On this page you will find a mixture of academic listening selections. Some of these selections are from the TOEFL speaking or listening sections, others are readings from scientific blogs or journals. Use this page to help you improve your listening skills for the TOEFL exam, for academic purposes, or to improve your general English listening skills. For listening exercises specific to the IELTS exam click here. For non academic general listening click here.
There are 4 listening levels.
- Level 1- is recorded at a speed slightly slower than a regular speaking voice.
- Level 2- is recorded at the speed of a regular speaking voice
- Level 3- is recorded slightly faster than a regular speaking voice
- Level 4- is recorded at a very fast speed and this level is best for those students who are focusing on improving their listening skills.
Each level comes with a set of questions for you to answer to test your comprehension. To achieve the best results do the following.
- Determine your starting level. Start at level three and adjust from there. If level three is too fast, move down to level 2 or level 1. If you can understand level 3 then continue at that level.
- Write what you hear. The best way to improve your listening skills is through transcription. Listen to the recording and write down what you hear. You can stop the recording as often as you like and you can repeat the recording up to 3 times.
- Check your work. Look at the article to see if you heard the words correctly and to see if you spelled the words correctly. If you consistently hear more than 10 words incorrectly, then you should consider moving down to a lower level.
Practice Listening with TOEFL Speaking Question Type 4: Bretton Woods
The Slowest Speed
Just a Little Faster Than Regular Speed
The Fastest Speed
The professor talked about the end of the Bretton Woods system. Explain what the purpose of the Bretton Woods system was and how and why it ended. Give details and examples to support your answer.
The year was 1944. For the first time in modern history, an international agreement was reached to govern monetary policy among nations. It was a chance to create a stabilizing international currency and ensure monetary stability once and for all. Forty-four nations met for three weeks in July 1944, at a hotel resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire. After the war, many countries were war-ravaged. This international meeting hoped to stabilize currency and provide reconstruction loans to those nations. It was a turning point in monetary history. What makes the Bretton Woods accords so interesting to us today is the fact that the whole plan for international monetary policy was based on nations agreeing to adhere to a global gold standard. Each country signing the agreement promised to maintain its currency at values within a narrow margin to the value of gold. The system worked for 25 years. Many economists say that from the very beginning, gold was the vulnerable point of the Bretton Woods system. The value of an ounce of gold at the time of the meeting was $35 per ounce. By 1968, it had become clear that maintaining the gold standard under the Bretton Woods configuration was no longer practical, and the Bretton Woods agreement was no longer workable. The members of the group in 1944 could not foresee the birth of the Euro. Therefore, the agreement no longer functioned as an effective centralized monetary body. But we must realize how important this meeting was in shaping the world economy post World War II.