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Training Effects on the Development of Oral Fluency in L2 Japanese

Naoko Taguchi and Yasufumi Iwasaki
Japanese Language and Literature
Vol. 42, No. 2, Japanese Language Education (Oct., 2008), pp. 413-437
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30198072
Page Count: 25
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Training Effects on the Development of Oral Fluency in L2 Japanese
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Abstract

This study examined the development of oral productivity and fluency among learners of Japanese who received instruction on grammatical chunks as constituent units of discourse. Participants were 42 elementary-level students of Japanese in a United States university. They received instruction on grammatical chunks through communicative practice and dialogue memorization. Twenty-two students from the group comprised an experimental group and received additional practice in which they practiced a group of learned chunks in a structured conversation activity. The remaining 20 students formed a control group and did not receive the practice. After the treatment, a spontaneous conversation task was given to compare the two groups on oral productivity and fluency. The experimental group was significantly more productive than the control group in the number and range of the grammatical chunks produced. They were also more fluent than the control group at the discourse level, as indicated in the greater number of acknowledging and commenting expressions, and follow-up questions produced. There was no significant group difference in the temporal aspects of fluency (speech rate and pause length), but the experimental group showed significant gains in pause length after the treatment.

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