A new type of TOEFL Task 2 campus conversation (Part 2): How to answer it

In a previous post, I introduced a new type of Task 2 campus conversation in which the student agreed with the basic idea of the plan to close down the computer lab because students had their own laptops, but she didn’t like the idea of adding more books to the library. If you haven’t seen the first post, please go back and look at this new type of Task 2.

How should we organize our answer? It could look something like this:

The university is planning to get rid of the computer lab in the multimedia department because they argue that most students have their own laptops, and it will give them more space to expand the book section.

The woman mostly agreed with this plan. First of all, she said that most students in the multimedia department had their own laptops because they were quite inexpensive and everyone needed them for homework. As a result, the computer lab was hardly ever used these days.

However, she didn’t think it was a good idea to expand the number of books as published books in the multimedia field are typically soon out-of-date.  She suggested that the space would be better utilized as a meeting area for groups working on projects.

So, it’s not widely different from what we are used to. We can add ‘mostly’ to ‘agreed’ and use a contrasting linking word to introduce the second point, such as ‘However’.

In conclusion, you are still more likely to see the old pattern, but please be aware that this new pattern above is possible.

夏休み期間限定! 夕方から受験できるコンピューター版IELTS

■英検協会 IELTS事務局より以下のお知らせを頂きました。

□■ 1、夏休み期間限定!夕方から受験できるCD IELTS ■□
CD IELTSでは、夏休み期間中の受験時間枠として以下の日程で「夕方から受験できるCD IELTS」を実施しております。
是非この機会にCD IELTSをご受験ください!!

8月8日(日) 8月15日(日) 8月28日(土)

スピーキングテスト → PC受験の順で受験いただきます。

 1、16:00集合 試験時間 16:20~16:40
 2、16:20集合 試験時間 16:40~17:00
 3、17:00集合 試験時間 17:00~17:20
◆PC受験(WRL試験) 17:20~20:30 頃、終了予定


CD IELTSのお申し込みはこちらから


CD IELTSの詳しい情報はこちら


Writingセクション攻略のために(その1):日本語で思いついたことを整理し直す — by 米田

TOEFLにしてもIELTSにしても、高スコア獲得のためには作文力即ちWriting力を高めなければいけませんよね。高得点につながるWriting力には幾つもの要素があります。語彙力や文法力、説得力のある論理展開、IELTSであれば図表の正確な解釈(Task1)、TOEFLであれば高精度なListening理解力(Integrated Task)などなど・・・。





It is very difficult to see green places because there aren’t many in the city.


New TOEFL Speaking Task 2 (Part 1) by John Grant

Recently, TOEFL has modified the pattern that TOEFL Task 2 campus conversations typically take. In this blog post, I will examine what this new type of task looks like. In an upcoming post, I will show you how you can answer it.

We are all familiar with the usual pattern as follows.

In the reading, there is a proposal to improve things around campus or an announcement from the university of a plan to change something. Then, we hear a conversation between a man and a woman about the change.

In this pattern, the person has either completely agreed or completely disagreed with the plan or proposal. Our job is to summarize the plan or proposal, the person’s opinion, and both reasons.

While we still usually see this pattern on the TOEFL test, ETS has added a third way the conversation could develop. In this new pattern, the man or the woman agrees with the main change and agrees with the first reason that is explained in the reading.  However, they disagree with the second reason. Let’s look at an example.

Read this announcement from the university.


Changes to the Multimedia Department’s Library

The university board has decided to close the computer lab in the multimedia department’s library. This decision was taken because, according to a recent survey, a majority of students in this department own their own laptop and use it exclusively for their work. The library will continue to lend out laptops to students that do not have them.

In addition, the space that the computer lab currently occupies can be used to increase the number of books about multimedia that the library has to offer.


To summarize, we can say the reading makes these points:


Type: Announcement from multimedia college.
Plan:  They want to close the computer lab in the library.
Reason 1: Most students have their own laptops.
Reason 2: It will free up space so they can add more books.


Now, let’s look at a transcript of a conversation between a man and a woman discussing the announcement.

Male student Have you heard about the computer lab?


Female student I sure have, and I think it’s about time.


Male student Why’s that?


Female student Well, they’re right that most students have their own laptops these days. Every year they’re getting cheaper and cheaper. Also, in our field, you need your own laptop so you can do the homework. Those old computers in the lab just weren’t being used.


Male student So you must be happy that they’re getting new books.
Female student That is one thing that bothers me.


Male student What do you mean?


Female student Multimedia is such a changing field that by the time books are published, they’re already out of date. I mean, if you’re going to write a paper, you’d head to the Internet first for the latest information.


Male student I see what you mean.


Female student I think that extra space would be better used as a meeting room for group projects.


As you can see, the woman agrees with the change and the first reason for the change. However, she doesn’t think it’s a good idea to buy more books, and she offered an alternative on how to use the extra space.

In my next post, I will show you how to answer this question.


IELTS Reading & Listeningの「大文字 or 小文字」問題 ― by 土橋

「IELTS ReadingとListeningの空欄補充問題は、解答内容やスペルが正しくても、すべて小文字で書くと不正解になりますか?」



このご質問に対する答えは、「IELTS ReadingとListeningの空欄補充問題では、解答内容とスペルに誤りがなければ、すべて大文字もしくは小文字で書いても正解となります」です。つまり、ある問題の答えが「Angela」だったとして、以下はすべて正解です。




TOEFL®︎ iBT本試験;自宅での受験(SHE)日本で開始! by教務部

COVID-19の影響で多数のテスト会場が閉鎖となる中、遂に日本でも自宅で受験できるiBT本試験=Special Home Editionがスタートしました。








因みに、Windows PCでないと受験出来ないと思っておられる方がいらっしゃるかもしれませんが、私も含めて大抵の(?)Macユーザーは、BootCampか仮想ソフトでWindowsを入れてると思います。*因みに私はParallelsでWindows10を入れています。そういう環境であればMac🖥でも受験可能です。


TOEFL®︎ iBT本試験;臨時会場閉鎖! by教務部





Imagine yourself as the grader – by James Giguere

Hello, and thanks for visiting the instructor blog! Are you enjoying the autumn foliage (紅葉)? I recently took a quick trip to Gujo in Gifu-ken, and the leaves were already starting to turn red and yellow. I definitely recommend visiting there if you can find the time.

My name is Jim, and I teach TOEFL and SAT here at AGOS. I want to write a little bit about a trick that I use whenever I take a standardized test, especially a language test: just imagine that you are the grader.

This applies to both TOEFL and IELTS, and can be used for all sections, but let’s take the TOEFL Speaking test as an example. Imagine yourself grading a similar speaking test in Japanese. What features would prove to you that a speaker is comfortable and confident speaking Japanese? Would you be listening for their vocabulary and grammar, their ideas, or their delivery? What kinds of common mistakes do you think test takers might make?

Thinking about the TOEFL speaking test from this perspective will help you realize what’s most important to graders. The skills that you’re focusing on while you study may be different from what the graders will be paying attention to. There are some common themes, though. Here are a few points that will always catch a grader’s attention:

• Basic grammatical errors. As you’re practicing your speaking and writing, try to catch yourself every time you make a subject/verb agreement error (“she go” instead of “she goes”), singular/plural error (“I bought two book”), or other common error. One or two of these mistakes may not affect your TOEFL speaking score, but making too many will show the grader that you aren’t comfortable with English grammar. Think about a foreign person speaking Japanese – a couple of mistakes wouldn’t be too bad, right? But mistakes in every sentence would probably make you doubt their language ability. Overcoming this takes practice, practice, and more practice.
• Nervousness. Everybody gets a little bit anxious during a test, and the TOEFL speaking test can definitely make you nervous, but do your best not to think about it. Imagine that you’re talking to a friend, colleague, or classmate rather than a computer. As a grader, wouldn’t you give a higher score to someone who seems comfortable and calm while speaking Japanese?
• Memorized lines. Remember: TOEFL speaking graders often listen to dozens of responses per day, and they can usually tell when a line is memorized. If you memorize a line, make sure that your delivery sounds natural and not too different from the rest of your response. Otherwise, the memorized lines may actually hurt your score rather than help it. Try to imagine what it would sound like listening to someone robotically repeating obviously memorized lines of Japanese, rather than natural, fluent Japanese. Which would you give a higher grade to?

These are just a few of the things that TOEFL graders listen for, but spend a few minutes thinking of what you would pay attention to as a grader, and I’m sure you’ll come up with some more!

リーディング基礎力養成法~スラッシュ読み — by 米田王丈





Banana plants are a major cash crop because of the worldwide popularity of their nutritious and versatile fruits.



Banana plants are / a major cash crop / because of the worldwide popularity / of their nutritious / and versatile fruits.//

バナナは/ 主な換金作物だ/ 世界的な人気のために/ その栄養価の高い/ そして用途が広い果実の//   ・・・こんな風に頭の中で処理します。



IELTS とイギリス英語 — by 土橋健一郎


皆さんもご存知の通り、IELTSはケンブリッジ大学英語検定機構 (Cambridge English Language Assessment) などによって運営されている試験です。イギリス発祥の試験ですから、そこで扱われる英語はイギリス英語が中心となります。アメリカ英語が中心のTOEFLとは大きく異なりますね。



「fancy」という単語は名詞、形容詞としても使う事が出来ますが、イギリス英語では動詞として使われることが多いようです。実際、IELTS リスニング・テストでは動詞として登場することがほとんどです。

意味としては「~が欲しい」となります。「want」と同じですね。用法は「fancy 名詞」もしくは「fancy 動詞-ing」の形になります。以下の例を見てみましょう。

What do you fancy doing, Alex?
I’m too tired for the walking tour, but I don’t fancy the cruise, either.