'pacing' and 'spacing' as predictors of difficulty in speaking and understanding English

R Vanderplank

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The author argues that while the re-kindling of interest in the real-time factors of syllables or words per minute as a measure of difficulty is to be welcomed, this approach is not wholly satisfactory as it ignores the influence of stress and rhythmic patterning in determining level of difficulty. When a group of advanced-level learners of English was asked to transcribe and mimic Margaret Thatcher being interviewed, it was found that the best indicators of the difficulties they encountered were the 'pacing', that is the tempo at which stressed words were spoken and the 'spacing', that is the proportion of stressed words to the total. The findings also suggested that the notion of 'isochrony' or equal stress timing has a useful psychological reality for advanced-level learners and that rates of 'pacing' may offer a means of grading passages of spoken English more accurately than words or syllables per minute.1 © 1993 Oxford University Press.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)117-125
    Number of pages9
    JournalELT Journal
    Volume47
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 1993

    Fingerprint

    speaking
    time factor
    grading
    Group

    Cite this

    @article{a6c37b8e09704b2f90927b0eff27c28a,
    title = "'pacing' and 'spacing' as predictors of difficulty in speaking and understanding English",
    abstract = "The author argues that while the re-kindling of interest in the real-time factors of syllables or words per minute as a measure of difficulty is to be welcomed, this approach is not wholly satisfactory as it ignores the influence of stress and rhythmic patterning in determining level of difficulty. When a group of advanced-level learners of English was asked to transcribe and mimic Margaret Thatcher being interviewed, it was found that the best indicators of the difficulties they encountered were the 'pacing', that is the tempo at which stressed words were spoken and the 'spacing', that is the proportion of stressed words to the total. The findings also suggested that the notion of 'isochrony' or equal stress timing has a useful psychological reality for advanced-level learners and that rates of 'pacing' may offer a means of grading passages of spoken English more accurately than words or syllables per minute.1 {\circledC} 1993 Oxford University Press.",
    author = "R Vanderplank",
    year = "1993",
    month = "4",
    doi = "10.1093/elt/47.2.117",
    language = "English",
    volume = "47",
    pages = "117--125",
    journal = "ELT Journal",
    issn = "0951-0893",
    publisher = "Oxford University Press",
    number = "2",

    }

    'pacing' and 'spacing' as predictors of difficulty in speaking and understanding English. / Vanderplank, R.

    In: ELT Journal, Vol. 47, No. 2, 04.1993, p. 117-125.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - 'pacing' and 'spacing' as predictors of difficulty in speaking and understanding English

    AU - Vanderplank, R

    PY - 1993/4

    Y1 - 1993/4

    N2 - The author argues that while the re-kindling of interest in the real-time factors of syllables or words per minute as a measure of difficulty is to be welcomed, this approach is not wholly satisfactory as it ignores the influence of stress and rhythmic patterning in determining level of difficulty. When a group of advanced-level learners of English was asked to transcribe and mimic Margaret Thatcher being interviewed, it was found that the best indicators of the difficulties they encountered were the 'pacing', that is the tempo at which stressed words were spoken and the 'spacing', that is the proportion of stressed words to the total. The findings also suggested that the notion of 'isochrony' or equal stress timing has a useful psychological reality for advanced-level learners and that rates of 'pacing' may offer a means of grading passages of spoken English more accurately than words or syllables per minute.1 © 1993 Oxford University Press.

    AB - The author argues that while the re-kindling of interest in the real-time factors of syllables or words per minute as a measure of difficulty is to be welcomed, this approach is not wholly satisfactory as it ignores the influence of stress and rhythmic patterning in determining level of difficulty. When a group of advanced-level learners of English was asked to transcribe and mimic Margaret Thatcher being interviewed, it was found that the best indicators of the difficulties they encountered were the 'pacing', that is the tempo at which stressed words were spoken and the 'spacing', that is the proportion of stressed words to the total. The findings also suggested that the notion of 'isochrony' or equal stress timing has a useful psychological reality for advanced-level learners and that rates of 'pacing' may offer a means of grading passages of spoken English more accurately than words or syllables per minute.1 © 1993 Oxford University Press.

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=2342468927&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1093/elt/47.2.117

    DO - 10.1093/elt/47.2.117

    M3 - Article

    VL - 47

    SP - 117

    EP - 125

    JO - ELT Journal

    JF - ELT Journal

    SN - 0951-0893

    IS - 2

    ER -