TOEFL iBT | Listening | Lecture | Astrology

As requested by one of my Patreon students, I decided to make this available to the public by doing a video/podcast response to this specific lecture. I realized that this was one of the longest lecturers I had ever heard and my student had difficulty with comparing notes to the questions that were asked. Now, I love this particular segment because it was very difficult compared to other lecturers, and after hearing some of the listening excerpts on YouTube, I’m afraid that the majority of you will have difficulty if you come across a lengthy lecture on the test. Without further ado, let’s dive into this!

Notes

Astrology is…..

anthropology course

influenced by astrology

Roots from manifestations

asia, south america, modern day

what is astrology — celestial objects, stars, planets, moons, movement and position influence human events

broadest = search for meaning in sky

encompasses astronomy

without it, won’t have modern astronomy

no technological benefits of the skies

development = earliest records 25k years

prehistoric men made diagrams on cave walls

men examine, question, and understand process of natural world

bodies have no effect = not true

moon influences tides and rivers

awareness of this helped men and prepared for annual weather like floods

Predictive tool

ancient babylon

recording planetary movements 2k BC

they kept records for 21 years

2300 BC dated back

observations // not predictions

babylonian astrology was concerned with physical events = politics, earthquakes

position of stars can’t determine fate

gods associated with specific planets, displayed some erratic behavior, meant god was angry

Astronomy other cultures too

Alexnader the great = fundamental of the spread in Asia

Bablyloanian beliefs = greek culture

greek overtook international language

1st century BCE, two astrology, PAST, present, future and other soul and stars

greek culture spread to ancient rome

rome, astrology popular amongst lower orders of society

Cato, farmers danger

2nd century, juvenil, roman women hung on every word

high born astrological bug, tiberius started employing astrologers

intellectual romans said other planets are much further, they can only have a tiny influence compared to moons

ignores affect, parenting, health, medicine, have on other people’s characters and fate

Carnitus, belief in fate denied free will

Same time identical can live in tribes and cultures

Questions

1 What is the lecture mainly about?

  • how ancient astrology has influenced modern astronomy
  • the evolution of astrological beliefs and practices
  • a comparison of Babylonian and Greco-Roman astrology
  • ancient arguments against the power of astrology

2 What is implied about astrologers in ancient Rome?

  • They were more respected if they had Greek origins
  • They had significant influence, particularly over lower class people
  • They still utilized the ancient Babylonian script
  • They made significant contributions to the study of natural science

3 Which of the following practices took place in ancient Babylon? Choose 2 answers.

  • The positions of celestial bodies were extensively recorded
  • Kings communicated directly with the gods in the stars
  • People consulted astrologers to determine their futures
  • Precautions were taken when celestial omens were observed

4 What can be concluded about Cicero and Carneades?

  • Both of them saw good and bad aspects to astrology
  • Cicero had a negative view of astrology, while Carneades had a positive one
  • Both of them disagreed with the arguments put forward by astrologists
  • Cicero saw both good and bad sides to astrology, while Carneades had only a negative opinion

5 According to the professor, when did Astronomy begin to be used as predictive tool?

  • When Alexander conquered asla
  • Ancient Roman times
  • Around 25,000 years when prehistoric man made diagrams depicting lunar cycles on cave walls
  • Ancient Babylonian times

6 Which of the following is true about the development of Astrology?

  • By the 1st century BCE, there was only one strand of astrology concerned with reading about the past, present, and future
  • The earliest records of astronomical cycles dated back to ancient Babylonian times
  • Alexander contributed greatly to the spread of Astrology
  • Babylonian astrology was concerned with how the position of stars could determine a single person’s fate

TOEIC | Incomplete Sentences | Improving Your Knowledge of Prefixes & Suffixes: Tactic Practice

Welcome to another grammar edition of TOEIC! In today’s podcast/video, we’re going to do the full rundown of noun and verb suffixes, a tactic that is needed to get a fine score in Part 5. Also, some exercises and additional task (on my blog) before getting into a 6-question Tactic Practice. With that being said, let’s get into it!

This section will help you familiarize yourself with some of the most common suffix and prefix forms.

Test tactic: Noun & Verb Suffixes

The words below feature some of the most common suffixes use with nouns and verbs. Decide whether they’re a noun or a verb.

  • cooperation
  • criticize
  • partnership
  • department
  • simplify
  • quickness
  • activate
  • celebration
  • security
  • widen
  • assistance
  • realize

Now look at the list of suffixes and mark whether each is a noun or verb suffix.

