Complexity, Accuracy, Fluency: A New Paradigm for Language Education and Cross-Cultural Communication


A complexity-accuracy-fluency triad has emerged as a dynamic L2 proficiency assessment tool in TESL/TEFL. This paper takes the position that this conceptualization and application overlooks the potential for complexity, accuracy and fluency to be organized and applied as a meta-linguistic communication model that, while guiding effective communication, also contributes to language development in an instructional paradigm. Language proficiency and effective communication, whether as L1 or L2, is multi-componential, manifest in the complexity of content, the accuracy of language and the fluency of communication. It is in the simultaneous regulation and variation of these three components that we provide for different combinations of concentration and focus on content, language and communication, respectively. This paper will define these three fundamental concepts independently and then consider them in combination, contrasting the normative ideal circumstance of high content complexity, high language accuracy and high communicative fluency with various scenarios that necessitate and accommodate different complexity-accuracy-fluency combinations. It is in this recognition of the variability of communication scenarios that both users and learners can better their communicative use of language, whether as L1 or L2, in its fullest capacity. While based in an EFL/TEFL environment (Japan), this paper will also speak to conference sub-themes of identity, both of L1 language speakers and L2 language learners, construction of knowledge, in understanding how knowledge is constructed both in its linguistic form and through communicative exchange, and transformation, in that it accepts the premise of ‘Englishes’ and cultural patterns of communication as factors in social and political development.

Author Information
Anthony S. Rausch, Hirosaki University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: NACE2014
Stream: Languages education and applied linguistics (ESL/TESL/TEFL)

This paper is part of the NACE2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon