TOEFL Q7: Spending Money

Directions

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

One of your friends has recently received a lot of money. How do you suggest that your friend use the money? Include specific details and reasons in your response.


Preparation time: 15 seconds l Response time: 45 seconds

Warm-up

Choose a question at random from the list below. Answer the question right away without making notes. Try to speak for at least 10 seconds.

  • What are two things you would like to buy if you had a lot of money? I would like to buy a big apartment in the middle of Seoul. I would also like to buy an expensive sports car, such as a Porsche.
  • What are some of the most expensive things people must pay for in their lives?
  • How can you use that money to make more money?

Brainstorm

Use the following pointers as a guideline to refine your answer.

  1. Introduction
    • I would suggest that my friend saves the money
  2. Come up with supporting ideas
    • put money into a savings account
    • can prepare for the future
    • money can earn interest
    • can also earn more money
    • pay for college
    • put down money for an apartment
  3. Come up with details to explain two of your supporting ideas
    • prepare for the future: She could use the money to pay for an apartment when she is older.
    • earn more money: She can put the money into a savings account and earn interest.

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

If one of my friends received a lot of money, I would suggest that she save the money. One reason is that she could prepare for the future. For example, my friend could use the money to pay for an apartment when she is older. Saving the money is also a good idea because my friend can earn more money. She can put the money into a savings account and earn interest. Overall, I feel that it is best for my friend to save the money.

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
savings account (n) a bank account in which people keep money that they want to save
e.g. She opened a savings account.
interest (n) money paid to you by a bank for the money you have in a bank account
e.g. He made about $500 in interest last year.
retirement (n) the act of ending your working or professional career : the act of retiring
e.g. She decided to take an early retirement.
parvenu (n) a person from usually a low social position who has recently or suddenly become wealthy, powerful or successful but who is not accepted by other wealthy, powerful and successful people
e.g. He was a rich parvenu who brought his son at an early age to Paris.
squander (v) to use (something) in a foolish or wasteful way
e.g. She squandered her inheritance.
donate (v) to give (money, food, clothes, etc.) in order to help a person or organization
e.g. We donated our old clothes to charity.
charity (n) the act of giving money, food or other kinds of help to people who are poor, sick, etc.
e.g. The holidays are a time for charity and goodwill.
stock (n) a share of the value of a company which can be bought, sold or traded as an investment
e.g. The value of his stocks soared.
real estate (n) property consisting of buildings and land
e.g. He sells real estate.
tuition (fee) (n) money that is paid to a school for the right to study there
e.g. Her uncle agreed to pay part of her tuition.
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TOEFL Q11: A Club Meeting

Directions

In this lesson, your tutor will help you go over question five from the TOEFL speaking test. Listen to a short conversation.
Note to tutor: read the text to the student. The text is not presented to the student in the actual test.  

W: Hey Jason, I heard that the famous environmentalist, Willian Jefferson, is going to give a speech at your club meeting. I can’t wait to listen to his lecture.

M: Don’t get your hopes up. Mr. Jefferson just called me and said that he might not be able to attend the meeting.

W: Oh no, what are you going to do?

M: I’m not sure. The meeting is tomorrow, and I don’t think I can find a replacement.

W: Hmm, you know, I have a friend who works as an environmentalist. Maybe she could give a speech instead? She isn’t famous, though.

M: Yeah, maybe that could work.

W: Or you could rent a documentary from the library. I know they have this fascinating documentary about river pollution. I think it would be perfect to show during the meeting.

M: That’s not a bad idea. I’ll think about it and let you know what I decide.

Question

The woman discusses two possible solutions to the man’s problem. Describe the problem. Then state which of the two solutions you prefer and explain why.


Preparation time: 20 seconds l Response time: 60 seconds

Summarize

Use the chart below to explain the main idea of the conversation.

Guideline
The Problem The man’s problem is that the speaker for his club’s meeting __. He is worried that he will not be able to find a __.
Solution 1 The woman says that her __ can give a speech.
Reason Her friend is also an __.
Solution 2 Next, the woman recommends renting a __ from the library.
Reason They have a film about __. It would be __ to show during the meeting.

Brainstorm

Use the following pointers as a guideline to refine your answer.

  1. State the problem
    • The man needs to find a speaker for his club meeting.
  2. What are the pros and cons of solution 1?
    • ProHer friend is an environmentalist
    • ConShe is not famous
  3. What are the pros and cons of solution 2?
    • ProRent a documentary on river pollution
    • ConIt’s not a speaker (different format)
  4.  Your opinion
    • I think the man should rent a documentary
  5. Come up with two reasons to back your opinion
    • It’s about river pollution
    • It should be interesting to the man’s club

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

Solution 1: In the conversation, an environmentalist cannot attend the man’s club meeting. The woman gives two possible solutions to the man’s problem. She suggests that her friend gives a speech or for the man to rent a documentary from the library. Of the two solutions, I prefer the first one. The woman’s friend is an environmentalist. She can give an informed speech at the man’s club meeting. She can also answer any questions the club members might have. For these reasons, I think the woman’s first suggestion is better.

Solution 2: The man in the dialog needs to find a speaker for his club meeting. The woman first recommends that her friend give a speech at the meeting or for the man to rent a documentary from the library. I like the second solution better. The man can rent the video quickly and be ready to show it right away. On top of this, the film is about river pollution, so it should be interesting to the man’s club. Overall, I feel the man should follow the woman’s second suggestion.

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
environmentalist (n) a person who is concerned about the environment
e.g. Ma Jun, a leading Chinese environmentalist, confirmed genuine changes appear to be taking place.
rent (v) to borrow; to check out
e.g. Do you want to rent a movie tonight?
club (n) a group of people who meet to participate in an activity
e.g. He attended an exclusive social club.
documentary (n) a program that tells facts about actual people and events
e.g. We watched a documentary on the early history of jazz.
attend (v) to be present at an event
e.g. My husband and I will both attend the banquet.
fascinating (adj) very interesting or appealing
e.g. Her paintings are fascinating.
replacement (n) something that takes the place of another thing
e.g. Is your old dictionary in need of replacement? [=do you need a new dictionary?]
pollution (n) dirt; litter; smog
e.g. Industrial practices have caused air and water pollution.
recommend (v) to say that (someone or something) is good and deserves to be chosen
e.g. A friend recommended this restaurant.
give a speech (exp) talk in front of an audience
e.g. Steve Jobs gave a speech at the Stanford commencement.
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