  • tion/sion
  • en
  • ness
  • (i)fy
  • ship
  • ise/ize
  • ity
  • ate
  • ment
  • ance/ence

Now, for each sentence below, decide if it requires a noun or verb, then choose the best word of the correct type to fill in the blank.

investigation  identify   elevate  repetitiveness  criticize  document  internship   renovate  dependence  soften
  1. The stockholders have called for a(n) ______ to find out where the money went.
  2. Newspapers are starting to ______ the prime minister’s actions.
  3. Doing a (n) _______ is a good way for students to get work experience.
  4. Miller Manufacturing’s _____ on one supplier caused serious problems when that company went bankrupt.
  5. A consultant was hired to ______ the company’s main weaknesses and suggest solutions.
  6. Bill realized he had forgotten to bring a key ______ to the meeting.
  7. The company spent millions to ______ its main office in order to impress its customers.
  8. The sculptor intended to ______ the statue by placing it on a pedestal so that people could see it more easily.
  9. Many people dislike the ______ of working on a factory assembly line.
  10. Cyclists often use special pads to ______ the seat for long-distance rides.

Answers on Next Page

TOEFL iBT | Reading | 1 on 1 Coaching | Time-management & Vocabulary | Minerals & Plants

BOOM! We’re back with the first of its kind! I actually have another one scheduled to upload but not for a few months. Nonetheless, this is a full coaching session from one of my students, and in today’s coaching, I cover three main areas while walking her through a passage: time-management, double-checking vocabulary, and the before/after. There are lots of great techniques that could be used throughout this podcast (down below).

Podcast

MINERALS AND PLANTS

1) Research has shown that certain minerals are required by plants for normal growth and development. The soil is the source of these minerals, which are absorbed by the plant with the water from the soil. Even nitrogen, which is a gas in its elemental state, is normally absorbed from the soil as nitrate ions. Some soils are notoriously deficient in micro nutrients and are therefore unable to support most plant life. So-called serpentine soils, for example, are deficient in calcium, and only plants able to tolerate low levels of this mineral can survive. In modern agriculture, mineral depletion of soils is a major concern, since harvesting crops interrupts the recycling of nutrients back to the soil.

2) Mineral deficiencies can often be detected by specific symptoms such as chlorosis (loss of chlorophyll resulting in yellow or white leaf tissue), necrosis (isolated dead patches), anthocyanin formation (development of deep red pigmentation of leaves or stem), stunted growth, and development of woody tissue in an herbaceous plant. Soils are most commonly deficient in nitrogen and phosphorus. Nitrogen-deficient plants exhibit many of the symptoms just described. Leaves develop chlorosis; stems are short and slender; and anthocyanin discoloration occurs on stems, petioles, and lower leaf surfaces. Phosphorus-deficient plants are often stunted, with leaves turning a characteristic dark green, often with the accumulation of anthocyanin. Typically, older leaves are affected first as the phosphorus is mobilized to young growing tissue. Iron deficiency is characterized by chlorosis between veins in young leaves.

3) Much of the research on nutrient deficiencies is based on growing plants hydroponically, that is, in soilless liquid nutrient solutions. This technique allows researchers to create solutions that selectively omit certain nutrients and then observe the resulting effects on the plants. Hydroponics has applications beyond basic research, since it facilitates the growing of greenhouse vegetables during winter. Aeroponics, a technique in which plants are suspended and the roots misted with a nutrient solution, is another method for growing plants without soil.

4) While mineral deficiencies can limit the growth of plants, an overabundance of certain minerals can be toxic and can also limit growth. Saline soils, which have high concentrations of sodium chloride and other salts, limit plant growth, and research continues to focus on developing salt-tolerant varieties of agricultural crops. Research has focused on the toxic effects of heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury, and aluminum; however, even copper and zinc, which are essential elements, can become toxic in high concentrations. Although most plants cannot survive in these soils, certain plants have the ability to tolerate high levels of these minerals.

5) Scientists have known for some time that certain plants, called hyper accumulators, can concentrate minerals at levels a hundredfold or greater than normal. A survey of known hyper accumulators identified that 75 percent of them amassed nickel; cobalt, copper, zinc, manganese, lead, and cadmium are other minerals of choice. Hyper accumulators run the entire range of the plant world. They may be herbs, shrubs, or trees. Many members of the mustard family, spurge family, legume family, and grass family are top hyperaccumulators. Many are found in tropical and subtropical areas of the world, where accumulation of high concentrations of metals may afford some protection against plant-eating insects and microbial pathogens.

6) Only recently have investigators considered using these plants to clean up soil and waste sites that have been contaminated by toxic levels of heavy metals—an environmentally friendly approach known as phytoremediation. This scenario begins with the planting of hyperaccumulating species in the target area, such as an abandoned mine or an irrigation pond contaminated by runoff. Toxic minerals would first be absorbed by roots but later relocated to the stem and leaves. A harvest of the shoots would remove the toxic compounds off site to be burned or composted to recover the metal for industrial uses. After several years of cultivation and harvest, the site would be restored at a cost much lower than the price of excavation and reburial, the standard practice for remediation of contaminated soils. For example, in field trials, the plant alpine pennycress removed zinc and cadmium from soils near a zinc smelter, and Indian mustard, native to Pakistan and India, has been effective in reducing levels of selenium salts by 50 percent in contaminated soils.

Directions: Now answer the questions.

PARAGRAPH 1

Research has shown that certain minerals are required by plants for normal growth and development. The soil is the source of these minerals, which are absorbed by the plant with the water from the soil. Even nitrogen, which is a gas in its elemental state, is normally absorbed from the soil as nitrate ions. Some soils are notoriously deficient in micro nutrients and are therefore unable to support most plant life. So-called serpentine soils, for example, are deficient in calcium, and only plants able to tolerate low levels of this mineral can survive. In modern agriculture, mineral depletion of soils is a major concern, since harvesting crops interrupts the recycling of nutrients back to the soil.

1. According to paragraph 1, what is true of plants that can grow in serpentine soils?

  • They absorb micronutrients unusually well.
  • They require far less calcium than most plants do.
  • They are able to absorb nitrogen in its elemental state.
  • They are typically crops raised for food.

PARAGRAPH 2

Mineral deficiencies can often be detected by specific symptoms such as chlorosis (loss of chlorophyll resulting in yellow or white leaf tissue), necrosis (isolated dead patches), anthocyanin formation (development of deep red pigmentation of leaves or stem), stunted growth, and development of woody tissue in an herbaceous plant. Soils are most commonly deficient in nitrogen and phosphorus. Nitrogen-deficient plants exhibit many of the symptoms just described. Leaves develop chlorosis; stems are short and slender; and anthocyanin discoloration occurs on stems, petioles, and lower leaf surfaces. Phosphorus-deficient plants are often stunted, with leaves turning a characteristic dark green, often with the accumulation of anthocyanin. Typically, older leaves are affected first as the phosphorus is mobilized to young growing tissue. Iron deficiency is characterized by chlorosis between veins in young leaves.

  1. The word “exhibit” in the passage is closest in meaning to
  • fight off
  • show
  • cause
  • spread
  1. According to paragraph 2, which of the following symptoms occurs in phosphorus-deficient plants but not in plants deficient in nitrogen or iron?
  • chlorosis on leaves
  • change in leaf pigmentation to a dark shade of green
  • Short, stunted appearance of stems
  • Reddish pigmentation on the leaves or stem
  1. According to paragraph 2, a symptom of iron deficiency is the presence in young leaves of
  • deep red discoloration between the veins
  • white or yellow tissue between the veins
  • dead spots between the veins
  • characteristic dark green veins

PARAGRAPH 3

Much of the research on nutrient deficiencies is based on growing plants hydroponically, that is, in soilless liquid nutrient solutions. This technique allows researchers to create solutions that selectively omit certain nutrients and then observe the resulting effects on the plants. Hydroponics has applications beyond basic research, since it facilitates the growing of greenhouse vegetables during winter. Aeroponics, a technique in which plants are suspended and the roots misted with a nutrient solution, is another method for growing plants without soil.

  1. The word “facilitates” in the passage is closest in meaning to
  • slows down
  • affects
  • makes easier
  • focuses on
  1. According to paragraph 3, what is the advantage of hydroponics for research on nutrient deficiencies in plants?
  • it allows researchers to control what nutrients a plant receives
  • it allows researchers to observe the growth of a large number of plants simultaneously
  • it is possible to directly observe the roots of plants
  • it is unnecessary to keep misting plants with nutrient solutions
  1. The word “suspended” in the passage is closest in meaning to
  • grown
  • protected
  • spread out
  • hung

PARAGRAPH 5

Scientists have known for some time that certain plants, called hyperaccumulators, can concentrate minerals at levels a hundredfold or greater than normal. A survey of known hyperaccumulators identified that 75 percent of them amassed nickel; cobalt, copper, zinc, manganese, lead, and cadmium are other minerals of choice. Hyperaccumulators run the entire range of the plant world. They may be herbs, shrubs, or trees. Many members of the mustard family, spurge family, legume family, and grass family are top hyperaccumulators. Many are found in tropical and subtropical areas of the world, where accumulation of high concentrations of metals may afford some protection against plant-eating insects and microbial pathogens.

8. Why does the author mention “herbs,” “shrubs,” and “trees”?

  • To provide examples of plant types that cannot tolerate high levels of harmful minerals
  • To show why so many plants are hyperaccumulators
  • To help explain why hyperaccumulators can be found in so many different places
  • To emphasize that hyperaccumulators occur in a wide range of plant types

9. The word “afford” in the passage is closest in meaning to

  • offer
  • prevent
  • increase
  • remove

PARAGRAPH 6

Only recently have investigators considered using these plants to clean up soil and waste sites that have been contaminated by toxic levels of heavy metals—an environmentally friendly approach known as phytoremediation. Toxic minerals would first be absorbed by roots but later relocated to the stem and leaves. A harvest of the shoots would remove the toxic compounds off site to be burned or composted to recover the metal for industrial uses. After several years of cultivation and harvest, the site would be restored at a cost much lower than the price of excavation and reburial, the standard practice for remediation of contaminated soils. For example, in field trials, the plant alpine pennycress removed zinc and cadmium from soils near a zinc smelter, and Indian mustard, native to Pakistan and India, has been effective in reducing levels of selenium salts by 50 percent in contaminated soils.

