How verb conjugation drills can enhance oral and written fluency. A skill-building perspective

Drilio – defnydd pwrpasol at ddiben penodol.

The Language Gym

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It sounds like a paradox, right? It goes against everything you have been taught on your teacher training course, doesn’t it? How can grammar drills ever improve fluency? It’s learning grammar by rote! It’s what language teachers used to do in the 50’s!

In actual fact, as I shall argue below, verb conjugation drills can indeed enhance the ease and speed at which L2 learners produce spoken and written output. To understand why, let us look at how L2 output is produced.

How L2 output is produced

Every time an individual produces linguistic output, they will have to translate the idea / message they are trying to convey (or proposition, as cognitive psychologist call it) into language. This process happens at very high speed with native speakers (Anderson, 2000). However, with novice target language speakers the process is much slower, especially when they are producing complex sentences which pose…

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