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TOEFL iBT Pronunciation

On the speaking section of the TOEFL iBt, you will need to speak clearly enough that a native speaking examiner can understand what you are saying. You are not being asked to imitate an American or British accent. You are being judged on whether your speech is intelligible.

For people to understand what you'’re saying, it is essential that you improve your pronunciation. Of course, everyone who speaks English has an accent, and all native speakers do as well. For example, the British sound different from the Americans, Indians, South Africans, Canadians, and Australians. You will, no doubt, have noticed this when you've watched television and movies.

Nevertheless, when you, as a second-language learner speak English, you face special difficulties based on the influence of your native language. In some cases, these interferences can be so strong that English words sound like other words (rice can sound like lice, for example) and the meaning is lost or confused.

According to the Speaking Rubrics developed by ETS, your speech will be assessed on whether it is well-paced, clear, and articulate, with effective intonation and rhythm, which does not obscure the message.

The best way to improve your pronunciation is in a pronunciation class or with a private teacher. Develop your ear by listening carefully to newscasts on CNN or BBC. You can also benefit greatly from using some of the English pronunciation programs on the market today, which will enable you to practice at home, while driving, etc.