Abstract

While a number of studies have sought to investigate ESL speakers' fluency gains over the course of one 15-week semester, few if any studies have investigated these changes over a longer developmental period. A critical factor in researching longitudinal change is that students do not often remain in an intensive English program (IEP) for more than two semesters before moving to a new school, applying to an American university, or returning to their home country. Longitudinal research, therefore, is necessary as program administrators, teachers, and learners all seek to understand points where change in oral fluency actually occurs. For this study data were collected from students in a large intensive English program over a 45-week period. For 39 ESL learners audio files from speaking tasks that were part of placement and end-of-semester level achievement tests were collected and analyzed. Specific oral fluency features such as speech rate, articulation rate, and pause frequency were investigated. This thesis will share the results of the analysis while also discussing the implications of the data for program administrators, teachers, and learners. Particular focus will be given to helping stakeholders understand specific changes that occurred in learners' fluency over the time period of three semesters.

Degree

MA

College and Department

Humanities; Linguistics and English Language

Rights

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

Date Submitted

2016-12-01

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd9022

Keywords

oral fluency, speaking, ESL, speech rate, articulation rate, phonation time

Included in

Linguistics Commons

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