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Book: Comprehensibility in Language Assessment

Chapter: Comprehensibility and Fluency

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.41101


The chapter’s main aim is to discuss the relationship between fluency and comprehensibility. After defining the construct of fluency in terms of cognitive, perceived and utterance fluency (Segalowitz, 2010; Tavakoli & Wright, 2020) and measureable features of speed, breakdown and repair fluency (Skehan, 2003, Tavakoli, et al., 2020), the chapter discusses in what ways these features of speech affect comprehensibility. More specifically, the chapter will discuss the effects of fluency on listeners and their judgements. By providing examples of how these different features of fluency are represented in rating descriptors of different language tests, the chapter will argue that the relationship between fluency and comprehensibility is not clearly represented in rating descriptors and rating materials.

Chapter Contributors

  • Parvaneh Tavakoli ( - parvaneh) 'University of Reading'
  • Sheryl Cooke ( - scooke) 'British Council'