Characterising students' oral fluency

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  • Publicado : 8 de mayo de 2010
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Speaking und understanding English is seen by some people like something impossible to reach and much more after having studied the language for a long time without any effective outcomes; many people have gone through this experience that in many cases is frustrating. This is the case of students of 6th semester of International Business from Centro de Investigación Docencia yConsultoría Administrativa CIDCA; they have been studying English for 6 semesters and we would hope that their level of English could be classified as intermediate; the reality is quite different, most of them are not able to hold a conversation for more than five minutes although they have big troubles to build sentences in a coherent way; they ignore even the basic vocabulary and theirpronunciation skills do not help them in this process.

This is what we have observed in our students; they need to get an improvement but before this we need to know exactly the main features of their oral fluency and to achieve this, they will go through a series of activities that are eventually going to lead us know which are the exact characteristics of their fluency and in this way to yieldimprovement strategies to be implemented in future projects.

We want to know if the activities that will be implemented are really effective in this process and if in those kinds of communicative troubles, interactive techniques are a useful and valuable tool to encourage students to communicate with more accuracy and effectiveness.


Our today’s society demands more preparedprofessionals ready to face the every day more globalized world; the official language of this globalized world is English; for this reason, professionals must speak a good English, at least to have the ability to establish a communicative process, (understand and to be understood).

We pretend to help students getting an advance in the linguistic process they have carried out so far and to get a realand an effective help we need to have clear what is their speech like and to have this clear we are going to describe their oral fluency to discover the main characteristics of that fluency that in spite of an endless amount of troubles, presents some sparkles of accurateness that let them get certain communication.

This is precisely the reason why our research is important, we believe thatthis description process can be done; if students are implemented the right strategies, we will be able to discover the real characteristics of their speech; it does not matter if that description is not completely detailed because of the time; the important here is that the students object of our study feel they are

Conscious about the features of their oral fluency and that this fluency getscertain improvement if we compare it with the one they had at the beginning of our research; although they know that for their careers, (International Business) English is a downright strategy to perform different kinds of negotiations and affairs; it is not relevant for them to have a perfect mastering of structures and grammar, what they need is to get an effective communicative process using anacceptable level of English.


The Problem

Students of International Business from CIDCA University, present serious problems in many aspects concerning their oral fluency; there are flaws in pronunciation; big troubles in the knowledge of structures and grammar in general and some of them have difficulties to understand even a single sentence in L2.

At the beginning of ourresearch, what we wanted to do was to implement some strategies and activities to help them get a more effective communication; later we realized that this is a quite complex process that takes a long time and study; 5 or 6 activities designed to help them upgrade their oral expression are not enough to achieve this goal.

In the path we have walked so far in this research, we discovered that to...
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