S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) English Language and Literature (영어영문학과) SNU working papers in English language and linguistics SNU working papers in English language and linguistics Vol.13 (2015)
Native and non-native speakers' perceptions of fluency in L2 speech
- Jo, Jinyoung
- Issue Date
- SNU Working Papers in English Linguistics and Language, Vol.13, pp. 40-62
- Speaking tests; acoustic measures of fluency; perceived fluency; L2 speech; rater L1 background
- The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between objectively measured acoustic properties of speech on the one hand and fluency as rated by native and non-native raters on the other hand. Acoustic measures of fluency were calculated for each speech sample recorded by eleven Korean EFL learners, and two native English speakers and two native Korean speakers rated these speech fragments on fluency. The regression analysis demonstrated that while native and non-native speakers agreed on the acoustic properties they considered important in assessing fluency, i.e., mean length of runs and average pause time, the latter group were found to rely more on those objectively measured acoustic features. An examination of the comments made by both groups of raters further revealed that only native speakers regarded intelligibility as an important factor in judging fluency. The findings of this study have critical implications in the field of speaking tests; they suggest not only that it is important to consider what characterizes a fluent speech but also that raters’ L1 background must be taken into consideration in assessing fluency of an L2 learner’s speech.