Pausing as and Indicator of Fluency in the Russian of Finnish Learners.
Ullakonoja, Riikka. 2008. Pausing as an Indicator of Fluency in the Russian of Finnish Learners. In: Barbosa, Plinio A., Madureira, Sandra, Reis, César (eds.) Proceedings of the Speech Prosody 2008 Conference, Campinas, Brazil, p. 339-342.
Previous research shows that pausing and disfluencies are common in non-native speech. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between fluency and pausing in Russian read-aloud speech of 12 Finnish university students and examine their fluency development during a 3.5-month study-period in Russia. To assess fluency, 30 Russian teachers rated the students’ speech samples (on a 1–5 scale). The samples were then analysed perceptually and acoustically for pause frequency, duration and placement. Results show that pausing can be an indicator of foreign language fluency and that most students develop considerably in their Russian readaloud fluency during their stay in Russia. Hence, when teaching students to read aloud in a foreign language, pausing should be emphasized as a way to become a fluent reader.