This post expands on the article I wrote for ELTA newsletter. The post consist of two parts. Part 1 focuses on the definition and components of fluency, while Part 2 suggest practical ways of developing fluency and addressing specific issues hindering fluency.
Whether you are teaching English as a second or foreign language, in a private language institution or a state university, a large number of students will say that the reason they want to learn English is ‘to be able to speak English fluently’. Moreover, upon reaching a certain level of English proficiency, learners are expected to demonstrate increased fluency – a look at textbooks of B1 level and above will show you that they include increasingly complex speaking tasks which require students to produce longer stretches of language. However, in my experience, learners are not given enough resources and strategies that allow them to consciously work on developing their speaking fluency. So how DO we help our students get there? Let’s start by figuring out what fluency actually is.