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  • Writer's pictureFrank Doogan

Why is spoken fluency your secret advantage?

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

AI and human reading and writing

If you read an item in any language, and you're not completely sure what it is, you can put it into an AI system and ask for a summary or clarification. Easy.

If you listen to something in any language, you can do the same thing and get the same result in terms of your understanding. Easy.

If you wish to write in any language you can write it in your mother tongue and after writing it you can have high quality translation through the available translation apps. Easy.

AI makes your competitive advantage in reading/listening/writing very low. Everyone can put listening reading and writing into AI systems and get high quality results.

Why you need spoken fluency

However, if you are in an academic, or personal, or work, or business environment, and you need to talk to people and establish good relationships then AI is not going to help. It may in fact be a disadvantage if there is a big disconnect between your listening/reading/writing skill-sets in English and your spoken fluency. People will find it disturbing if they expect your competence to be at a particular level and it's significantly lower.

And of course, if you go to school or a tutorial centre you will find that most tutors do not know how to develop spoken fluency. They will do a reasonable job around developing general language skills, but as a general rule they don't have the native English skill-set at an international standard, or awareness of the pedagogy that's necessary to develop spoken fluency.

If you get an opportunity to develop fluency guided by exceptional tutors you will discover that your ability to decode both the sound and the meaning of what other people are saying is increased very significantly. If you have developed keen acuity when it comes to understanding what other people are saying then you can not only produce wonderful language in reply but you can also target their meaning very closely. Gaining high level spoken fluency is hard.

Spoken fluency is personal, not AI driven

As I have mentioned in a previous post, people generally measure fluency by simple things like how long it takes you to respond, how clear your meaning is, and how fast you talk.

The most significant part, which is not recognized, is how much effort a person who's listening to you has to put in to figure out what you're saying. If it takes mental bandwidth to figure our what you really mean, that person will need to be naturally very patient to want to continue. In an academic, work, or personal world people may not necessarily be that patient.

What makes fluency important?

If your listener finds it challenging in terms of clearly hearing what you're saying (possibly affected by accent, word stress, vowel or consonant sounds, intonation patterns, or other mother-tongue influences) then you will have issues that affect your relationship with your fellow workers, or academics, or friends.

What is seldom understood is that spoken fluency in English derives in the first instance from exceptional listening which requires real time decoding of what you are hearing, and how to teach this is something most schools are not equipped to do.

While you can use an AI exchange that pauses for translation this is much less effective in terms of interpersonal outcome then a conversational exchange that is easy for both partners.

In summary, while your reading, writing, and listening skills can take big steps through AI, your spoken fluency will be the biggest determiner of how successful in terms of relationships you are in your workplace now and in the future.

If you want to develop exceptional fluency you may wish to check our website or contact us.

MyIT is owned and run by Train The Teacher Ltd (2008) WhatsApp/Signal/Line/Telegram +852 92791395 Trinity CertTESOL courses internationally Train The Teacher TESOL courses internationally 2016, 2017, 2018 teacher trainers for Cambridge YLE Exams at British Council (HK) GESE Online Training internationally School Online Teaching internationally Authors of IELTS books for Band 5 and Band 7 Authors of six book series on Trinity College London GESE exams

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