language proficiency

The 4 Areas of Fluency

Fluency is an essential part of language, whether you are writing, reading, speaking, or listening because it helps to ensure that the message being sent and the message being received is the same.  Language fluency, which is sometimes called language proficiency, applies to each of these four areas independently and collectively. A person can be fluent speaking a language, but not fluent reading it.


Reading fluency is highly useful because the only messages you will receive are the words you read.  There is no clarification that can be provided for a sign that you read on the side of the road while driving, when reading news articles in a local newspaper or on the internet unless you take the time to do extra research.  It is important to be a fluent reader because it allows you to decode the messages you read and actually understand them.

Some factors that affect your reading fluency are the amount of words you can read per minute as well as the ability to read with expression.  You can improve your reading fluency by watching TV shows or movies with subtitles on so you can hear the speech as well as read the text.  This will help to increase your reading speed and expand your vocabulary.

language proficiency The 4 Areas of Fluency The 4 Areas of Fluency language proficiency


Fluency in speech does not necessarily mean you need a huge vocabulary.  It actually refers to how error free your speech is in terms of grammar and sentence formation.  Whether you have a very expansive vocabulary or a limited vocabulary, the essence of fluency in speech shows that you can accurately convey your message without error.

Speaking fluency also takes into account not only grammar but phrasal and idiomatic language.  The best way to learn these aspects of any language is to watch television shows or movies in the language which you are using.  They are not always a part of formal language but are commonly understood through popular use.

Listening fluency

The average person has a somewhat limited vocabulary and so listening fluency does not necessarily have a direct link to the size of your vocabulary.  Listening fluency also deals with your ability to understand the words and phrases being used as well as the meaning or message being portrayed by the speaker.

If you work in an office or tend to interact with people a lot at work or in general, you should practice your listening skills by having conversations, listening to the radio, watching movies, and listening to music in the language you use.

Writing fluency

Writing fluency is perhaps one of the most complicated aspects of fluency because it requires a mastery of grammar, vocabulary, structure, and spelling.  Writing is difficult because it demands accuracy and careful selection of vocabulary to convey the right message.  Written language is often different than spoken language because of the sparse use of phrasal and idiomatic language.  Written language tends to be more formal and adhere to all the proper rules of the language being used.  It is important to polish your writing skills if you use them often and if you read a lot because it will help you to analyze anything you read.

Lost in Translation

Translation from one language to another can be difficult because of the specific syntax and grammar requirements of foreign languages.  If, for example, you were translating from English to Spanish, the verb and subject would switch places in most cases.  In many instances, people can be quite fluent in some areas of both the languages; however, they may not have the necessary skills to write, read, or understand technical or legal documents in a foreign language.  This is when it is a great idea to look online for professional language translation services.