I have to write a paper about accuracy and fluency in teaching English as a foreign language nowadays. Can you explain these concepts and their relevance in EFL? Where can I read more about this?

Expert Answers
eisigeyes eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Accuracy and fluency are part of the complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF) framework that is widely debated in the field of language acquisition and instruction. Each of these elements is considered a construct. Within theories, constructs are features or mechanisms that are abstractly defined. When we look at studying these constructs, we must somehow operationalize them (i.e., give them concrete elements to be measured). For example, if I was researching the construct "happiness," I would have to define it with some specific elements to study. I could look at (a) life satisfaction, (b) feelings toward family, (c) feelings toward work, (d) number of hobbies, or any other characteristics that could be measured and that I could make a case for as part of the overall happiness (construct) of a person or group.

Now, with accuracy and fluency, there are many different perspectives on how to operationalize these constructs and how effective those operationalizations have been in research. For a general overview of each of these constructs, their histories, and the researchers who influenced their study, you will want to look at Houston et al. (2009). This article and the provided resources below will give you everything you need to formulate and defend your paper on accuracy and fluency.


Alex Housen, Folkert Kuiken; Complexity, Accuracy, and Fluency in Second Language Acquisition, Applied Linguistics, Volume 30, Issue 4, 1 December 2009, Pages 461–473, https://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amp048

ninaannarmstrong | Student

Accuracy simply refers to the accuracy in the language used by the person learning the foreign language. For test taking purposes there is a standard of education that is expected in regards to vocabulary and grammar. A deviation from this is considered an error. Proper spelling and grammar that match what the educational standards consider proper English would be considered accurate. 

Fluency is defined as how the non-native speaker uses vocabulary and expressions, figures of speech, etc. The more accurately a non-native speaker uses terms, the higher their fluency is believed to be. "Eloquence" is key in deciding the fluency of a speaker. 




^ This is actually a really interesting read. Really suggest taking a look at it.