Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2666-1748
  • E-ISSN: 2666-1756
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Studies of L2 oral task performance report fluency as critical for functional adequacy, with pausing behaviors emerging as strong predictors of functionally adequate speech. The present study investigated the extent to which the type and location of pausing is related to functional adequacy. Oral performances on two tasks by 40 L2 speakers of English at four proficiency levels were rated on a functional adequacy scale and analyzed for type of pausing, silent and filled at mid- or end-clause location. The study found significant relationships between functional adequacy and the frequency of end-clause pauses in L2 speech. We interpreted this finding as suggesting that breakdowns in message conceptualization play a role in how the functional adequacy of L2 speech is construed by the listeners.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Boersma, P., & Weenink, D.
    (2007) PRAAT doing phonetics by computer (Version 5.2.34) [Computer software]. www.fon.hum.uva.nl/praat/
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bosker, H. R., Quené, H., Sanders, T., & De Jong, N. H.
    (2014) Native ’um’s elicit prediction of low-frequency referents, but non-native ’um’s do not. Journal of Memory and Language, 75, 104–116. 10.1016/j.jml.2014.05.004
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jml.2014.05.004 [Google Scholar]
  3. Bridgeman, B., Powers, D., Stone, E., & Mollaun, P.
    (2012) TOEFL iBT speaking test scores as indicators of oral communicative language proficiency. Language Testing, 29(1), 91–108. 10.1177/0265532211411078
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532211411078 [Google Scholar]
  4. Brown, J. D., Hudson, T., Norris, J., & Bonk, W.
    (2002) An investigation of second language task-based performance assessments. Technical Report No. 24. University of Hawaii, Second Language Teaching & Curriculum Center.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Butterworth, B.
    (1975) Hesitation and semantic planning in speech. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 4, 75–87. 10.1007/BF01066991
    https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01066991 [Google Scholar]
  6. Bygate, M.
    (2018) Learning language through task repetition. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tblt.11
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tblt.11 [Google Scholar]
  7. Clark, H.
    (2002) Speaking in time. Speech Communication, 36(1–2), 5–13. 10.1016/S0167‑6393(01)00022‑X
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0167-6393(01)00022-X [Google Scholar]
  8. Clark, H., & Fox Tree, J.
    (2002) Using ‘uh’ and ‘um’ in spontaneous speaking. Cognition, 84, 73–111. 10.1016/S0010‑0277(02)00017‑3
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0010-0277(02)00017-3 [Google Scholar]
  9. Davies, A.
    (2003) Native speaker: Myth and reality. Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. De Johnson, T., O’Connell, D., & Sabin, E.
    (1979) Temporal analysis of English and Spanish narratives. Bulletin of the Psychonomic Society, 13(6), 347–350. 10.3758/BF03336891
    https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03336891 [Google Scholar]
  11. De Jong, N.
    (2016) Predicting pauses in L1 and L2 speech: The effects of utterance boundaries and word frequency. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 54(2), 113–132. 10.1515/iral‑2016‑9993
    https://doi.org/10.1515/iral-2016-9993 [Google Scholar]
  12. (2018) Fluency in second language testing: Insights from different disciplines. Language Assessment Quarterly, 15(3), 237–254. 10.1080/15434303.2018.1477780
    https://doi.org/10.1080/15434303.2018.1477780 [Google Scholar]
  13. De Jong, N., & Mora, J.
    (2019) Does having good articulatory skills lead to more fluent speech in first and second languages?Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 41(1), 227–239. 10.1017/S0272263117000389
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263117000389 [Google Scholar]
  14. De Jong, N., Groenhout, R., Schoonen, R., & Hulstijn, J.
    (2015) Second language fluency: speaking style or proficiency? Correcting measures of second language fluency for first language behavior. Applied Psycholinguistics, 36(2), 223–243. 10.1017/S0142716413000210
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716413000210 [Google Scholar]
  15. De Jong, N., Steinel, M. P., Florijn, A. F., Schoonen, R., & Hulstijn, J.
    (2012a) The effect of task complexity on functional adequacy, fluency and lexical diversity in speaking performances of native and non-native speakers. InA. Housen, F. Kuiken, & I. Vedder (Eds.), Dimensions of L2 performance and proficiency. Complexity, accuracy and fluency in SLA (pp. 121–142). John Benjamins. 10.1075/lllt.32.06jon
    https://doi.org/10.1075/lllt.32.06jon [Google Scholar]
  16. (2012b) Facets of speaking proficiency. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 34(1), 5–34. 10.1017/S0272263111000489
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263111000489 [Google Scholar]
  17. De Jong, N., Steinel, M., Florijn, A., Schoonen, R., & Hulstijn, J.
    (2013) ‘Linguistic skills and speaking fluency in a second language.’ Applied Psycholinguistics34(5), 893–916. 10.1017/S0142716412000069
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0142716412000069 [Google Scholar]
