International Journal of
English and Literature

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. English Lit.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2626
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJEL
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 275

Full Length Research Paper

Silent pauses in the oral reading task: Pausing patterns and reasons for pauses

Chen I-Ju
  • Chen I-Ju
  • Applied Foreign Languages, Ling Tung University, No.1, Ling-dong Road, NanTun District, Taichung City 408, Taiwan.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 02 April 2016
  •  Accepted: 03 April 2017
  •  Published: 30 April 2017


This study investigated the occurrence of silent pauses, duration, frequency, distribution and the reasons for inappropriate pausing patterns in L2 reading tasks. The oral reading pauses of 44 Chinese learners of English as a Foreign Language were measured using two subtests of a proficiency speaking test, and the reasons for the measured pausing patterns were identified through a semistructured interview. In the oral reading task, the study participants tended to produce longer, and more inappropriate pauses at higher frequencies than did native English speakers. The reasons for inappropriate pausing are discussed toward the end of this paper.

Key words: Silent pauses, pausing patterns, oral reading.