Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 6

fluency Related Abstracts

6 The Effect of Explicit Focus on Form on Second Language Learning Writing Performance

Authors: Keivan Seyyedi, Leila Esmaeilpour, Seyed Jamal Sadeghi

Abstract:

Investigating the effectiveness of explicit focus on form on the written performance of the EFL learners was the aim of this study. To provide empirical support for this study, sixty male English learners were selected and randomly assigned into two groups of explicit focus on form and meaning focused. Narrative writing was employed for data collection. To measure writing performance, participants were required to narrate a story. They were given 20 minutes to finish the task and were asked to write at least 150 words. The participants’ output was coded then analyzed utilizing Independent t-test for grammatical accuracy and fluency of learners’ performance. Results indicated that learners in explicit focus on form group appear to benefit from error correction and rule explanation as two pedagogical techniques of explicit focus on form with respect to accuracy, but regarding fluency they did not yield any significant differences compared to the participants of meaning-focused group.

Keywords: Accuracy, explicit focus on form, rule explanation, fluency

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5 The Impact of Two Factors on EFL Learners' Fluency

Authors: Alireza Behfar, Mohammad Mahdavi

Abstract:

Nowadays, in the light of progress in the world of science, technology and communications, mastery of learning international languages is a sure and needful matter. In learning any language as a second language, progress and achieving a desirable level in speaking is indeed important for approximately all learners. In this research, we find out how preparation can influence L2 learners' oral fluency with respect to individual differences in working memory capacity. The participants consisted of sixty-one advanced L2 learners including MA students of TEFL at Isfahan University as well as instructors teaching English at Sadr Institute in Isfahan. The data collection consisted of two phases: A working memory test (reading span test) and a picture description task, with a one-month interval between the two tasks. Speaking was elicited through speech generation task in which the individuals were asked to discuss four topics emerging in two pairs. The two pairs included one simple and one complex topic and was accompanied by planning time and without any planning time respectively. Each topic was accompanied by several relevant pictures. L2 fluency was assessed based on preparation. The data were then analyzed in terms of the number of syllables, the number of silent pauses, and the mean length of pauses produced per minute. The study offers implications for strategies to improve learners’ both fluency and working memory.

Keywords: Preparation, fluency, working memory capacity, two factors, L2 speech production reading span test picture description

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4 Age and Second Language Acquisition: A Case Study from Maldives

Authors: Aaidha Hammad

Abstract:

The age a child to be exposed to a second language is a controversial issue in communities such as the Maldives where English is taught as a second language. It has been observed that different stakeholders have different viewpoints towards the issue. Some believe that the earlier children are exposed to a second language, the better they learn, while others disagree with the notion. Hence, this case study investigates whether children learn a second language better when they are exposed at an earlier age or not. The spoken and written data collected confirm that earlier exposure helps in mastering the sound pattern and speaking fluency with more native-like accent, while a later age is better for learning more abstract and concrete aspects such as grammar and syntactic rules.

Keywords: Second language acquisition, age, fluency, development of language skills

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3 Linguistic Competence Analysis and the Development of Speaking Instructional Material

Authors: Felipa M. Rico

Abstract:

Linguistic oral competence plays a vital role in attaining effective communication. Since the English language is considered as universally used language and has a high demand skill needed in the work-place, mastery is the expected output from learners. To achieve this, learners should be given integrated differentiated tasks which help them develop and strengthen the expected skills. This study aimed to develop speaking instructional supplementary material to enhance the English linguistic competence of Grade 9 students in areas of pronunciation, intonation and stress, voice projection, diction and fluency. A descriptive analysis was utilized to analyze the speaking level of performance of the students in order to employ appropriate strategies. There were two sets of respondents: 178 Grade 9 students selected through a stratified sampling and chosen at random. The other set comprised English teachers who evaluated the usefulness of the devised teaching materials. A teacher conducted a speaking test and activities were employed to analyze the speaking needs of students. Observation and recordings were also used to evaluate the students’ performance. The findings revealed that the English pronunciation of the students was slightly unclear at times, but generally fair. There were lapses but generally they rated moderate in intonation and stress, because of other language interference. In terms of voice projection, students have erratic high volume pitch. For diction, the students’ ability to produce comprehensible language is limited, and as to fluency, the choice of vocabulary and use of structure were severely limited. Based on the students’ speaking needs analyses, the supplementary material devised was based on Nunan’s IM model, incorporating context of daily life and global work settings, considering the principle that language is best learned in the actual meaningful situation. To widen the mastery of skill, a rich learning environment, filled with a variety instructional material tends to foster faster acquisition of the requisite skills for sustained learning and development. The role of IM is to encourage information to stick in the learners’ mind, as what is seen is understood more than what is heard. Teachers say they found the IM “very useful.” This implied that English teachers could adopt the materials to improve the speaking skills of students. Further, teachers should provide varied opportunities for students to get involved in real life situations where they could take turns in asking and answering questions and share information related to the activities. This would minimize anxiety among students in the use of the English language.

Keywords: Intonation, instructional materials, linguistic competence, fluency, diction

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2 The Latent Model of Linguistic Features in Korean College Students’ L2 Argumentative Writings: Syntactic Complexity, Lexical Complexity, and Fluency

Authors: Jiyoung Bae, Gyoomi Kim

Abstract:

This study explores a range of linguistic features used in Korean college students’ argumentative writings for the purpose of developing a model that identifies variables which predict writing proficiencies. This study investigated the latent variable structure of L2 linguistic features, including syntactic complexity, the lexical complexity, and fluency. One hundred forty-six university students in Korea participated in this study. The results of the study’s confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) showed that indicators of linguistic features from this study-provided a foundation for re-categorizing indicators found in extant research on L2 Korean writers depending on each latent variable of linguistic features. The CFA models indicated one measurement model of L2 syntactic complexity and L2 learners’ writing proficiency; these two latent factors were correlated with each other. Based on the overall findings of the study, integrated linguistic features of L2 writings suggested some pedagogical implications in L2 writing instructions.

Keywords: linguistic features, fluency, syntactic complexity, lexical complexity

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1 Examining the Development of Complexity, Accuracy and Fluency in L2 Learners' Writing after L2 Instruction

Authors: Khaled Barkaoui

Abstract:

Research on second-language (L2) learning tends to focus on comparing students with different levels of proficiency at one point in time. However, to understand L2 development, we need more longitudinal research. In this study, we adopt a longitudinal approach to examine changes in three indicators of L2 ability, complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF), as reflected in the writing of L2 learners when writing on different tasks before and after a period L2 instruction. Each of 85 Chinese learners of English at three levels of English language proficiency responded to two writing tasks (independent and integrated) before and after nine months of English-language study in China. Each essay (N= 276) was analyzed in terms of numerous CAF indices using both computer coding and human rating: number of words written, number of errors per 100 words, ratings of error severity, global syntactic complexity (MLS), complexity by coordination (T/S), complexity by subordination (C/T), clausal complexity (MLC), phrasal complexity (NP density), syntactic variety, lexical density, lexical variation, lexical sophistication, and lexical bundles. Results were then compared statistically across tasks, L2 proficiency levels, and time. Overall, task type had significant effects on fluency and some syntactic complexity indices (complexity by coordination, structural variety, clausal complexity, phrase complexity) and lexical density, sophistication, and bundles, but not accuracy. L2 proficiency had significant effects on fluency, accuracy, and lexical variation, but not syntactic complexity. Finally, fluency, frequency of errors, but not accuracy ratings, syntactic complexity indices (clausal complexity, global complexity, complexity by subordination, phrase complexity, structural variety) and lexical complexity (lexical density, variation, and sophistication) exhibited significant changes after instruction, particularly for the independent task. We discuss the findings and their implications for assessment, instruction, and research on CAF in the context of L2 writing.

Keywords: Complexity, Accuracy, longitudinal, fluency, second language writing

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