List one recommendation for the school you have recently attended

ara1e

Senior Member
Spain, Galician and Spanish
Hi guys!

I am preparing my TOEFL and I don't understand one of the examples used for the speaking part. I hope you can help me.

In this part of the exam, you are supposed to reply to this statement:

"List one recommendation for the school you have recently attended".

Here are my problems with this sentence:

1. Use of the word list: It is my understanding that one should list at least two things, or else use a different verb. Is it correct to use the word list when there will be one thing only? If yes, what does list mean, then?

2. The expression "one recommendation for the school": should I recommend something for the school to improve? Or am I expected to give one reason why I recommend this school to others?

Thank you so much in advance. Have a great Sunday :)
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    What's the source of this practice question, Ara?

    Like you, I find it very odd:(.
     

    ara1e

    Senior Member
    Spain, Galician and Spanish
    Thanks for the reply, Loob! What you say is reassuring :)

    This question is part of a list of subjects you may be asked about during the exam. For example, it is question number 54 here: 375 TOEFL® Speaking Questions | BestMyTest TOEFL® Preparation Course
    It is also mentioned by others as an example, like this blogger (paragraph #4): TOEFL Speaking Tasks and Questions 2013 ~ TOEFL Review - Tips on How to Pass the Exam
    And there is even a recording of a person answering the question: list one recommendation for the school you have recently attended.

    If you say it sounds odd to you, it is probably a mistake that has been unkwowningly repeated by English students, unaware that it is incorrect.
     

    exgerman

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    List for only one item is a bit odd, but not very odd, and easily understood.

    The speaker in your example for "list one recommendation for the school" interpreted it this way: what one thing would you tell the administration of the school that, if implemented, would make it a better school?

    I think that that is the correct interpretation of this slightly odd sentence.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Just as a cynical observation, I'll point out that this is not the first bit of nonsense we've encountered regarding TOEFL practice exams.

    You have received good advice here, however.:)
     
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