10. Which of the sentences below best expresses the essential information in the highlighted sentence in paragraph 6? Incorrect choices change the meaning in important ways or leave out essential information.

  • Before considering phytoremediation, hyperaccumulating species of plants local to the target area must be identified.
  • The investigation begins with an evaluation of toxic sites in the target area to determine the extent of contamination
  • The first step in phytoremediation is the planting of hyperaccumulating plants in the area to be cleaned up
  • Mines and irrigation ponds can be kept from becoming contaminated by planting hyperaccumulating species in targeted areas

11. It can be inferred from paragraph 6 that compared with standard practices for remediation of contaminated soils, phytoremediation

  • does not allow for the use of the removed minerals for industrial purposes
  • can be faster to implement
  • is equally friendly to the environment
  • is less suitable for soils that need to be used within a short period of time

12. Why does the author mention “Indian mustard”?

  • to warn about possible risks involved in phytoremediation
  • to help illustrate the potential pf phytoremediation
  • to show that hyper accumulating plants grow in many regions of the world
  • to explain how zinc contamination can be reduced

TOEFL iTP | Reading | Answering a Variety of Overview Questions

Welcome back to another TOEFL iTP Reading! In today’s podcast/video, we’re going to be looking over a variety of different overview questions to test you. There are 16 in total with 8 on here and the other 8 will be on my TOEFL iTP Badge, priced at $50 a month with two coaching hours. Make sure you contact me for more information!

Questions

American folk music originated with ordinary people at a time when the rural population was isolated and music was not yet spread by radio, audios, compact disks, or music DVDs. It was transmitted by oral tradition and is noted for its energy, humor, and emotion impact. The major source of early American folk songs was music from the British Isles, but songs from Africa as well as songs of the American Indians have a significant part in its heritage. Later settlers from other countries also contributed songs. In the the nineteenth century, composer Stephen Foster wrote some of the most enduringly popular of all American songs, which soon became part of the folks tradition. Beginning in the 1930’s, Woody Guthrie gained great popularity by adapting traditional melodies and lyrics supplying new ones as well. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, singer-composers such as Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, and Joan Bae continued this tradition by creating “urban” folk music. Many of these songs dealt with important social issues, such as racial integration and the war in Vietnam.

  1. The primary purpose of this passage is to..
  • trace the development of American folk music
  • explain the oral tradition
  • contrast the styles of folk musicians
  • point out the influence of social issues on “urban” folk music

The answer would be A, trace the development of American folk music. The first sentence outlined its origination. Then it talked about how it was used. It went into the source of American folk songs, talking about Africa and American Indians. Then, settlers began their contribution and went into specifics in regards to Stephen Foster — his songs ultimately becoming park of folk tradition. Woody Guthrie became popular with his contribution to folk shortly after. Other big names continued the tradition by creating urban folk music.

So, in saying that, all of the above details pertained to the development of folk music. Oral tradition was a small detail in the second sentence. Contrasting styles wasn’t mentioned and Bob Dylan’s “urban folk” was a very small part of the concluding sentence at the very end. None of them were the PRIMARY PURPOSE.

Every scientific discipline tends to develop its own special language because it finds ordinary words inadequate, and psychology is no different. The purpose of this special jargon is not to mystify non-psychologists; rather, it allows psychologists to accurately describe the phenomena they are discussing and to communicate with each other effectively. Of course, psychological terminology consists in part of everyday words such as emotion, intelligence, and the motivation, but psychologists use these words somewhat differently. For example, laymen use the term anxiety to mean nervousness or fear, but most psychologists reserve the term to describe a condition produced when one fears events over which one has no control.

2. The main topic of this passage is….

  • effective communication
  • the special language of psychology
  • two definitions of the word anxiety
  • the jargon of science

Gifford Pinchot was the first professionally trained forester in the United States. After he graduated from Yale in 1889, he studied forestry in Europe. In the 1890’s he managed the forest on the Biltmore estate in North Caroline (now Pisgah National Forest) and became the first to practice scientific forestry. Perhaps his most important contribution to conservation was persuading President Theodore Roosevelt to set aside millions of acres in the West as forest reserves. These lands now make up much of the national parks and national forests of the United States. Pinchot became the Chief Forester of the U.S. Forest Service in 1905. Although he held that post for only five years, he established guidelines that set forest policy for decades to come.

