One of my TOEFL students asked me a good question the other day. It was about speaking task #3. For this task, you will read a short announcement for 45 seconds. You will then listen as two students discuss the announcement. Next, you will summarize one of the student's opinions in 60 seconds. My student wondered: "When listening to the two students discussing the announcement, is it possible to predict which student opinion I will have to summarize?"
Answer: No. The students will talk in a manner that does not infer which opinion you will have to summarize. Just because one student is doing most of the talking does not mean you will have summarize that student's opinion.
Warning: Often the student doing most of the talking is the distractor. A distractor sounds like the right choice, but is in fact the wrong choice. The best thing to do is note each student opinion. That way you will be prepared when you read the prompt.
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© Bruce Stirling 2010-11