Authors: Sakae Onoda
This paper presents the results of an investigation into the effects of linked-skills tasks (Nation & Newton, 2009), i.e., an approach that employs a sequence of tasks based on the same text but using different language skills, on oral fluency in Japanese university classrooms. Students were instructed to watch an easy news story, then read the text, answer comprehension questions, write a summary and reaction, and speak about it to a partner. The teaching procedure includes such fluency-enhancing elements as recycling and deep processing vocabulary (i.e., using words in different contexts), formulaic expressions and information, and automatization. Participants in this study were second-year English majors taking a Media English course. Classes met twice a week for the academic year. Quantitative data were gathered from tests administered at the beginning and at the end of the year. Oral fluency was measured using an interview test that assessed rate of speech, and a standard college speaking test. Results showed that oral fluency improved as measured by both tests, thus lending support to the adaptation of the linked-skills teaching approach.
oral fluency, linked skills, automatization, repetition, formulaic sequences