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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 1st, 2006, 05:17 am
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Default fluency versus accuracy

which is more important - fluency or accuracy
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 1st, 2006, 05:49 pm
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Default Re: fluency versus accuracy

I think fluency is more important. If you can get out the English at a pretty good flow, the listener can make sense of most mistakes.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 1st, 2006, 06:43 pm
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Default Re: fluency versus accuracy

i agree with mark. you can easily make a grammatically correct sentence and still have it make no sense at all.

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  #4 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 1st, 2006, 10:24 pm
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Default Re: fluency versus accuracy

I agree, also, when it comes to matters of correction. If you are trying to encourage students to get a flowing rhythym to their speech it can be discouraging to them to be constantly pulled up for accuracy.
That's not to say that accurate and grammatically correct English isn't important but it is far more important to have the ability and confidence to form sentences and questions to make yourself understood.

I was reading another ESL forum where there was a fierce debate over some particular grammar points and the debatees had descended so far into their grammar books that they had lost sight of what the original question was asking and what the actual intention of the question was.
(Perhaps a little off the topic here, but it's an interesting point for ESL teachers to consider)

xx
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  #5 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 1st, 2006, 11:16 pm
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Default Re: fluency versus accuracy

All those grammar debates get so involved in trying to contextualize this grammar point and that. I always end up arguing something completely unrelated.

Wasn't me, was it?
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  #6 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 2nd, 2006, 12:48 am
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Default Re: fluency versus accuracy

Thank you all so much
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  #7 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 2nd, 2006, 01:07 am
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Default Re: fluency versus accuracy

Quote:
Quote mesmark
All those grammar debates get so involved in trying to contextualize this grammar point and that. I always end up arguing something completely unrelated.

Wasn't me, was it?

No, I don't think so!!
I joined in the discussion before realizing that there was a deeper ongoing grammar argument between the two protagonists spreading over a number of differing posts but it was interesting that they trusted & believed the grammar rules over what others had demonstrated as everyday speech patterns.
I learnt my lesson to stay well out.....
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  #8 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 2nd, 2006, 07:40 pm
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Default Re: fluency versus accuracy

I deal with a lot of advanced level students who have fluency, but lack accuracy. Also when most of our corporate clients complain about their employees' English, they are purely looking at grammar mistakes.

In my own materials, I always use the word 'accuracy' rather than 'grammar' to try to promote the idea of learning to use grammar fluently in context, if that makes any sense.
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  #9 (permalink)  
Unread Jul 2nd, 2006, 11:54 pm
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Default Re: fluency versus accuracy

Quote:
Quote emile
In my own materials, I always use the word 'accuracy' rather than 'grammar' to try to promote the idea of learning to use grammar fluently in context, if that makes any sense.
I like that! I'm going to borrow it.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 30th, 2006, 08:22 am
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Default Re: fluency versus accuracy

Accuracy instead of Grammar sounds less stressful! Am "borrowing" the idea too! ..thanks,emile :-)
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  #11 (permalink)  
Unread Aug 30th, 2006, 08:04 pm
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Default Re: fluency versus accuracy

Both accuracy and fluency are important - it is not an either or choice.

Ultimately your learners will need to demonstrate both simultaneously in their language production - written and spoken.

But in the process of learning and becoming advanced users of English accuracy and fluency will take on differnent levels of importance at different stages of learning and according to the language point / activity purpose being taught.

Generally, your elementary students are going to need lots of accuracy work - they simply don't have a large enough knowledge of vocabulary or grammar to produce fluent spoken English. At intermediate level, when all the main grammatical tenses have been reviewed and learners have a reasonable knowledge of vocabulary, a focus on fluency of spoken speech becomes important. At an upper-advanced level often the focus comes back to accuracy - already the learners are fluent speakers, they just need to iron out their mistakes.

The accuracy / fluency question also depends on the purpose of the activity you are doing in the class. Controlled speaking practice such as drills and information exchanges are working on accuracy. Freer speaking production is working on fluency.
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  #12 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 1st, 2006, 01:35 am
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Default Re: fluency versus accuracy

The communicative approach tips the balance towards fluency, wouldn't you say?
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  #13 (permalink)  
Unread Sep 5th, 2006, 09:02 am
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Default Re: fluency versus accuracy

Hi Emile,

Yes, I would agree with you that the communicative method does favour fluency, while the audio-lingual and grammar translation approaches both favour accuracy. But in many ways considering the 'accuracy / fluency' question from the view point of teaching approaches and methodologies is somewhat problematic.

Teaching approaches are based on theories of language acquisition; the use of the teaching method supposedly to best facilitate language learning. To this end any particular approach or methodology is concerned with language production in terms of both accuracy and fluency once more, not an either / or choice.
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  #14 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 18th, 2006, 04:28 am
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Default Re: fluency versus accuracy

Quote:
Quote shelley norton
which is more important - fluency or accuracy
Hi,
I THINK FOR LOWER LEVEL FLUENCY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ACCURACY BUT FOR HIGHER LEVEL ACCURACY IS MORE IMPORTANT.
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  #15 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 18th, 2006, 05:24 am
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Default Re: fluency versus accuracy

Yes, I agree with you - the decision we must take as to accuracy over fluency in our teaching does depend on level.
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  #16 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 19th, 2006, 07:21 am
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Default Re: fluency versus accuracy

Dear Mr.E English
I agree with you too,So what do you think if we consider that for beginner and elementry fluency is more important than accuracy and for pre-intermed and intermed accuracy is more important than fluency and for upper intermed and advance level both fluency and accuracy are important.
Best wishes
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  #17 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 19th, 2006, 09:01 am
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Default Re: fluency versus accuracy

Hmmm, I don't know. A beginner cannot say that much in a language so it might as well be accurate!

Regardless of level it depends if you are doing a drill or a free type of exercise, and I believe both types are valuable.
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  #18 (permalink)  
Unread Oct 20th, 2006, 02:12 am
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Default Re: fluency versus accuracy

At elementary level I focus the language learning on accuracy. The students don't have enough language to worry about fluency.

I continue this through pre-intermediate level and then start introducing fluency activities, e.g. discussions and debates, at the end of pre-intermediate and start of intermediate levels when the students are reasonably independant language users.

Intermediate is a mix, accuracy and fluency, with the focus shifting to fluency as students advance.

Having said this, however, there are still plenty of times when advanced students need to work on their accuracy - most often done as remedial presentations in error correction sessions. Also, elementary students need to do fluency work - a drill practice, for example, while focusing mainly on accurate production of speech, is also at the same time working on fluency - albeit fluency over a short spoken production at syntax level.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 5th, 2008, 02:58 am
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Default Re: fluency versus accuracy

Hey I'm a new member
I think fluency is more important than accuracy, especially 4 primary students, because you want them 2 talk as much as possible to
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  #20 (permalink)  
Unread Dec 5th, 2008, 05:25 am
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Default Re: fluency versus accuracy

Fluency and accuracy are two factors which determine the success of the students in the future and should be both catered for.

According to Penny Ur, a well known English Language Teaching author, students learning fluency without accuracy is one of the biggest threats. As with most things, a balanced approach is what is needed.

There is an interesting article in the ICALwiki which looks at this very topic.

Happy reading!
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