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 Foreign Language
Success Strategies

First Edition, Volume I: August 2006  

Part I - Study Skills and Strategies

Oral Production Development

Many language learners regard speaking ability as the measure of knowing a language. These learners define fluency as the ability to converse with others, much more than the ability to read, write, or comprehend oral language. They regard speaking as the most important skill they can acquire, and they assess their progress in terms of their accomplishments in spoken communication.

Language learners need to recognize that speaking involves three areas of knowledge:

• Mechanics (pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary): Using the right words in the right order with the correct pronunciation

• Functions (transaction and interaction): Knowing when clarity of message is essential (transaction/information exchange) and when precise understanding is not required (interaction/relationship building)

• Social and cultural rules and norms (turn-taking, rate of speech, length of pauses between speakers, relative roles of participants): Understanding how to take into account who is speaking to whom, in what circumstances, about what, and for what reason.

Strategies for Developing Speaking Skills

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