Evaluation of Secondary School Students' Writing Fluency Skills *

By Atasoy, Arzu; Temizkan, Mehmet | Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri, October 2016 | Go to article overview

Evaluation of Secondary School Students' Writing Fluency Skills *


Atasoy, Arzu, Temizkan, Mehmet, Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri


A work that expresses itself well has specific characteristics. Not only do such works includ proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, and syntax rules, their ideas are organized in a rational and cohesive manner (Demiray, 1973; Ertan, 1968; Kavcar & Kantemir, 1986). Complex, yet still understandable, sentence structures (Kavcar & Kantemir, 1986) and a multitude of vocabulary items are used in the text. A person with good expression skills organizes his/her text taking these characteristics into consideration, does have difficulty in organizing cohesive ideas, and does not waste much time writing. The more a person's writing level develops, the more his/her skill in fulfilling the requirements of written expression improves. This lays the groundwork for fluency.

The word fluent is defined as having the characteristic of being fluid, easily understood, readable, clear in terms of meaning, and being cohesive.Fluency is defined as being fluent, the characteristic of a word, writing, and expression's being fluent in the Turkish Dictionary (2005). According to Schmidt (1992), the words fluent and fluency have been generally used in a non-technical manner. We can state that the situation in question applies to us as well. We can describe a film that we have watched or a text that we have read as being fluent in daily language. Just as we can describe body movements or a psychomotor performance, like a dance, as being fluent based on body coordination, so can we describe language skills, like speaking, and reading, as being fluent depending on how well they convey the performer or speaker's intended message. When we say, "The last film I watched was so fluent that I couldn't understand where the time went," "It was such a fluent and absorbing book that I finished it right away," or "My friend speaks English very fluently," we actually touch upon some common characteristics related to the concept of fluency. Therefore, the word fluent has a very broad area of use, from how its used in daily language to how its used as an academic term. The common denominator of the concept of fluency includes such meanings as "being fluid, being cohesive, and not losing the characteristic of being whole."

Although fluency is used frequently in daily language, it varies in terms of its technical definition and how it is measured. This variability is also reflected in literature in which numerous perspectives have been formed about it. Researchers have stated that fluency is the amount obtained at a certain extent in a given time (Chenowith & Hayes, 2001; Lannin, 2007; Wolfe-Quintero & Kim, 1998) without putting in too much effort, without experiencing difficulties (Brand & Brand, 2006; Schmidt, 1992; Zutell & Rasinski, 1991), without stopping for a long time or being interrupted (Casanave, 2004; Fillmore, 1979; Shekan, 2009), and is related to the consistency and coherence of the created written or oral product (Fillmore, 1979; Lannin, 2007).

There is a close relationship with fluency and language skills. For instance, reading is a language skill closely related to fluency. According to researchers (Baçaran, 2003; Baçtug, 2012; Keskin, 2012; Kuhn, Schwanenflugel, & Meisinger, 2010; Rasinski, 1989), the criteria on which fluent reading is based are generally accuracy (word recognition), automaticity (speed), and prosody. According to Akyol (2006), fluent reading may be defined as that which is done while paying attention to punctuation marks, emphasis, and intonations, without needing to repetition sentences or words, without syllabication and unnecessary pauses, without paying attention to meaning units, and reading as if one were speaking. In line with this definition, we can say that fluent reading skill is related to both quantitative and qualitative measurements. In terms of quantity, fluent reading skills consist of the amount of words read per minute, while quality is related to accuracy and prosody.

Researchers (Ellis, 2009) have identified fluent reading skills as the number of repetitions made while speaking (Elder & Iwashita, 2005; Foster, 1996; Kawauchi, 1995) and the sounds, syllables, or words produced per minute (Gilabert, 2007; Mehnert, 1998; Mendel, 1997; Tavokoli & Shekan, 2005), the duration of pauses (Foster, 1996; Mehnert, 1998; Mendel, 1997; Tajima, 2003), and organizations (Elder & Iwashita, 2005; Guara -Tavares, 2008; Sangarun, 2005; Yuan & Ellis, 2003). …

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