Any opportunity to practise speaking in English is worthwhile when you are aiming to improve your skills. Practice gives you confidence during tests such as TOEFL and IELTS. But, more importantly, it prepares you to communicate easily during your university studies. Language proficiency tests are a stepping stone to admission to university programmes taught in English.

The TOEFL test assesses all your English language skills – reading, writing, listening comprehension and speaking. The speaking part of the test is conducted on a computer – you will receive all the instructions and then record your speech. There is no examiner to talk to face to face. This setting is challenging for many test-takers and requires a good amount of confidence. Here are several ideas that can help you practise, improve your skills and so gain confidence.

It is OK to talk to yourself!

This official TOEFL TV video shows how Val is preparing for the TOEFL speaking part and how her TOEFL-bound friends are helping her.  They are practising by interviewing each other as if they were celebrities. They play different roles - an interviewer, a celebrity, the audience.

The friends discuss how to avoid giving too-short answers when speaking and why writing seems to be an easier form of communication in English for Val.

Speaking English with ease takes so much practice.

Some of the suggestions that Val receives from her friends are:

  • Take every opportunity to talk in English with friends and especially with native speakers.
  • Record yourself speaking English out loud. You can simply use your mobile phone. Then, listen in order to improve your skills.
  • Read interviews with your favourite celebrities. Then, you can try to answer the questions in your own words as if you were the celebrity.

Why not start now. How will you reply to this question?

If you could be a tree, what tree would you be?

Find more details in this amusing video, try out different techniques, and see how well they work for you. If you have your own TOEFL speaking preparation tips, feel free to share them in the comments below.