By Jennifer Chow
What is more important – accuracy or fluency? Although this question seems to be as tough to answer as the nature vs. nurture debate, Friday’s special daytime #LINCchat discussion explored this topic.
Our moderators, Nathan Hall (@bcteal) and Svetlana Lupasco (@StanzaSL), led a small and intimate group of regular #LINCchat participants in a robust discussion that touched on topics such as the importance of fluency and accuracy in speaking and writing, finding balance between the two, successful activities that develop these skills, error correction and more.
#LINCchat participants started off with a question about the importance of fluency and accuracy. While most agreed it was difficult to choose one over the other, Catherine (@CatherineEbert2) and Shawna (@ShawnaWiKo) tweeted about how having students focus on fluency first allows for errors, which could be followed up with a lesson on accuracy. This led to a general consensus that giving more time to fluency could lead to more informed teaching of accuracy. As Nathan noted, knowing when to emphasize one over the other is a balancing act.
Finding that balance is tricky because while Catherine’s suggestion about letting students know it is okay to slow down and focus on accuracy is important, Shawna and Augusta’s tweet that overcorrection can impede fluency is also valid. Perhaps Nathan’s comment about raising students’ awareness of what to focus on and why it is important to focus on that, whether it is accuracy or fluency says it best. Helping students focus on what they need requires corrective feedback. Great ideas for error-correction included self-correcting (@CatherineEbert2), correcting only errors impeding communication, making note of others to address later (@nathanghall), peer-correction, and giving students “expert” responsibilities for certain language features (@AugustaAvram).
As always, #LINCchat is not only about dynamic discussion. Another benefit from this chat is the resources shared by all.
Fluency Activities and Resources
Activities and Resources for Accuracy Development
If this summary only whet your appetite, follow the complete discussion here.
New to #LINCchat? If you have never participated in a chat before, go to www.lincchat.ca for more information. #LINCchat occurs every other Tuesday, with the occasional Friday. Our next #LINCchat will be on April 18th. Feel free to use the hashtag between chats to share thoughts and links with others. Hope to “see” you on April 18th!
Jennifer has been teaching in the LINC Program for more than 10 years. She loves using Twitter to stay connected as a mother, an educator and an active citizen.