laptops to students will be successful
Reason 1 For his first argument, the man states that the school needs to buy __ for the computer labs. He says most of the computers in the labs are __.
Reason 2
The man also worries that service in the computer labs will __. He feels the employees will be __ to answer questions or to help students with computer problems.

Synthesize

Give a brief spoken response to the questions based on the announcement and the conversation.

  1. What does the university hope to do by loaning laptops to students?
    • The university hopes to __.
  2. What does the man say about the computers in the computer labs?
    • He says that the computers are __.
  3. What does the man say about the workers at the computer labs?
    • The man says that the workers will be too busy checking out laptops to __.

Sample Answer

Reading great sample answers is one way to improve. Go over the sample answer with your tutor. Ask questions if you have any.

Sample Answer
The speakers are discussing their school’s decision to allow students to borrow laptops. The man is not convinced the plan will work. The man gives two arguments to explain his opinion. His first argument is that the computers in the labs are too old. The man believes the school should buy some new computers instead of laptops. He is also worried that the service in the computer labs will deteriorate. He thinks the staff will be too busy renting laptops to help students using the labs.

Further Study

Got more time? Here is a list of common vocab words related to the text you studied today. Go over each one with your tutor.

Additional Expressions
crowded (adj) filled with people or objects
e.g. The library was so crowded today I couldn’t find an open space to study.
flexibility (n) an ability to change easily
e.g. He shows remarkable flexibility as an actor. [=he can play a wide range of roles]
employee (n) a worker
e.g. A good boss listens to his employees.
convinced (adj) completely persuaded by something
e.g. I was never fully convinced of his innocence. [=I always believed that he might be guilty]
purchase (v) to buy
e.g. He purchased a new suit for one hundred dollars.
assignment (n) a job someone has to do
e.g. My assignment was to clean the equipment. [= They gave me the assignment of cleaning the equipment.]
run (v) to operate; to use something
e.g. You should run the engine for a few minutes before you start driving.
deteriorate (v) to become worse
e.g. Her health continues to deteriorate. [=decline]
check out (phr v) to borrow something
e.g. He checked out [=took out, borrowed] a book on farming from the library.
 loan (n) an amount of money that is given to someone for a period of time with a promise that it will be paid back : an amount of money that is borrowed
e.g. He’ll need several more years to pay back the rest of the student loan.
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