Not long ago, I was asked to give a presentation on developing fluency. I thought of several formulations of fluency: speed, facility, capacity… and then came back to one used by Paul Nation, ‘using what you already know’.
So I put together this presentation based on ‘using what the learner already knows’, that is, about himself or herself, about passions, goals, … that’s what the learner already knows, so a fluency approach can start there!
I structured this presentation around the notion of assessment, as all teachers understand that there needs to be some benchmark for progress. Many assessment scales now include ‘fluency’, giving it equal weight to ‘accuracy’ and ‘complexity’. I’ve advocated adding two interrelated categories:
‘communicative effect’ – the overall impact of the communication ‘event’ – and ‘presence’ – the sense of ‘knowing’ the speaker. This last category needs some ‘elaboration’, but I’m sure it’s the right concept!