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Filed UnderEnglish fluency

How to define fluency in English?

August 6, 2021 , by Dr Julian Northbrook

A lot of people have this preconceived notion that fluency is a single thing – either you have it or you don’t.

But that’s not actually true.

And, you know, when you say fluency (the technical, scientific sense of the word), what you actually mean to say is ‘proficiency’ instead.

See, fluency (spoken fluency) has 5 elements.

These are:

  1. Encoding (how you learned those chunks and store them in long-term memory).
  2. Organisation (how well you organise that information into networks of English in your brain).
  3. Motor skills (the physical aspect of fluency).
  4. Activation (how awake your English is).
  5. Cognitive load (everything else that’s happening in your brain, i.e., if you’re nervous, this will reduce your English ability).

So, if you want to speak English fluently, you’ll need all five of these elements to work nicely together.

I can help with this if you like, and a good place to start is with the free guide I created that shows you how to be fluent in English.

Dr Julian Northbrook

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