Posted at 10.07.2018
Accuracy and fluency are two key components of second terminology acquisition. Nowadays, it seems that learning the usage of grammar and focusing on accuracy and reliability are emphasized by many terminology students over fluency. This issue of precision and fluency has been a controversial issue that is discussed for many years. Although some formalists argue that learning a terms means learning varieties and guidelines, some activists take a different view and claim that learning a language means learning how to use a language (Eskey, 1983). Thus, this article will dispute that exactness is not necessarily more important than fluency. It depends on learners' needs and the purpose of education in second terminology acquisition.
In order to demonstrate this, this article will first focus on the importance of accuracy and fluency in British learning and show that they are both essential by looking at two different teaching methods. Second, it will turn to discuss both accuracy and reliability and fluency in term of learner goals, learner parameters and instructional factors. Third, it'll suggest what language teachers must do to deal with the issue and find the right balance between them.
In this section, it will be argued that both reliability and fluency are needed in second language acquisition. There has been much talk about both of these components, with arguments put forward in support of either one of the other. However, it'll be shown that neither part is useful with no other.
Early instructing methods promoted correctness over fluency. For example, the Grammar-Translation Method has been utilized by language teachers for many years. It is the traditional style of teaching method emphasizing grammar justification and translation (Cook, 2001). In such a method, it's important for students to learn about the form of the mark words. The role of the instructor is the power. Students simply do what the professor says and study from the educator, and many students consider that appropriate answers are essential. If they make problems or have no idea an answer, it's the teacher's duty to supply them with the correct answer.
However, accuracy can't be thought to be enough in vocabulary learning. According to Larsen-Freeman (2000), in the Grammar-Translation Method, the terminology that is used in class is mainly the students' native language. In cases like this, there is a lot less focus on second terms speaking and being attentive. With regards to speaking and being attentive skills, fluency must be taken bill in terms learning.
For this reason, other methods have emphasized fluency in words learning. It really is clear these approaches are built on learning the utilization of dialect not on learning the usage of it. For instance, weighed against the Grammar-Translation Method, Communicative Terms Teaching (CLT) emphasizes the procedure of communication alternatively than just concentrating on language varieties (Larsen-Freeman, 2000). Because the concept of CLT places an emphasis on fluency, problems of form can be seen as an all natural outcome of the introduction of communication skills.
Another argument in favour of fluency is the execution of language within an real environment. In real life, language is mostly used to express sense and thought (Eskey, 1983). When there's a purpose to exchange meaning, fluency is the main element factor during communication. While communicating with each other, spanish learners often come across the issue, that is, what they learn how to say does not achieve their communicative goal. To be able to bridge the gap of such discrepancy, learners could use communicative strategies, such as prediction to make the communication successful. It is because if communicators are in the same framework, one may forecast what the other will say next.
For example, before the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, taxi individuals in Beijing were been trained in order to obtain English speaking potential in order that they could communicate with foreign vacationers fluently. In this situation, although the taxi cab individuals were poor at sentence structure rules, they still can talk to foreigners. This is because the driver can predict where the foreign passenger will go since their vacation spot may be related to the Olympic Video games.
In this circumstance, although some grammatical errors can be found, communicators can still understand the other person because they're in the same context. When listeners cannot understand what audio speakers mean, they often predict the following conversation and provide immediate response with loudspeakers along the way of indicating negotiation.
However, it must be appreciated that the achievement of this degree of communicative competence will not mean an equal one of grammatical competence (Eskey, 1983). As Eskey (1983: 319) boasts, "fluency in a language is no guarantee of formal exactness. " An authentic concern is that focusing on fluency may cause the significant influence on accuracy. Regarding to Eskey (1983: 319), "fulfilling a learner's fluency may, in some instances, actually impede his or her achievement of accuracy and reliability. " For example, to be able to get so this means across, vocabulary learners find the words, nevertheless they either pronounce them wrongly or put them along inappropriately. Such problem happens because of the fact that they can speak English regularly but go to town poorly. Thus, although accuracy and reliability is not enough alone, it continues to be considered as necessary in vocabulary learning.
Although learners can still communicate the communication to make sense without correct form, it can not be denied that to be able to work with the words, learners still have to be in a position to convert linguistic forms into the capability to actually use then. Therefore, when using CLT approach, fixing for accuracy will still be offered by educators. Although prediction in communicative context may gain successful communication, fluency is not enough in this scenario. Without accuracy, misunderstanding may occur because of misspelling, poor pronunciation and grammatical constructions. Hence, it is clear that as terminology instructors, both fluency and precision must be similarly concerned in instructing students to use a language.
