Oral fluency is an important language skill and goal for many learners in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) contexts. A commonly used fluency development task is 4/3/2. Learners create a four-minute speech on a topic, then pare it down to a three-, then two-minute speech. Manipulating the language to fit within the shorter timeframe is thought to improve fluency. However, questions have been raised about whether reversing that order might be more effective for EFL learners. This study explores the impact of different models of task design on ratings of EFL learners’ oral fluency. The participants were 70 mainly first-year students at a Japanese university. Participants made pretest and posttest treatment recordings of themselves. The treatment was for participants to do either the 4/3/2 or the 2/3/4 speaking fluency activity once a week for four weeks. Each recording was rated at least twice by the team of instructor researchers to create a pre- and posttest speaking fluency score for each participant. The results of the study were that the treatment did show a significant increase in fluency but that there was not a significant difference between the 4/3/2 treatment and the 2/3/4 treatment. As such, the study represents an important opportunity to re-evaluate the effectiveness of a commonly used teaching tool. Future directions and implications are addressed.
|Number of pages
|Annual Research Report of the Language Center
|Published - 24 Apr 2023