The Illusion of Progress in Students’ Fluency - A Longitudinal Study of Students’ Monologic Speech over an Academic Year

pp.24-36 Robert William Long


This paper takes on the issue of student’s monologic speech, examining differences in fluency, production over levels of proficiency (as represented by TOEIC scores), as well as how this speech improves over an academic year.  The data, which is based on the speech of 12 participants, was taken from the corpus Monologic and Dialogic Corpus 2019 has 20,368 words, and 42 subjects, whereas the second corpus Monologic and Dialogic Corpus 2020 has 16,997 words and 29 participants. Research questions focused on describing the speech in monologues of higher and lower proficiency Japanese EFL learners in regards to the fluency variables of speaking time, articulation rate, mean length runs (MLRs), number of words and percentage of silence, as well as investigating how acoustic, lexical and syntactical dysfluency might change over the year. Results showed that the mean time of monologue speech was higher in the high-proficiency group than in the low proficiency group in 2019 and 2020, but this difference was not statistically significant. In the high-proficiency group there was a significant difference between 2019 and 2020 in meaningless syllables whereas all the other acoustic, lexical, and syntactical dysfluency variables showed no significant difference over the academic year 2019/2020. Further research will be conducted on how direct feedback might impact students’ output. 

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Print ISSN:2188-8728   Online ISSN: 2188-2274