As the first section has talked about, both precision and fluency are needed in the process of words learning. On this section, it will be argued that although both of these components are evenly necessary, there are three elements which could influence give attention to them.
The first aspect to consider is learner goals. It is suggested that lots of ESL teachers help their students to build up communicative competence to essentially use the terms for authentic goal. Nonetheless, what students learn from the teacher may well not be the results that the instructor supposes them to obtain. For example, if Thai children learn British in a rural Thai community, the outcome of language achievements may not all maintain positivity. It is because these children do not need to use British as a tool in their daily life. In contrast, if Thai children learn British in order to sell products to foreigners, then there could be concern about a goal for communicative competence. Moreover, if they want to pursue advanced schooling in England, accuracy must be concentrated in language learning. Therefore, it seems that the necessity for exactness and fluency pertains to what goals learners want to attain.
It is known as that learner variables are also an integral element which influences the give attention to precision or fluency. According to Celce-Murcia (1985), a technique guideline is provided to aid teachers in determining what degree they need to give attention to form in their own classes. In his review, learner factors include age, effectiveness level and educational qualifications. It is known that every specific learns in several ways. Compared with adolescents and people, young children manage to be more alternative in learning an idea rather than doing apparent evaluation. This is because they are really too young to analyse the framework of a dialect. Therefore, if young ESL learners are trained, it is most likely that little grammar instruction is needed. However, if the students are children or adults, concentrating on form may be more important.
It is also advised that education level is relevant to concentrate on correctness or fluency. This is because educating learners with preliterate level differs from instructing ones with literate level. If individuals are at the amount of beginners with little formal education, then concentrating on form will be less important while fluency is the most notable priority. On the other hand, if the learners are at the intermediate or higher level and are well informed, accuracy may be needed and it may be necessary for the professor to provide some responses associated with form correction in order for them to make progress. Therefore, concentrating on accuracy is insufficient, fluency still must get worried in terms of learners' age, proficiency level and educational record.
Moreover, instructional parameters can be seen as the 3rd element, which includes skill, register and need. It's advocated that the necessity of concentrate on correctness and fluency also changes according to the reason for the instruction. For example, regarding to Celce-Murcia (1985), when the teacher is instructing receptive skills, such as tuning in or reading, the focus on form will be less important, since these skills require competence primarily in word identification. Nevertheless, this does not mean accuracy and reliability can be neglected, since when knowing grammatical structure, learners can build up logical connection between phrases, which facilitates both tuning in and reading comprehension.
On the other palm, if the instructor is focusing on effective skills, such as speaking and writing, then formal reliability will become an important concern. In addition, it should be remembered that fluency is still necessary for communication purpose. It is because if the educator offers a conversation school which purpose is designed for learners to essentially use the terms to communicate with others, then fluency will be emphasized.
Furthermore, if the learner's immediate need is survival communication, formal precision is less targeted. Alternatively, if the learner needs to utilize the words in a specialist field, such as writing an academics essay or being a diplomat, a high degree of formal accuracy is essential. "The higher the stakes, the much more likely that accuracy will be important" (Eskey, 1983: 318). Therefore, it is clear that both accuracy and fluency are needed and whether focusing on reliability or fluency depends upon learner needs and course objectives.
a) Course design and needs assessment
Based on these three elements mentioned previously, it's advocated that professors should find the appropriate balance between accuracy and reliability and fluency. Eskey (1983) argues that:
Teachers must be prepared to package with students who know sentence structure rules but can not speak the dialect fluently; likewise, they need to also be prepared to offer with students who are fluent however, not accurate (Eskey, 1983).
In order to balance correctness and fluency in terms learning and teaching, it's advocated that both these components have to be taught along the way of learning situation. Thus, in this section, it will suggest methods of keeping a balance between accuracy and fluency in term of course design and needs analysis.
