Summary from Week 1
• It is important to define what ‘fluency’ in spoken
• Fluency is not related to ‘native’-ness.
• Fluency is (minimally) broken down into cognitive
fluency, utterance fluency, and perceived fluency.
Each of these, in turn, may be influenced by a great
number of variables.
• Fluency can be thought of as ‘readiness’, on different
levels: mentally/emotionally prepared, knowing what
to say and how to say it (‘prepared’ utterances), and
having what to say ‘at the ready’ (i.e. automaticity).
Goals for the week
• Reconsider concepts of “intelligibility”
• Look ahead to coming weeks...
• Introduction / Course overview
• Introduction to course website
• Discussion of issues around “fluency”
• Your homework
“Accent”: What do you think?
1. Take poll (online).
2. Explain the answer you gave to your group.
3. What is “perfect” pronunciation?
4. Would you choose to sound like a native
speaker if you had that option?
5. Do you think “identity” has anything to do
with accent? In what way?
Rajadurai on ‘Intelligibility’
1. According to Joanne Rajadurai, how is 'intelligibility'
2. What are the related concepts, as advocated by Smith and
3. How and why is 'intelligibility' researched?
4. What criticisms does Rajadurai raise of intelligibility
5. What common misconceptions and myths are there
around 'intelligibility', according to Rajadurai?
How and why is intelligibility
• “Even in studies that attempt to elicit ‘natural’ speech
as the stimulus material, the laboratory-like conditions
under which the experiments are conducted negate
such attempts. These techniques produce artificial and
inauthentic data, and consequently place severe
limitations on the findings of the research.” (p. 90)
• “With a few notable exceptions, the vast majority of
studies seem to ignore the fact that speech is context-
specific and highly dependent on the topic,
participants, and situation.” (p. 90)
• “It is also fairly obvious that intelligibility is
strongly influenced by the listener’s biases and
preconceived ideas about speakers and
accents.” (p. 90)
• Example: Rubin (1992)
“(I)ntelligibility may be as much in the
mind of the listener as in the mouth
of the speaker” (Morley, 1991: 499).
1. How 'native-like' is Jackie Chan's English?
2. Would you say that Jackie Chan speaks fluent English? Why (not)?
3. To what extent is Jackie Chan's English 'intelligible'?
4. What about other associated elements (accentedness,
5. All in all, was Jackie Chan's interview a successful one?
6. What variables (personal, interpersonal, contextual, etc.) may
influence the extent to which Jackie Chan's interview can be
perceived as successful?
Other misconceptions and myths
• Misconception 1: Only non-native speech is accented.
• Misconception 2: Non-native speech lacks intelligibility.
• Misconception 3: The non-native speaker is responsible
for communication problems.
• Myth 1: The native variety should constitute the norm.
• Myth 2: The native speaker is always the best judge of
what is intelligible.
• Myth 3: The native speaker is always the best
representative of what is intelligible.
• Pay attention to the words and images, and
take notes on the following questions:
• How much text is there on the slides?
• What kind of images are used?
• What about speaking style? Formal or
Your PKN (Wednesday, August 24th)
• You will create a PechaKucha presentation: 20 slides in
• Remember: you can only speak for 20 seconds for each
slides (just over 6 minutes). The transition from one
slide to the next will be made automatically.
• You can “script” your PechaKucha, and may read from
your script if you like. (But try not to stare at the
• You can choose any theme you want. (For example,
‘My Favorite Foods’, ‘My Family’, ‘My Dream Vacation’,
‘People I Don’t Love’, ‘Curitiba’, ‘Dogs’, ‘RPG’, ‘Best
Binge Viewing Series’, etc.)
1. Take survey online about spoken vs. written
2. Read Carter & McCarthy (2015) article on
‘spoken grammar’ (online), answer questions
about the article (online), and bring your
answers to class on Monday.
3. Continue working on PechaKucka