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Linguistic skills and speaking fluency in a second language

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 March 2012

NIVJA H. DE JONG*
Affiliation:
Utrecht University
MARGARITA P. STEINEL
Affiliation:
University of Amsterdam
ARJEN FLORIJN
Affiliation:
University of Amsterdam
ROB SCHOONEN
Affiliation:
University of Amsterdam
JAN H. HULSTIJN
Affiliation:
University of Amsterdam
*
ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE Nivja de Jong, Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS, Utrecht University, Trans 10, Utrecht 3512 JK, The Netherlands. E-mail: n.dejong@uu.nl

Abstract

This study investigated how individual differences in linguistic knowledge and processing skills relate to individual differences in speaking fluency. Speakers of Dutch as a second language (N = 179) performed eight speaking tasks, from which several measures of fluency were derived such as measures for pausing, repairing, and speed (mean syllable duration). In addition, participants performed separate tasks, designed to gauge individuals’ second language linguistic knowledge and linguistic processing speed. The results showed that the linguistic skills were most strongly related to average syllable duration, of which 50% of individual variance was explained; in contrast, average pausing duration was only weakly related to linguistic knowledge and processing skills.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012 

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