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Language Fluency
How do we measure language fluency?
If you mention to somebody that you speak a foreign language the response often will be to ask that if you are fluent. But what is fluency?

This article considers that question.

Does it mean native-level proficiency or just the ability to converse at a level that a casual observer would regard as a fluent exchange?

In the article fluency is defined as how smoothly and efficiently a speaker can converse on a range of topics in real time. Whereas accuracy and grammatical range might not be critical in social settings, in business or academia these aspects are far more important.

And we're warned about assuming that we're better than we think because we're understood, as this can simply be because the native listener is able to edit out mistakes and might not correct us.

It appears that there are two measurable variables, speech rate and utterance length, expressed respectively in syllables per minute and how much is delivered between pauses.

A speaker needs to conceptualise what to say, formulate how to say it and articulate the appropriate sounds, all at a rate of around six syllables per second. For a second language speaker this is a real challenge, plus there is the need to overcome inhibition and pronunciation challenges. The bottom line is that achieving second language fluency is a colossal feat!

As you struggle to improve your second language proficiency this might provide you with a vindication of your innermost feelings.
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