  18. Derwing, T., Munro, M., Thomson, R., & Rossiter, M.
    (2009) The relationship between L1 fluency and L2 fluency development. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 31(4), 533–557. 10.1017/S0272263109990015
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263109990015 [Google Scholar]
  19. Duran-Karaoz, Z., & Tavakoli, P.
    (2020) Predicting L2 fluency from L1 fluency behavior: The case of L1 Turkish and L2 English speakers. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 42(4), 671–695. 10.1017/S0272263119000755
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263119000755 [Google Scholar]
  20. Ekiert, M., Lampropoulou, S., Révész, A., & Torgersen, E.
    (2018) The effects of task type and L2 proficiency on discourse appropriacy in oral task performance. InN. Taguchi & Y-J. Kim (Eds.), Task-based approaches to assessing pragmatics (pp. 247–264). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/tblt.10.10eki
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tblt.10.10eki [Google Scholar]
  21. Ellis, R.
    (2003) Task-based language learning and teaching. Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Field, J.
    (2011) Cognitive validity. InL. Taylor (Ed.), Examining speaking: Research and practice in assessing second language speaking (pp. 65–111). Cambridge University Press. 10.1080/15434303.2013.769555
    https://doi.org/10.1080/15434303.2013.769555 [Google Scholar]
  23. Fillmore, C.
    (1979) On fluency. InC. Fillmore, D. Kemple, & W. Wang (Eds.), Individual differences in language ability and language behavior (pp. 85–101). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. 10.1016/B978‑0‑12‑255950‑1.50012‑3
    https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-255950-1.50012-3 [Google Scholar]
  24. Goldman-Eisler, F.
    (1968) Psycholinguistics; Experiments in spontaneous speech. Academic Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Halenko, N., & Winder, L.
    (2021) Examining academic email requests to faculty and developmental change during study abroad. InM. Economidou-Kogetsidis, M. Savi, & N. Halenko (Eds.). Email pragmatics and second language learners (pp. 101–126). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/pbns.328.04hal
    https://doi.org/10.1075/pbns.328.04hal [Google Scholar]
  26. Kahng, J.
    (2014) Exploring utterance and cognitive fluency of L1 and L2 English speakers: Temporal measures and stimulated recall. Language Learning, 64(4), 809–854. 10.1111/lang.12084
    https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12084 [Google Scholar]
  27. Kim, H.-J.
    (2006) Providing validity evidence for a speaking test using FACETS. Teachers College Columbia University Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics6/1. 10.7916/D8V69J4P
    https://doi.org/10.7916/D8V69J4P [Google Scholar]
  28. Kormos, J.
    (2006) Speech production and L2 acquisition. Lawrence Erlbaum. 10.1016/j.system.2008.12.003
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2008.12.003 [Google Scholar]
  29. Kuiken, F., & Vedder, I.
    (2014) Rating written performance: What do raters do and why?Language Testing, 31(3), 329–348. 10.1177/0265532214526174
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532214526174 [Google Scholar]
  30. Kuiken, & Vedder, I.
    (2017) Functional adequacy in L2 writing: Towards a new rating scale. Language Testing, 34(3), 321–336. 10.1177/0265532216663991
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532216663991 [Google Scholar]
  31. Kuiken, F., & Vedder, I.
    (2018) Assessing functional adequacy of L2 performance in a task-based approach. InN. Taguchi & Y-J. Kim (Eds.), Task-based approaches to assessing pragmatics (pp. 265–286). John Benjamins. 10.1075/tblt.10.11kui
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tblt.10.11kui [Google Scholar]
  32. (2019) From CAF to CAFFA: Measuring linguistic performance and functional adequacy in task-based language teaching. Plenary speech delivered atTask-Based Language Teaching Conference, Ottawa, Canada.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Kuiken, F., Vedder, I., & Gilabert, R.
    (2010) Communicative adequacy and linguistic complexity in L2 writing. InI. Bartning, M. Martin & I. Vedder (Eds.) Communicative proficiency and linguistic development: Intersections between SLA and language testing research (pp. 81–100). Eurosla Monographs Series 1. European Second Language Association.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Lambert, C., & Kormos, J.
    (2014) Complexity, accuracy, and fluency in task-based L2 research: Toward more developmentally based measures of second language acquisition. Applied Linguistics, 35(5), 607–614. 10.1093/applin/amu047
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amu047 [Google Scholar]
  35. Lambert, C., Kormos, J., & Minn, D.
    (2017) Task repetition and second language speech processing. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 39(1), 167–196. 10.1017/S0272263116000085
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263116000085 [Google Scholar]
  36. Lennon, P.
    (1990) Investigating fluency in EFL: A quantitative approach. Language Learning, 40(3), 387–417. 10.1111/j.1467‑1770.1990.tb00669.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-1770.1990.tb00669.x [Google Scholar]
  37. Levelt, W.
    (1989) Speaking. MIT Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Levelt, W., Roelofs, A., & Meyer, A.
    (1999) A theory of lexical access in speech production. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22(1), 1–37. 10.1017/S0140525X99001776
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X99001776 [Google Scholar]
  39. Linacre, M.
    (2002) Optimizing rating scale category effectiveness. Journal of Applied Measurement, 3(1), 85–106. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11997586/
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Pallotti, G.
