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TOEFL listening: A conversation about toys

Overview of TOEFL listening part
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TOEFL discussion 41 — Script Q&A
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50 TOEFL lectures   50 TOEFL conversations
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    50 TOEFL lectures   50 TOEFL conversations

    TOEFL Listening Comprehension Transcript

    Narrator
    Listen to a conversation about toys.

    Professor: Good morning, everyone. Let''s settle down quickly, please. Today I would like to discuss toys.

    S1: Toys, professor? What do toys have to do with social science; am I in the wrong class? (Laughter)

    P: An excellent question, Mr. Herley. Let''s explore this further. (Clears throat) Have any of you ever bought a toy for a child? Ms. Johnson?

    S2: I bought a doll for my six year old niece for her birthday.

    S1: I bought a football for my cousin, Jim.

    P: All right. What would have happened if you gave a doll to Jim? And Ms. Johnson gave a football to her niece?

    S1: My cousin would have been embarrassed.

    S2: My little niece would have cried.

    P: Why? Because society has decided what are appropriate toys for boys and girls.

    S1: What''s wrong with that?

    P: Good question. Perhaps, fifty years ago, no one would have questioned those gifts. Those toys would have reflected the stereotypic roles of little girls growing up to become mothers. Boys were expected to play the role of a sports lover and player. If he was injured playing sports, boys were expected to "suck it up" and never cry.

    Girls were expected to be "ladies" and certainly never sweat. (laughter)

    P: However, in the years since then, the typical male and female roles have changed.

    P: Let me give you an example: Three years ago, my neighbor lost his job. His wife had a high enough salary to support the family, so they decided he would stay home and be a "house-husband" taking care of their three small children and the housework.

    S1: So what does that have to do with appropriate toys?

    P: Well, he had grown-up with three older sisters and had the opportunity to play with both gender related toys. He could change diapers on a doll, or play with cars and trucks. In short, his parents did not set limitations on using gender related toys. As a result, the children were all confident in playing with dolls, trucks, cooking, cleaning, sewing or going out for sports. This confidence prepared them for adult roles.

    S2: But that''s just one example...

    P: True. Let''s discuss some others. Today single men are allowed to adopt children; Women have won medals in track and field, tennis, and swimming; Men can become nurses, women can be doctors. Roles that at one time would have been impossible. I''m sure you can think of others.

    S1: Yeah, my sister always watched me play football and this year she decided to go out for the team. At first, she took a lot of razing, but the guys got over that when they saw how good she is.

    P: Great!

    S2: So, professor, you''re saying that the toys kids play with have an affect on their future roles in society?

    P: Yes. Let''s discuss another example: When my grandmother was a child, the only toys for girls were baby dolls and baby buggies. Any little girl who stepped outside the perceived role of a genteel child was considered a "Tom-boy." This was supposed the worst insult a girl could receive.

    P: Then when my mother was a child, her toys were pretty much (false start) girls toys still focused on the role of a future homemaker and mother. However, boy''s toys dealt with construction and exploration like playing with Lincoln logs, speed boats, cars, farm toys, tops, kites, buses, steam engines, circus toys and character toys. At the time, there were six toy companies that manufactured these toys, and only two companies that made dolls.

    P: Now let''s look at what toys were available when I was a child: Lionel trains, Candy Land, Checkers, Electric football, Erector sets, marbles, slingshots, Tonka trucks, View Master, and BB guns for the boys. For the girls there were dolls, doll houses, and stuffed animals.

    S1: A gun was considered a toy?

    P: Yes, it was a gun that shot small round pellets, mostly used to fire at a target.

    P: By the time my children were born, the Barbie doll had made its appearance, almost replacing the baby type doll. Now young girls were introduced to various roles that "Barbie" played. She got out of the house to become a stewardess, a doctor, a NASCAR racer, a scientist and even an astronaut. Girls were beginning to realize there many career possibilities available to them.

    P: In conclusion, throughout the years, toys had a profound effect on not only changing gender roles, but also in creating occupational roles for women.


    Excerpt from the TOEFL test listening conversation

    Professor: Perhaps, fifty years ago, no one would have questioned those gifts.

    Student 2: So, professor, you''re saying that the toys kids play with have an affect on their future rolls in society?

    Professor: Yes. Any little girl who stepped outside of the perceived role of a genteel child was considered a "Tom-boy." This was supposedly the worst insult a girl could receive.
    50 TOEFL conversations
    50 TOEFL conversations
    A great variety of English listening comprehension tests that will help you increase your TOEFL test score.
  • based on TOEFL academic discussions
  • written and recorded by experienced US authors and voice-over specialists
  • 50 TOEFL lectures   50 TOEFL conversations




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