ERIC Number: ED158600
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
Spoken Language and the Concept of Fluency.
Sajavaara, Kari; Lehtonen, Jaakko
Language Centre News, n1 p23-57 1978
Language teaching typically reflects current research, and, until quite recently, grammatical competence (e.g., in the Chomskyan sense) was the major target of linguistic research. Emphasizing the spoken language, the term "fluency," as applied to the foreign language performance of a language learner, is correlated to foreign language proficiency. Some parameters of fluency as found in the literature are examined to see to what extent such parameters should be observed in future studies and what methods should be used to test their influence. Since the term is difficult to define, dictionary definitions are consulted along with professional discussions and language teaching authorities. Fluency is regularly mentioned as one of the goals for foreign language teaching and is discussed in terms of linguistic, psychological, and sociolinguistic factors. A preliminary test was conducted to acquire material for the study of fluency. The organization of the message is evaluated in terms of message length, false starts, impressions, lexical density and variation, and continuity factors are also evaluated. Even when fluency is defined as being independent of the grammatical competence of the language learner, the lack of linguistic resources remains the most usual cause of disruptions, message reductions, and total abandonment of turns in discussion. For teaching fluency, two things should be combined: the words and their use, i.e., the grammar and the pragmatics of the language. (NCR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Jyvaskyla Univ. (Finland). Language Center.
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