Authors

1 University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran,

2 Department of English Language and Literature, University of Isfahan, Isfahan, Iran

Abstract

Speaking a language involves more than simply knowing the linguistic components of the message, and developing language skills requires more than grammatical comprehension and vocabulary memorization (Chastain, 1988). In teaching-learning processes, drama method may have some positive effects on ELL students' speaking fluency and accuracy. This study attempts to probe one of the main concerns of language learners, that is, how to improve their speaking components, e.g. oral fluency and accuracy. To attain this aim, the researchers investigated the effect of two selected texts from modern English dramas on students' speaking fluency and accuracy. They distinguished fluent from non-fluent and accurate from no accurate learners. Therefore, the current study was designed as a true experimental research and the data were gathered from 60 EFL students of English language and literature at Hormozgan University in Iran. The data were the recorded speaking transcripts which were analyzed to show the probable progresses after four-time (10 weeks) treatment. The factors to be considered in present study were the numbers of filled and unfilled pauses in each narration, the total number of words per minute, mean length of utterance, and number of stressed words. The results were compared and their temporal and linguistic measures were correlated with their fluency scores. They revealed that the speech rate, the mean length of utterance, phonation time ratio and the number of stressed words produced per minute were the best predictors of fluency scores, and thus, students' speaking fluency increased, whereas the students' speaking accuracy decreased in some areas of speaking abilities and oral communications.
 

Keywords

Boersma, P., & Weenink, D. (2007). PRAAT. Retrieved from http://www.praat.org. Chastain, K. (1988), Developing Second –
Language Skills Theory and Practice. Speaking, p. 270.
Crystal, T. H., & House, A. S. (1990). Articulation rate and the duration of syllables and stress groups in connected speech. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 88, 101–112.
Ellis, R. (2005). Planning and task-based performance: Theory and research. In R. Ellis (Ed.), Planning and task performance

in a second language (pp. 3–36). John Benjamins.

Ellis, R., Barkhuizen, G. (2005). Analyzing learner language. New York: Oxford University Press. Foster R, Skehan P (1996). The influence of planning and task type on second language performance. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 18, 299–323.

Guará-Tavares M. (2008). Pre-task planning, working memory capacity and L2 speech performance. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil.

Holden, Susan. (1982). Drama in Language Teaching. Longman Maley.

Housen, A., Kuiken, F. (2009). Complexity, accuracy, and fluency in second language acquisition. Appl. Linguist., 30(4), 461-473.

Kormos, J., & D´enes, M. (2004). Exploring measures and perceptions of fluency in the speech of second language learners. System, 32, 145–164.

Long, M., H. (1989). Task, group and task-group interactions. In S. Anivan (Ed.), Language Teaching Methodology for the Nineties (pp. 31–50). Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.

Maley, A., Duff, A. (1982) Drama techniques. A Resource Book of Communication Activities for Language Teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-24907-4.

 

 

Quen´e, H. (2008).Multilevel modeling of between-speaker and within-speaker variation in spontaneous speech tempo. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 123, 1104–1113.

Segalowitz, N. (2010). Cognitive basis of second language fluency. New York, NY: Routledge.

Skehan, P. (2003). Task based instruction. Language Teaching, 36, 1–14. Applied Psycholinguistics 34:5 916 de Jong et al.: Linguistic skills and speaking fluency

Tavakoli, P., & Skehan, P. (2005). Strategic planning, task structure and performance testing. Singapore: SEAMEO Regional Language Centre.

Towell, R., Hawkins, R., & Bazergui, N. (1996). The development of fluency in advanced learners of French. Applied Linguistics, 17(1), 84–119.

Yuan, F., & Ellis, R. (2003). The effects of pre-task planning and on-line planning on fluency, complexity and accuracy in L2 monologic oral production. Applied Linguistics, 24(1), 1–27.

Wood, D. (2009). Effects of focused instruction of formulaic sequences on fluent expression in second language narratives: A case study. ACLA, 1(12), 39-57