Investigating Effects of a Closely Linked Four-Skills Approach on English Speaking Fluency Development

Sakae Onoda .


This paper presents the results of an investigation into
the effects of a teaching approach that integrates the four skills
based on linked-skills tasks, i.e., an approach that employs a
sequence of tasks based on the same text but using different
language skills, on English fluency in Japanese university
classrooms. Students were instructed to watch an easy news clip,
then read the text, answer comprehension questions, write a
summary and reaction, and speak about it to a few partners. The
teaching procedure includes such fluency-enhancing elements as
recycling and deep processing of vocabulary (i.e., using words in
multiple contexts), using formulaic sequences, and
automatization. Participants in this study were second-year
upper-intermediate level English majors taking a Media English
course. Classes met twice a week for the academic year.
Quantitative data were gathered from tests administered at the
beginning and at the end of the year. Speaking fluency was
measured using an interview test that assessed the rate of speech
and a standard college speaking test. Results showed that
speaking fluency significantly improved as measured by both
tests, thus lending support to the adaptation of a skills-integrated
teaching approach.


automatization; speaking fluency; a linked fourskills teaching approach; formulaic sequences

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