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To what extent are multiword sequences associated with oral fluency?

Tavakoli, P. ORCID: and Uchihara, T. (2020) To what extent are multiword sequences associated with oral fluency? Language Learning, 70 (2). pp. 506-547. ISSN 0023-8333

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1111/lang.12384


This study examines the relationship between oral fluency and use of multiword sequences (MWSs) across four proficiency levels (Low B1 to C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference; Council of Europe, 2001). Data from 56 learners taking the TEEP speaking test were analyzed for different measures of fluency (speed, breakdown, repair) and MWSs (frequency, proportion, association). Results showed that (a) high frequency n-grams correlated positively with articulation rate, (b) n-gram proportion correlated negatively with frequency of mid-clause pauses, and (c) n-gram association strength correlated positively with frequency of end-clause pauses and negatively with repair frequency. The qualitative analysis suggested that the test-takers borrowed some task-specific n-grams from the task instructions and used them frequently in their performance. While lower proficiency speakers used these n-grams verbatim, C1 level speakers used them competently in a variety of forms. Significant implications of the findings for phraseology and language testing research are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > International Study and Language Institute (ISLI)
ID Code:86157


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