Accuracy and fluency 09


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A talk on how both accuracy and fluency can be practiced in esl classrooms.

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Accuracy and fluency 09

  1. 1. Accuracy and Fluency: Giving each its place JoAnn Miller, Editorial Macmillan [email_address]
  2. 2. Fluency <ul><li>The ability to produce written and / or spoken language with ease </li></ul><ul><li>Speak with a good but not necessarily perfect command of intonation, vocabulary and grammar </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate ideas effectively </li></ul><ul><li>Produce continuous speech without causing comprehension difficulties or a breakdown in communication </li></ul>Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics
  3. 3. Accuracy <ul><li>Ability to produce grammatically correct sentences </li></ul><ul><li>May not include the ability to speak or write fluently. </li></ul>Longman Dictionary of Language Teaching and Applied Linguistics
  4. 4. Self-Assessment <ul><li>The amount of emphasis you put on accuracy or fluency depends on your students </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Tourism? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Translation? </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Four skills <ul><li>Reading </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intensive vs. Extensive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Listening </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Intensive vs. Extensive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Writing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Process vs. Free </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Speaking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Planned vs. Spontaneous </li></ul></ul>
  6. 7. Reading: Extensive <ul><li>Reading for overall understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Longer piece of text </li></ul><ul><li>Worry less about individual words and sentences </li></ul><ul><li>Get caught up in flow of ideas </li></ul>Jim Scrivener, Learning Teaching. Heinemann, 1994, p. 152-3.
  7. 8. Reading: Intensive <ul><li>Short sections or sentences </li></ul><ul><li>When we need to understand information in detail </li></ul>
  8. 10. Listening <ul><li>Intensive vs. Extensive like in reading </li></ul><ul><li>Intensive listening: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Extensive listening: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A movie </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A conversation </li></ul></ul>
  9. 12. Process Writing <ul><li>Teacher doesn’t just assign a writing topic and receive the finished product for correction with no intervention in the writing process itself. </li></ul><ul><li>The process is as (or more) important than the product </li></ul><ul><li>Students plan, write, rewrite, edit individually and in groups with teacher supervision </li></ul>Stanley, G. “Approaches to process writing”. Teaching English. British Council, BBC.
  10. 13. Freewriting <ul><li>Not just for brainstorming </li></ul><ul><li>Practice for decreasing students’ inhibitions about writing </li></ul><ul><li>Allow them to increase written fluency </li></ul><ul><li>Reassure students continually that whatever they write is OK </li></ul><ul><li>BUT must keep writing..write as much as possible </li></ul>Gretchen Jude (1999). Freewriting for fun and fluency.
  11. 14. Now you try it…. <ul><li>Theme: The best class I ever had </li></ul><ul><li>Rules: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t erase </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t stop writing </li></ul></ul>
  12. 16. Speaking <ul><li>Fluency: “concerns the learner’s capacity to produce language in real time without undue pausing or hesitation.” </li></ul><ul><li>Accuracy: “how well language is produced in relation to the rule system of the target language.” </li></ul>Peter Skehan, “Second language acquisition research and task-based instruction”, Challenge and Change in Language Teaching, J. Willis and D. Willis, ed. Heinemann, 1996. P. 22.
  13. 17. Task-based methods <ul><li>Recommend fluency activities first </li></ul><ul><li>Then follow up with accuracy activities </li></ul>
  14. 18. Accuracy in Tasks <ul><li>Whenever learners are involved in communication they are concerned with accuracy… </li></ul><ul><li>In spontaneous communication -- little time to reflect on the language they produce. </li></ul><ul><li>If given time to prepare, there will be more accuracy </li></ul>Dave Willis, “Accuracy, fluency and conformity” Challenge and Change in Language Teaching, J. Willis and D. Willis, ed. Heinemann, 1996. P. 50.
  15. 19. Fluency in Tasks <ul><li>need opportunities to process language for communicative purposes as receivers and producers. </li></ul><ul><li>should be unfettered by the perceived need to conform to teacher expectations in terms of the production of specific language forms. </li></ul>Dave Willis, “Accuracy, fluency and conformity” Challenge and Change in Language Teaching, J. Willis and D. Willis, ed. Heinemann, 1996. P. 50
  16. 21. The Task Cycle: Task (Fluency) <ul><li>Pairs or groups. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>use any language they have to express themselves and say what they want to say. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>T walks around and monitors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>helps Ss formulate what they want to say, but doesn’t correct errors in form </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emphasis on spontaneous, exploratory talk and confidence building in small group. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Success helps Ss’ motivation. </li></ul></ul>
  17. 22. The Task Cycle: Planning / Reporting (Accuracy) <ul><li>Planning </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ss draft and rehearse what they want to say or write. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>T helps advising Ss. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasis on clarity, organization and accuracy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Reporting : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>T asks some pairs to report briefly to whole class so everyone can compare findings--or begin a survey </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>T chairs, comments on content, rephrases but gives no public correction </li></ul></ul>
  18. 23. Now you do it… <ul><li>In pairs, tell your partner about your worst teaching experience </li></ul><ul><li>Now, write your experience </li></ul><ul><li>Change partners and tell the story again </li></ul><ul><li>How did it change? </li></ul>
  19. 24. So, what to do in class… <ul><li>Reading: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage students to do free reading of longer passages (fluency) as well as in class exercises (usually accuracy) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Listening </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourage students to watch movies and listen to songs in English (fluency) as well as class practices (accuracy) </li></ul></ul>
  20. 25. <ul><li>Writing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Include freewriting (fluency) daily or weekly for a few minutes </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Speaking </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow a task cycle </li></ul></ul>
  21. 26. Thank you very much…. <ul><li>JoAnn Miller </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Handout available at: </li></ul>