The Importance of Fluency and Accuracy in Language Learning

Topics: Second language, Language education, Teaching English as a foreign language Pages: 12 (3330 words) Published: January 24, 2013
This work gratefully acknowledges the help of many individuals, who had contributed in doing this study. First, I would like to thank my module coordinator Mrs. Sanghvi for her effective feed back on my papers. Second, I would love to thank my family and especially my father Dr. Talib for his support of my work. Also thanks for every effort that has been made by my uncle Mr. Ghalib Al-Bir. Thanks to all members of the English department in Al-Rustaq Applied Sciences College, who answered the questionnaire.

This research is about the importance of fluency and accuracy in language learning; either as a second or a foreign language. It is found out that fluency is more important than accuracy. In other words, fluency represents the major section in language learning process, and it approximately covers all the important skills that lead to a successful communication. Survey findings show that majority of ELT teachers focus on fluency more than accuracy.

The following questions are going to be answered by the end of this study: What is fluency and accuracy? What enables proper communication? What is most focused on in the classroom by teachers, fluency or accuracy? Why it is necessary to focus on performance rather than competence? Does the degree of fluency and accuracy activities depend on the learners' level?

This study faced some limitations and difficulties for several reasons. First, the number of words was limited; so many things were omitted like a special survey for learners themselves to find out more about this area. Also some of the questionnaire copies were not filled properly, so I had to return them and approach others respondents for the survey.

Chapter 1: Introduction:
Learning a language is a necessity to communicate well with others around the world. This report aims to discover what is more important to create proficiency and a good communication in language learning: is it fluency or accuracy? Most of the previous investigations and researches are suggesting that fluency is more important than accuracy, and it is the best tool of a good and a clear communication. I believe that fluency is the first thing that should be focused on and assessed. Undoubtedly, fluency is the only tool that people can exchange ideas and express thoughts with each other. In order to support my position a survey was carried out. This questionnaire was answered by a number of experts’ in language teaching. A sample of the survey will be provided at the end of this report attached with the appendix.

Chapter 2: Literature review:
This literature review will collaborate on the topic first with the most important definitions supported by examples, and discussed independently. To learn a language and perform well in this particular language there should be two factors. These factors according to Brown (2001) are fluency and accuracy, and they are governing the success in communicating with a good language. To put the focus on these factors they have to be defined. Fluency can be defined as the capability of reading, writing and speaking without any interruptions (Harmer, 1991). In other words, it is the speaker’s good performance and his/her ability to respond and understand this particular language while reading, writing or speaking. In addition, fluency is a group of skills, which throughout speakers can communicate orally and achieve comprehension from the real performance (Brown, 2001). In many language learning institutions, teachers give more emphasis to fluency than accuracy. According to Brown (2001, p116) “At times fluency may have to take on more importance than accuracy in order to keep learners meaningfully engaged in language use”....

Bibliography: • Brown, D (2001). TEACHING by PRINCIPLES: An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy. London: Longman.
• Ellis, R (2003a). Task-based Language Learning and Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
• Ellis, R (December, 2003b). Task-based Language Learning and Teaching. TESL-EJ Journal, Vol. 7. No. 3, 386-387. Retrieved from:
• Hinkel, E (2005). Handbook of Research in Second Language Teaching and Learning. Lawrence Erlbaum: Routledge.
• Tracey, M. D., Munro, M. J. & Thomson, R. I. (September, 2008). A Longitudinal Study of ESL Learners Fluency and Comprehensibility Development. Applied Linguistics, Vol. 29. No. 3, ISSN, 0142-6001, 359-380. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
• Wolf, J. P. (June, 2008). The effects of backchannels on fluency in L2 oral task production. An International Journal of Education Technology and Applied Linguistics, Vol. 36. No. 2, ISSN, 0346-251x, 279-292. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
*1. Fluency is the capability of communicating, generally speaking, reading and writing well (Hinkel, 2005).
*2. Accuracy is the ability of producing correct grammar and vocabulary, i.e. spelling (Hinkel, 2005).
3. For each of the following statements, adapted from Dorit Sasson, 2007, decide whether you agree or disagree. Rate how much do you agree or not on a scale from one to four, as indicated below:
|1 |2 |3 |4 |
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