3. The passage primarily deals with….

  • Gifford Pinchot’s work on the Biltmore Estate
  • the practice and theory of scientific forestry
  • the origin of national parks and national forests in the United States
  • the contributions Gifford Pinchot made to American forestry

Off-broadway theater developed in New York City in about 1950 as a result of dissatisfaction with conditions on Broadway. Its founders believed that Broadway was overly concerned with producing safe, commercially successful hit plays rather than drama with artistic quality. Off-Broadway producers tried to assist playwrights, directors, and performers who could not find work on Broadway. Off-Broadway theaters were poorly equipped, had limited seating, and provided few conveniences for audiences. But the originality of the scripts, the creativity of the performers, and the low cost of tickets made up for these disadvantages, and off-Broadway theater prospered. However, by the 1960’s, costs began to rise and by the 1970’s, off-Broadway theater was encountering many of the difficulties of Broadway and had lost much of its vitality. With its decline, an experimental movement called off-off-Broadway theater developed.

4. What is the main idea of this passage?

  • After initial success, off-Broadway theater began to decline.
  • Off-Broadway theaters produced many hit commercial plays
  • Theaters on Broadway were not well equipped
  • Off-Broadway plays were highly creative

5. The paragraph that follows this passage most likely deals with

  • the help off-Broadway producers provided directors, playwrights, and performers
  • methods off-Broadway theaters used to cope with rising prices
  • the development of off-off-Broadway theater
  • the decline of Broadway theater

At the time of the first European contact, there were 500 to 700 languages spoken by North American Indians. These were divided into some 60 language families, with no demonstrable genetic relationship among them. Some of these families spread across several of the seven cultural area. The Algonquin family, for instance, contained dozens of languages and occupied a vast territory. Speakers of Algonquin languages included the Algonquins of the Eastern Woodland, the Blackfoots of the Plains, and the Wiyots and Yuroks of California. Other language families, like Zuni family of the Southwest, occupied only a few square miles of area and containued only a single tribal language.

6. What is the main idea of this passage?

  • Each of the cultural areas was dominated by one of the language families
  • The Zuni language is closely related to the Alongquin language
  • There is considerable diversity in the size and the number of languages in language families of the North American Indians.
  • Contact with Europeans had an extraordinary effect on the languages of the Indian tribes of North America.

Other major changes in journalism occurred around this time. In 1846, Richard Hoe invented the steam cylinder rotary press, making it possible to print newspapers faster and cheaper. The development of the telegraph made possible much speedier collection and distribution of news. Also, in 1846, the first wire service was organized. A new type of newspaper appeared around this time, one that was more attuned to the spirit and needs of the new America. Although newspapers continued to cover politics, they came to report more human interest stories and to record the most recent news, which they could not have done before the telegraph. New York papers and those of other norther cities maintained corps of correspondents to go into all parts of the country to cover newsworthy events.

7. The main purpose of the passage is to……

  • present a brief history of American journalism
  • outline certain developments in mid-19th-century journalism
  • explain the importance of the steam cylinder rotary press
  • present some biographical information about Richard Hoe

8. What is the most probable topic of the paragraph preceding this one?

  • other types of rotary presses
  • alternatives to using wire services
  • newspapers that concentrated on politics
  • other developments in journalism

Answers on next page

YouTube

Podcast

Arsenio’s ESL Podcast | Personal Development | How to Proact to Situations (Not React)

This is definitely going to be one of the top podcasts of the year. While I was doing my personal development podcast, I came across an AMAZING technique that will help you with reacting to situations.  In this podcast, I will inject some personal development into your lives that will help you understand your feelings, react to situations, and find a systematic way of breaking down a situation. This is very good not only for business but also for all relationships in general.

TOEFL iBT | Listening | Listening Tips for Success! | How to Note-take with a Utensil

Welcome back to the super amazing blog here! I’m BEYOND grateful to give this to you, and normally this is available to my Patreon students — but again — a student has come forth and showed me that she has a lot of listening difficulties. So, I want to be able to do this blog/podcast for you guys.

Listen for the main idea


In most cases, the first question after each lecture is a main idea question also known as a gist question. At the beginning of a listening lecture, the professor usually mentions what the main topic of the lecture will be about, but sometimes the topic might be branched into something more specific. Please note the topic can change, so always be prepared to note down any new topics.

Listen to the speaker’s tone of voice


Sometimes you’ll be asked questions regarding the speaker’s attitude or opinion. To answer these questions correctly, tone of voice matters. For example, does the speaker sound excited, confused, sad…etc?

Listen to how ideas are connected throughout the lecture


When listening to a lecture, make note of the way the ideas in the lecture are connected. In other words, how the professor organized the lecture. When you encounter a question asking you how the lecture is organized, you can refer back to your notes. Some of the main relationships between ideas include cause/effect, compare/contrast, and steps in a process.

Listen for key points not specific details


TOEFL listening questions will not test you on small details. For example, you won’t see questions that are about a specific year, name, or location. Instead, questions will test your understanding of key points mentioned in the lecture.

