Everything You Thought You Knew About Language Fluency Is Wrong And Here's Why (Video)

  • Donovan Nagel
    Written byDonovan Nagel
  • Read time1 mins
  • Comments6

Everyone interprets the word fluent differently.

In fact it’s probably the most misused and misunderstood word in language learning discussion. It’s an easy word to use but very hard for most people to define if you ask them to!

Today I want to explain what fluency is and what it isn’t (which I believe differs to what a lot of other people say) and also build on a few points I’ve made in the past.

And since I’ve been working so tirelessly lately on my big Arabic project I thought I’d give my fingers a break from typing and post a video for a change. 🙂

Share your thoughts below and help continue the discussion by sharing this post (or the video) on Facebook, Twitter and Reddit.

Grazie mille!

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Donovan Nagel
Donovan Nagel - B. Th, MA AppLing
I'm an Applied Linguistics graduate, teacher and translator with a passion for language learning (especially Arabic).
Currently learning: Greek


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I agree wholeheartedly its not just about either fluent or not, its a matter of how fluent. Another concept I think should be included in the discourse surrounding fluency is topical fluency. A language learner can get extremely fluent in topics that they often deal with e.g. asking for directions, ordering at a restaurant, or telling people about their likes and dislikes, but when the topic of conversation switches to something they are not used to speaking about such as politics or art their ability to speak fluently screams to a half.

I often find that I am able to impress people with how quickly and smooth sounding I can speak about some topics. However when the conversation topic extends out of my range I start faltering pretty quickly.

Good video!

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