Second language fluency and its underlying cognitive and social determinants

Segalowitz, Norman (2016) Second language fluency and its underlying cognitive and social determinants. IRAL International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 54(2), pp. 79-95.

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In studying second language (L2) fluency attainment, researchers typically address questions about temporal and hesitation phenomena in a descriptive manner, cataloguing which features appear under which learning circumstances. The goal of this paper is to present a perspective on L2 fluency that goes beyond description by exploring a potential explanatory framework for understanding L2 fluency. This framework focuses on the cognitive processing that underlies the manifestation of fluency and disfluency, and on the ways social context might contribute to shaping fluency attainment. The framework provides a dynamical systems perspective of fluency and its development, with specific consequences for a research program on L2 fluency. This framework gives rise to new questions because of its focus on the intimate link between cognitive fluency and utterance fluency, that is, between measures of the speed, efficiency and fluidity of the cognitive processes thought to underlie implementation of the speech act and measures of the oral fluency of that speech act. Moreover, it is argued that cognitive and utterance fluency need to be situated in the social context of communication in order to take into account the role played by the pragmatic and the sociolinguistic nature of communication in shaping L2 fluency development.

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ID Code: 96335
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: L2 fluency; second language learning; cognitive processing
DOI: 10.1515/iral-2016-9991
ISSN: 0019-042X
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > COGNITIVE SCIENCE (170200) > Linguistic Processes (incl. Speech Production and Comprehension) (170204)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > LINGUISTICS (200400) > Applied Linguistics and Educational Linguistics (200401)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2016 De Gruyter Mouton
Deposited On: 21 Sep 2016 22:39
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2016 17:21

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