Listen for signal words that indicate different parts of the lecture


To help you capture key points in the lecture, you need to learn to listen for signal words or transition words. These words are like the road signs that tell you what is coming next. Signal words can tell you the beginning or the end of a topic. They can also help you move through the middle of the lecture by introducing topics.

Signal words
“Okay”, “Well”, “Now”, “But”, and “So”

1. “Okay” and “Now” are usually used to transition into a different topic or a different key point.
2. “Well” is usually used before answering a question.
3. “But” and “So” are usually followed by a key point.
Examples
All right folks, let’s continue our discussion of alternative energy sources and move on to what’s probably the most well-known alternative energy source— solar energy. The sun basically provides earth with virtually unlimited source of energy every day, but the problem has always been how do we tap this source of energy. Can anyone think of why it’s so difficult to make use of solar energy?OK. Another ancient Greek philosopher we need to discuss is Aristotle—Aristotle’s ethical theory. What Aristotle’s ethical theory is all about is this: he’s trying to show you how to be happy—what true happiness is. Now, why is he interested in human happiness? It’s not just because it’s something that all people want to aim for. It’s more than that. But to get there we need to first make a very important distinction. Let me introduce a couple of technical terms: extrinsic value and intrinsic value.All right, so far we have been looking at some of the core areas of linguistics, like syntax, phonology, semantics. Now I’d like to talk about the branch of historical linguistics, and the comparison of several different languages, or the comparison of different stages of a single language. Now, if you are comparing different languages, and you notice that they have a lot in common. Maybe they have similar sounds and words that correspond to one another that have the same meaning and that sound similar.
bestmytest
Signal words
Let’s move on to …
This brings me to my next point, which is….
So far we have have been looking at…. Now I’d like to….
So now that we’ve covered…
What … is all about is this…
Examples
All right folks, let’s continue our discussion of alternative energy sources and move on to what’s probably the most well-known alternative energy source— solar energy. The sun basically provides earth with virtually unlimited source of energy every day, but the problem has always been how do we tap this source of energy. Can anyone think of why it’s so difficult to make use of solar energy?OK. Another ancient Greek philosopher we need to discuss is Aristotle—Aristotle’s ethical theory. What Aristotle’s ethical theory is all about is this: he’s trying to show you how to be happy—what true happiness is. Now, why is he interested in human happiness? It’s not just because it’s something that all people want to aim for. It’s more than that. But to get there we need to first make a very important distinction. Let me introduce a couple of technical terms: extrinsic value and intrinsic value.All right, so far we have been looking at some of the core areas of linguistics, like syntax, phonology, semantics. Now I’d like to talk about the branch of historical linguistics, and the comparison of several different languages, or the comparison of different stages of a single language.   Now, if you are comparing different languages, and you notice that they have a lot in common. Maybe they have similar sounds and words that correspond to one another that have the same meaning and that sound similar.   
Signal words
(opinion) I think, It appears that, It is thought that
(theory) In theory, the hypothesis is that
Examples
You have an advertising budget to spend, but how do you to spend it wisely. Again, research is the key. Good research gives you facts, facts that can help you decide, well, as we already mentioned, decide the right market to target, and the best media to use. But also: When to advertise? or…or how to get the best rates? Like, maybe you’re advertising Sport equipment, and you have been spending most of your budget during the holiday season when people buy gifts for each other. Now, in theory, that would seem a great time to advertise, but maybe a research shows you’re wrong, that the customers who buy sports equipment tend not to give it as a holiday gift, but want to use it themselves. In that case, advertising during a different season of the year might give you better results.We recently noticed an increase in cloud cover over an area of the ocean waters around Antarctica. An increased area of low thick clouds, the type that reflects a large portion of solar energy back to space and cools the Earth. Well, the reason for this increased cloud cover, it turns out, is the exceptionally large amount of microscopic marine plants. Well, the current hypothesis is that these microorganisms produce a chemical that interacts with the oxygen in the air, creating conditions that lead to the formation of the low thick clouds we observed. Well, that’s true. It could have huge implications. So, maybe we are talking about controlling the weather. Perhaps, if the microorganisms near Antarctica really are responsible, perhaps we can accelerate the process somehow.

Pay attention to the following transition words which can help you capture the main ideas and examples:

Type of connectionTransition words
These words show the order of ideas.First/Second/Third
Firstly (or “First of all”)/Secondly/Thirdly (or “Lastly”)
For one thing/For another thing/Finally (or “Lastly”)
In the first place/in the second place/Finally (or “Lastly”)
These words show the addition of informationIn addition, furthermore, additionally, also, next, moreover, what’s more, on top of that
These words shows conclusions.To sum up, in summary, in conclusion, to conclude, all in all, all things considered ,overall, taking everything into consideration, in a nutshell
These words demonstrate contrastConversely, on the contrary, by contrast, by way of contrast, on one hand/on the other hand
These words compare or demonstrate similaritySimilarly, likewise, by the same token, along similar lines
These words show result.As a result, as a consequence, consequently, therefore
These words state a generalization.Generally, on the whole, in most cases, in general
These words clarify a point.That is, in other words, to put it simply, That is to say, just to reiterate
These words give examples.For example, for instance, take something, for example, to give a clear example
These words state an alternative.Alternatively, as another possibility
TIPS TO IMPROVE TOEFL LISTENING SCORE

NO SKIPPING ANSWERS
Unlike the reading section, in the listening section you CANNOT skip answers and come back. If you skip a question, you will not be able to go back and answer it

Make an educated guess on questions you are unsure of
When you don’t know the answer, try to figure out which choice is most consistent with the main idea of the conversation or lecture. Another way is to eliminate obvious wrong answers.

