Event Title

Second-Language English Fluency Change in Native-Speaker Context

Location

CSU 203

Start Date

9-4-2012 3:00 PM

End Date

9-4-2012 4:00 PM

Student's Major

English

Student's College

Arts and Humanities

Mentor's Name

Karen Lybeck

Mentor's Department

English

Mentor's College

Arts and Humanities

Description

In a world with an increasing number of English language learners, measuring language fluency and understanding the development of fluency are critical issues in the field of second language acquisition. Previous studies (Lybeck, 2002) have measured change in language ability using specific language features, while other studies have pinpointed the language features that are most closely associated with the quality of perceived fluency (Kang, Rubin, & Pickering, 2010; Kormos & Denes, 2004). Specifically, speaking rate appears to be an especially accurate measure of global language fluency. The current study aims to measure fluency change quantitatively among a population of nine English language learner international students in a native-speaker context. Samples were extracted from a pair of interviews conducted with the participants at a nine-month interval. The speech segments were analyzed for speaking rate by calculating the number of syllables per second. This was accomplished by means of an automated script created as an extension for the phonetic analysis program PRAAT. Results show that participants varied in their level of fluency change over the course of the study. Social factors such as native-speaker contact and social groupings appeared to play a major role in the maintenance of fluency.

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Apr 9th, 3:00 PM Apr 9th, 4:00 PM

Second-Language English Fluency Change in Native-Speaker Context

CSU 203

In a world with an increasing number of English language learners, measuring language fluency and understanding the development of fluency are critical issues in the field of second language acquisition. Previous studies (Lybeck, 2002) have measured change in language ability using specific language features, while other studies have pinpointed the language features that are most closely associated with the quality of perceived fluency (Kang, Rubin, & Pickering, 2010; Kormos & Denes, 2004). Specifically, speaking rate appears to be an especially accurate measure of global language fluency. The current study aims to measure fluency change quantitatively among a population of nine English language learner international students in a native-speaker context. Samples were extracted from a pair of interviews conducted with the participants at a nine-month interval. The speech segments were analyzed for speaking rate by calculating the number of syllables per second. This was accomplished by means of an automated script created as an extension for the phonetic analysis program PRAAT. Results show that participants varied in their level of fluency change over the course of the study. Social factors such as native-speaker contact and social groupings appeared to play a major role in the maintenance of fluency.

Recommended Citation

Zehnder, John. "Second-Language English Fluency Change in Native-Speaker Context." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 9, 2012.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2012/oral-session-12/2