Friday 30 October 2015
1:00pm Room 209, Gordon Greenwood Building (#32) 

Becoming a fluent speaker is a key goal for many second language learners and, indeed, is often crucial to further study and employment opportunities. For educators, too, developing fluent and accurate speech in students is often a top pedagogical target. Despite such attention, little is known about the construct of speaking proficiency and terms like ‘native-like’ remain unclear. In this talk, I provide an overview of various models of language proficiency. With reference to my own work, I discuss how speaking proficiency develops. The results of several studies show that speaking proficiency is best thought of a multidimensional skill in which different characteristics develop a differing rates. Fluency and are accuracy are important aspects of proficiency, but other aspects such as discoursal aspects are crucial. I conclude my talk with suggestions for further research, and note that work needs to maintain a focus on different aspects of proficiency at different levels of proficiency.