Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2215-1478
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1486
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The present study investigates the use of filled pauses in the by 1,244 learners/second-language speakers of English at different proficiency levels (viz. B1-C2) from six different mother-tongue backgrounds, including speech communities in which English is spoken as a Foreign language (Italy, Mexico, Russia and Spain) and two speech communities where English is spoken as a second language (China/Hong Kong, India). Apart from the speakers’ country of origin and their proficiency levels, other learning context variables gathered from the learner profiles of the corpus sample are also taken into consideration. The study revealed that, while the number of filled pauses is indeed significantly different across proficiency levels, other learning context variables, such as the country of origin, the age of acquisition or the examiners’ experience turn out to have a much stronger effect on the learners’/speakers’ use of filled pauses. These findings are discussed with regard to their implications for learner corpus research in general, as well as the relevance of including such performance phenomena in current descriptor scales such as the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages in particular.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): filled pauses; fluency; learning context; proficiency
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