Abstract

This thesis study investigates gains in the speaking of China study abroad (SA) students from Brigham Young University. Pre-and post-program Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI) tasks were used to generate multiple fluency measures, such as native judges' subjective fluency ratings, word count, number of unique words, number of filler words, mean pause length, tonal accuracy, etc. The study results display significant differences between pre- and post-tests for all fluency measures. In other words, China SA students were perceived to be more fluent in their speech by native judges after SA; their speech samples show more word (token and type) production, and shorter pauses in post-SOPI tasks than in pre-SOPI tasks. Participants used more filler words and had more unfilled pauses in post-measures than in pre-measures and they enhanced their tonal accuracy during the SA. Native judges' perception of task completion was also measured and the students were more capable of completing speech tasks in the post-program measures than in the pre-program measures. The OPI ratings indicate that some students made as much as two sub levels' improvement on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) scale.

Degree

MA

College and Department

Humanities; Center for Language Studies

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2011-12-08

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd4877

Keywords

fluency, Chinese, language gain, speaking, tones, tonal accuracy

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