Macquarie University
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Fluency in native and nonnative English speech: theory, description, implications

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posted on 2022-03-28, 20:01 authored by Sandra Götz
Most of the fluency-related research so far has focused on one of the following aspects: (1) temporal variables in speech production, (2) the use of formulaic language or (3) certain performance phenomena which contribute to a perception of naturalness in speech, such as discourse markers. The mainstream linguistic approach to fluency focuses on temporal variables of speech production and is generally accepted as being the best indicator of a learner's fluency. Recent studies have shown that temporal variables as well as the number of errors correlate highly with native speaker assessments of the learners' overall oral proficiency. However, they have focussed on a small amount of raters and neglected other variables that are equally responsible for a perception of oral proficiency on the sides of the listeners, such as accent, idiomaticity, lexical diversity, register, sentence structure, intonation, or pragmatic features. -- Thus, the present study will take into consideration a combination of these approaches: Firstly, a quantitative analysis of the error-tagged version of the 90,000-word German component of the Louvain International Database of Spoken English Interlanguage (LINDSEI-Ger) as compared to the Louvain Corpus of Native English Conversation (LOCNEC) will be presented. Thus, areas will be revealed, in which, on the one hand, advanced German learners of English still deviate strongly from the native target norm and in which they have already approximated to the target norm on the other. Secondly, based on the quantitative findings of the corpus analysis, five learners, that represent certain prototypical accuracy and fluency learner types, are subject to 50 native speakers' ratings of (1) their overall oral proficiency, and (2) seven other perceptive fluency variables. The overall ratings will be correlated with the ratings for the individual variables in order to reveal which of the variables has the strongest impact on an overall perception of fluency. -- Finally, some language-pedagogical implications for the improvement of the oral proficiency in learner language derived from these findings will be presented.


Alternative Title

Fluency in native and non-native English speech: theory, description, implications

Table of Contents

Introduction and preview -- Fluency in native English speech -- Fluency in non-native English speech -- Database and methodology -- Data analysis of productive fluency in Lindsei-ge vs Locnec -- Perceptive fluency of prototypical learner types in Lindsei-ge -- Summary and prospects for future research.


Bibliography: p. [193]-213

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


Thesis (PhD), Macquarie University, Faculty of Arts, Dept. of International Studies

Department, Centre or School

Department of International Studies

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Martina Möllering

Additional Supervisor 1

Joybrato Mukherjee


Copyright disclaimer: Copyright Sandra Götz 2011.




1 online resource (xv, 271 p.)

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