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Understanding second language fluency behavior: The effects of individual differences in first language fluency, cross-linguistic differences, and proficiency over time


This study examined the extent to which first language (L1) fluency behavior, cross-linguistic differences, and proficiency can predict second language (L2) fluency behavior over time. English L1 Spanish (n = 24) and French (n = 25) majors completed a picture-based oral narrative in the L2 before and after 5 months residing abroad and later in the L1 after returning home. Data were coded for seven measures of speed, breakdown, and repair fluency. The results from multiple regressions indicated that L1 fluency behavior, cross-linguistic differences, and proficiency differentially contributed to explaining L2 fluency behavior prior to and during immersion. These findings suggest that when investigating L1–L2 fluency relationships considerations of mitigating factors such as cross-linguistic differences are necessary, and it is worthwhile to focus on how the contributions of these factors shift during development.

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ADDRESS FOR CORRESPONDENCE Amanda Huensch, Department of World Languages, University of South Florida, 4202 East Fowler Avenue, CPR 107, Tampa, FL 33620. E-mail:
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Applied Psycholinguistics
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