It has been argued that many language learners have discovered grammar rules, but when they want to express themselves, they don't have enough real connection with using languages (Celce-Murcia, 1985). Such end result may be because of the fact that coaching materials will not provide learners with the framework highly relevant to the communicative situation. To be able to solve this issue, Celce-Murcia (1985) advises an integrating sentence structure education into a communicative curriculum providing purposeful task-based discourse examples. For instance, for the general purpose vocabulary learners, their beginning level course may begin with teaching grammar-meaning correspondences, such as present tense versus former tense. By giving the time frame, students may easily recognize the difference between both of these tenses. After that, students are then educated grammar-function correspondences, such as the firmness of must is better than need to. When both of these basic levels have been established, the teacher can provide discourse-level grammar, such as use of conjunctions. In this case, students not only acquire the grammar rules which focus on correctness but also use it for purposeful discourse which targets fluency. By this course designed to integrate form, so this means and content, it is possible for learners to balance accuracy and fluency in the communication (Celce-Murcia, 1985).
However, there is a simple question about why learners need to balance correctness and fluency. The response to this question pertains to English for specific goal (ESP). Corresponding to Hutchinson and Waters (1987), programs should be designed to meet learners' needs. This might suggest that dialect teachers should note which learners need more attention on accuracy or fluency. To do this goal, for case, teachers need to assemble information about learners' needs on exactness and fluency and identify their goal situation by using questionnaires, interviews, observation and informal consultations with learners before a course. Having done this, teachers analyse strategies necessary to cope in aim for situation, and then create syllabus which is a document stating which aspect needs more effort on correctness or fluency. From then on, go for and design materials to focus on these strategies in syllabus. Finally, after educating the materials, professors establish evaluation methods to check learners' acquisition of precision and fluency (Hutchinson and Waters, 1987).
b) Analysis and feedback
In this section, it'll be argued that course design and needs evaluation are not enough. The evaluation and feedback later from learners can also help professors find the appropriate balance between exactness and fluency. Evaluation can be defined as a whole process of action which starts with decision of information gathering and ends with change in current classes or influence on future ones (Dudley-Evans and St John, 1998). Corresponding to Hutchinson and Waters (1987: 145), "an ESP course, in the end, is supposed to reach your goals. " This is because it is created for particular learners to attain particular purpose with language level of precision and fluency.
There are two levels of evaluation. The first one is learner examination. Students' performance is evaluated at strategic things, such as at the beginning and at the end of the course. It is because ESP concerns with the necessary skills for particular learners to handle communicative tasks. This kind of assessment enables professors to determine how much focus on accuracy and fluency is needed (Hutchinson and Waters, 1987). As ESP educators, they have to consider if the goals are too ambitious for learners. If so, the learners' primary terms competence may be overestimated. For instance, a educator designs a syllabus by analysing students' needs. Students are expected to provide written work and make an dental presentation in correct English. After teaching, the teacher could find that serious weakness in grammar leads to unclearness of students' dental presentation. But the course provides the objectives of reaching certain degree of accuracy and reliability and fluency, perhaps students achieve more on either one of these, and then students will require more specific help by teaching both accuracy and fluency used in the context relevant to their needs.
The second some may be course evaluation by learners. This helps teachers to demonstrate how well the course actually satisfies a specific educational target. Therefore, evaluation not only shows learners' performance on accuracy and fluency through the procedure for learning but also shows how effective students feel the course was. In this case, if they feel the ESP course does not meet their goal, then there has to be something wrong with course design or methodology. Hence, it is clear that both learner and course evaluation have a similar function in providing opinions on the ESP course (Hutchinson and Waters, 1987).
Moreover, the reviews of the training outcome is essential not only for students also for teachers. This is because feedback reflects students' learning success on exactness and fluency and the potency of coaching. Therefore, how to judge learning and educating to obtain feedback is important to teachers. In order to find the total amount between accuracy and reliability and fluency, evaluation and feedback are crucial not only at the beginning of the course but also after the instruction.
In final result, although accuracy and reliability has been emphasised by many vocabulary students, as the three areas mentioned above, it can obviously be seen that both correctness and fluency are important at different needs for different people of different priorities. Even though some arguments show that accuracy and reliability is essential for learners to obtain linguistic form to produce the language, this isn't enough. Fluency is still needed considering the language implementation in an authentic environment. This essay has advised that both reliability and fluency are needed in second words acquisition. Whether to focus more on accuracy and reliability or fluency will depend on learners' needs and course targets.
Therefore, language teachers can find the right balance of precision and fluency by using an ESP approach to design courses highly relevant to the needs and objectives. Thus, these lessons can maximise the effects of teaching and learning through evaluation and feedback. Although ESP can solve this issue, teachers' ability to design the course should be taken into consideration. Therefore, it is suggested that teacher training curriculum is obviously necessary and the real development may be made in the future.