Relative degrees of fluency: a comparative case study of advanced learners of French

Towell, R 2002, 'Relative degrees of fluency: a comparative case study of advanced learners of French' , International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 40 (2) , pp. 117-150.

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)


This article examines whether, how and why oral fluency develops at different rates amongst undergraduate learners of French. Twelve subjects were asked to undertake two tasks during their course. The results show that some learners attain higher absolute scores on temporal variable measures than others, but that those who begin at a lower point increase their scores the most. A qualitative analysis of the output of two learners reveals that the learner who most increases her score from a low point does so largely by modifying her pausing behaviour. The learner who increases from a medium to the highest level also modifies her pausing behaviour but, in addition, makes her syntax more complex. Individual factors, such as working memory (Baddeley 1986), are seen to be important for fluency, as has been suggested by N. Ellis (to appear) and Dewaele (1998). A certain level of processing ability may also be required before certain aspects of syntax can be acquired, as argued by Pienemann (1998).

Item Type: Article
Themes: Subjects / Themes > P Language and Literature > PB Modern languages. Celtic languages > PB0001 Modern languages
Subjects / Themes > L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Subjects / Themes > D History General and Old World > DC France
Memory, Text and Place
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
Journal or Publication Title: International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching
Publisher: De Gruyter
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0019042X
Depositing User: H Kenna
Date Deposited: 27 Jan 2009 14:36
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 22:06

Actions (login required)

Edit record (repository staff only) Edit record (repository staff only)