Don’t take more than two minutes to answer a question.
If you spend more than two minutes on a question, you might run out of time. It is not worth it. Leave time for other questions that you have more confidence on. It’s better to have an educated guess and move on than it is to miss out on potential easy questions because you ran out of time.

NOTE-TAKING TIPS

Here are symbols you can use in your notes:

SymbolMeaningExamples
=refer to, occur, ..etcA concept that people make choices to describe a situation in a positive or negative way is referred to as word framing
Word framing = ppl describe a situation in ✓ or X way.
Because, as a result of, due to, because, owing toDue to the increasing popularity of e-books, there has been a fall in paper book sales.
∵↑e-books, paper books $↓
ThereforeElement 43 has radioactive decay, therefore element 43 doesn’t last very long, which means if that ever had been present on earth, it would have decayed ages ago.
Elem43 has radioa. decay ∴ it ≠ last long
=>result in, lead to, contribute to, give rise to, causeCarbon dioxide significantly contributes to global warming.
CO => global warming
isn’t, doesn’t, don’t, can’t etc.Element 43 has radioactive decay, therefore element 43 doesn’t last very long, which means if that ever had been present on earth, it would decayed ages ago.
Elem43 has radioa. decay ∴ it ≠ last long
+many, lots of, a great deal of, etc.Because potatoes have the ability to provide abundant and extremely nutritious food crop, no other crop grew in Northern Europe. As a result, the nutrition of the general population improved tremendously and population soared in the early 1800s.
∵ potatoes /nutri crop/+vitamins => popul↑ in Europe 1800s
++ComparativesOlder and more experienced birds who nest in the high density shrub areas have significantly more offspring than those in low density areas, which suggests the choice of where to nest does have an impact on the number of chicks they have.
older birds /nest in high shrub ++offsprings birds/nest in low shrub
+++SuperlativesWhat was even more surprising were all the large organisms that lived down there. The most distinctive of these was something called the tube worm. Here, let me show you a picture. The tube of the tube worm is really, really long. They can be up to one and half meters long, and these tubes are attached to the ocean floor, pretty weird looking, huh?
! +++special = tube warm /long/tubes attached to ocean floor
Little, few, lack ,in short of/ be in shortage of, etc.As I said the monsoon migrated itself, so there was less rain in the Sahara. The land started to get drier, which in turn caused huge decreases in the amount of vegetation, because vegetation doesn’t grow as well in dry soil, right? And then, less vegetation means the soil can’t hold water and the soil loses its ability to retain water when it does rain. So then you have less moisture to help clouds form, nothing to evaporate for cloud formation.
– rain in Sahara
land+dry => vegetation↓
–vegetation => soil ≠ hold water => -water to form cloud
!Important, interestingBut what’s particularly interesting about these volcanoes is that most of the volcanoes here on Earth are not shield volcanoes. Instead, they are other volcano types, like strata volcanoes, for example, which are a result of tectonic plate movement.
! volcanoes on earth ≠ shield volcanoes = strata volcanoes
tectonic plate => volcanoes on earth

Other symbols:

SymbolMeaning
&And, also, in addition, etc.
~about/around, approximately, etc.
And so on
$Sales, money, cost
e.g.For example
i.e.That is
xWrong, incorrect, bad, detrimental, negative, etc.
Right, good, positive, etc.

TOEFL iBT | Speaking | Part IV | Creep & Slump

Another break down  of a TOEFL Speaking question and how some of you may be wasting quality time jotting down information that doesn’t have substance. I’ve seen this happened recently with one of my students and I realized it needed to be addressed, so here it is!

TOEFL iTP | Reading | Answering Main Idea/Main Topic Topic Questions

We’ve got a super special for you today! I know a lot of my Indonesians LOVEEE my blogs on TOEFL iTP, so now we’re getting into the techniques on how to answer main idea/main topic/main purpose questions. Remember, there are questions available on my TOEFL iTP Badge! Make sure you get all the exclusive material, podcasts, training for $50 a month!

Directions: I would like you to read the following passages and then mark each answer choice according to the following system:

  • s – too specific
  • g – too general
  • x – incorrect
  • i – irrelevant
  • c – correct

Let me walk you through the first passage down below.