    (2009) CAF: Defining, refining and differentiating constructs. Applied Linguistics, 30(4), 590–601. 10.1093/applin/amp045
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amp045 [Google Scholar]
  41. (2019) Assessing tasks: The case of interactional difficulty. Applied Linguistics (40)1, 176–197. 10.1093/applin/amx020
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amx020 [Google Scholar]
  42. Pollitt, A., & Hutchinson, C.
    (1987) Calibrated graded assessment: Rasch partial credit analysis of performance in writing. Language Testing, 4(1), 72–92. 10.1177/026553228700400107
    https://doi.org/10.1177/026553228700400107 [Google Scholar]
  43. Purpura, J.
    (2004) Assessing grammar. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511733086
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511733086 [Google Scholar]
  44. Rasch, G.
    (1960) Probabilistic models for some intelligence and attainment tests. Danish Institute of Educational Research.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Révész, A., Ekiert, M., & Torgersen, E.
    (2016) The effects of complexity, accuracy and fluency on communicative adequacy in oral task performance. Applied Linguistics, 37(6), 828–848. 10.1093/applin/amu069
    https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amu069 [Google Scholar]
  46. Riazantseva, A.
    (2001) Second language proficiency and pausing: A study of Russian speakers of English. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 23(4), 497–526. 10.1017/S027226310100403X
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S027226310100403X [Google Scholar]
  47. Schmid, M., & Beers Fägersten, K.
    (2010) Disfluency markers in L1 attrition. Language Learning, 60(4), 753–791. 10.1111/j.1467‑9922.2010.00575.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9922.2010.00575.x [Google Scholar]
  48. Schmidgall, J., & Powers, D. E.
    (2021) Predicting communicative effectiveness in the international workplace: Support for TOEIC® Speaking test scores from linguistic laypersons. Language Testing, 38(2), 302–325. 10.1177/0265532220941803
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0265532220941803 [Google Scholar]
  49. Searle, J.
    (1979) Expression and meaning: Studies in the theory of speech acts. Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511609213
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511609213 [Google Scholar]
  50. Segalowitz, N.
    (2010) Cognitive bases of second language fluency. Routledge. 10.4324/9780203851357
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203851357 [Google Scholar]
  51. (2016) Second language fluency and its underlying cognitive and social determinants. IRAL, 54(2), 79–96. 10.1515/iral‑2016‑9991
    https://doi.org/10.1515/iral-2016-9991 [Google Scholar]
  52. Skehan, P.
    (1998) A cognitive approach to language learning. Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Skehan, P., Xiaoyue, B., Quian, L., & Wang, Z.
    (2012) The task is not enough: Processing approaches to task-based performance. Language Teaching Research, 16(2), 170–187. 10.1177/1362168811428414
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168811428414 [Google Scholar]
  54. Suzuki, S., Kormos, J., & Uchihara, T.
    (2021) The relationship between utterance and perceived fluency: A meta-analysis of correlational studies. Modern Language Journal, 105(2), 435–463. 10.1111/modl.12706
    https://doi.org/10.1111/modl.12706 [Google Scholar]
  55. Swerts, M.
    (1998) Filled pauses as markers of discourse structure. Journal of Pragmatics, 30, 485–496. 10.1016/S0378‑2166(98)00014‑9
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0378-2166(98)00014-9 [Google Scholar]
  56. Tankó, G.
    (2005) Into Europe: The writing handbook. Teleki La´szló Foundation.
    [Google Scholar]
  57. Tavakoli, P.
    (2011) Pausing patterns: Differences between L2 learners and native speakers. ELT Journal, 65(1), 71–79. 10.1093/elt/ccq020
    https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccq020 [Google Scholar]
  58. Tavakoli, P., Nakatsuhara, F. & Hunter, A-M.
    (2017) Scoring validity of the APTIS speaking test: Investigating fluency across tasks and levels of proficiency. British Council. https://www.britishcouncil.org/sites/default/files/tavakoli_et_al_layout.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  59. Watanabe, M., Hirose, K., Den, Y., & Minematsu, N.
    (2008) Filled pauses as cues to the complexity of upcoming phrases for native and non-native listeners. Speech Communication, 50, 81–94. 10.1016/j.specom.2007.06.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.specom.2007.06.002 [Google Scholar]
  60. Wu, J., & Roever, C.
    (2021) Proficiency and preference organization in second language Mandarin Chinese refusals. The Modern Language Journal, 105, 897–918. 10.1111/modl.12736
    https://doi.org/10.1111/modl.12736 [Google Scholar]
  61. Young, R.
    (2011) Interactional competence in language learning, teaching, and testing. InE. Hinkel (Ed.), Handbook of research in second language teaching and learning (pp. 426–443). London: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203836507.ch26
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203836507.ch26 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): breakdown fluency; filled pausing; functional adequacy; rating scale; silent pausing; task
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error