{example} There are two main types of cell division. Most cells are produced by a process called mitosis. {example} In mitosis, a cell divides and forms two identical daughter cells, each with an identical number of chromosomes. Most one-celled creatures reproduce by this method, as do most of the cells in multi-celled plants and animals. Sex cells, however, are formed in a special type of cell division called meiosis. {example} This process reduces the number of chromosomes in a sex cell to half the number found in other kinds of cells. Then, when sex cells unite, they produce a single cell with the original number of chromosomes.

  1. What is the main topic of this passage?
  • The method by which one-celled organisms reproduce
  • A comparison between mitosis and meiosis
  • Meiosis, the process by which identical cells are produced.

“The method by which one-celled organisms reproduce” is a specific detail.

“A comparison between mitosis and meiosis” is the correct answer. The first sentence states “there are two main types” before mentioning mitosis and giving a definition and example of it. After that, it mentions sex cells and how they’re from a different cell division called Meiosis, then follows the definition and example. This would be the main topic because it covers the entire paragraph.

“Meiosis, the process by which identical cells are produced” is incorrect. It says nothing about meiosis producing “identical” cells. The produce single cells.

Your Turn

The last gold rush belongs as much to Canadian history as it does to American. The discovery of gold along the Klondike River, which flows from Canada’s Yukon Territory into Alaska, drew some 30,000 fortune hunters to the north. The Yukon became a territory, and its capital of the time. Dawson, would not have existed without the gold rush. The gold strike furnished material for a dozen of Jack London’s novels. It inspired Robert Service to write “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” and other poems, and it provided the background for the wonderful Charlie Chaplin movie, The Gold Rush. It also marked the beginnings of modern Alaska.

This author’s main purpose in writing is to….

  • discuss the significance of mining in Canada and the United States
  • show the influence of the Klondike gold strike on the creative arts
  • point out the impact of the Klondike gold strike

The keystone arch was used by almost every early civilization. to build a keystone arch, stones are cut so that the opposite sides taper toward each other slightly. The upper and lower surfaces are carved so that when several stones are placed side by side, the upper and lower surfaces meet in smooth, continuous curves. Some form of scaffolding is built under the arch and shaped to accept the curved underside of the stones. Then the stones are fitted in place one by one. They keystone is the top center stone, the last to be dropped into position. Afterwards, the scaffolding is removed and the arch is self-supporting.

The passage mainly concerns the….

  • basic principles of building keystone arches
  • uses of arches in modern architecture
  • role of scaffolding in building keystone arches

Circumstantial evidence is evidence not drawn from the direct observation of a fact. If, for example, there is evidence that a piece of rock embedded in a wrapped chocolate bar is the same type of rock found in the vicinity of the candy factory, and that rock of this type is found in new other places, then there is circumstantial evidence that the stone found its way into the candy during manufacture and suggests that the candy-maker was negligent. Despite a popular notion to look down on the quality of circumstantial evidence, it is of great usefulness if there is enough of it and if it is properly interpreted. Each circumstance, taken singly, may mean little, but a whole chain of circumstances can be as conclusive as direct evidence.

What is the author’s main purpose in this passage?

  • to show that a manufacturer’s negligence can be shown by direct evidence only
  • to define circumstantial evidence and show its usefulness
  • to demonstrate that circumstantial evidence can be very useful in science

The Northwest Ordinance was passed by Congress in 1787. It set up the government structure of the region north of the Ohio River and west of Pennsylvanian, then called the Northwest Territory. It set the conditions under which parts of the territory could become states having equality with the older states. But the ordinance was more than just a plan for government. The law also guaranteed freedom of religion and trial by jury in the territory. It organized the territory into townships of 36 square miles and ordered a school to be built for each township. It also abolished slavery in the territory. The terms were so attractive that thousands of pioneers poured into the territory. Eventually, the territory became the states of Ohio, Indian, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

What is the main topic of this passage?

  • the structure of government
  • the provisions of an important law
  • the establishment of schools in the northwest territory

Additional questions can be found on my Patreon for $50 a month with examples, audiocasts, templates, exlclusive material and coaching.

YouTube

Go to next page or answers

{Patreon Special} Pronunciation Course | Phase III | Rhythm in Phrases & Sentences

This is a PHENOMENAL one, especially for those of you who have problems with enunciation and the rhythm in your sentences. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been coaching a range of students, and one, in particular, has problems with the rhythm in her sentences. Going back to three years ago, I coached a Thai doctor because her rhythm was the exact opposite of what it was supposed to be, failing the 3rd part of her exam to become a doctor in America because the patients didn’t understand her. You have no idea how important it is to have the CORRECT rhythm. So, this podcast is available on all my Patreon badges (if you’re a current student, message me and you get it for free). And if you want the entire VIDEO course to this phase, let inbox me because I will quickly create the course on podia for you. Now, let’s dive into it!

Patreon