How to train the verbal fluency in Chinese

 Verbal fluency testing and practicing on 9 Aug. Language Plaza forum

A Hypothetical link between verbal fluency & functionality in Aging,
Jose R. Wajman in Current Aging Science, Volume 13, Issue 2, 2020

Have you ever had such a situation that you just cannot come up with the words you wanted to express at the moment you needed them? Later on, the words come to your mind without any problem. This normally has something to do with your verbal fluency.

Verbal fluency is a cognitive function that facilitates information retrieval from memory (Encyclopedia of clinical neuropsychology). In another words, verbal fluency is the ability to speak smoothly without stopping and hesitating, so by getting the right words at the right time and in the right contexts.
The two most common parameters are:
1) semantic fluency: the ability to generate words in different categories, also called Category fluency (Psychology dictionary).
2) phonemic fluency: the ability to generate words with a specified letter.

Successful information retrieval requires executive control over cognitive processes, such as selective attention and inhibition, mental set shifting, internal response generation, and self-monitoring. This could become distractions and increase the cognitive load. Negative emotions and stress have been found to decrease our working memory, so that the verbal fluency is lowered.

What are your verbal fluency levels in speaking your mother language or English or Chinese? Research of neuropsychology and linguistic sciences has suggested several tests

Verbal fluency is needed in various situations, such as to give a public speech or a presentation, to do a job interview, or even to flirt with a person at a bar. How to improve the verbal fluency? A lot of research shows that there are two parts of exercises in general, the physical part and the mental part.
Physical part is to train the mouth, because mouth needs to produce and connect the words and sounds in a smooth way.
Mental part is to train the brain, because brain needs to go through the cognitive process quickly and wake up the working memory, so to find the right words and build them into sentences smoothly.

Based on the research suggestions, language teachers have tried a lot of methods in order to help language learners to improve the verbal fluency. Language Plaza has made a summarizing and would like to hold an online test and practice session, you are welcome to join. Further, we suggest you to try the following exercises to improve your Chinese speaking fluency:

1) First of all, take a deep breath, be relaxed, so to foster positive emotions (e.g., breathe slowly and deeply three times),
2) exercise speed reading,
2) reading aloud and while walking,
3) use (beat) gestures,
4) learning words in chunks /phrases,
5) learning Chinese songs,
6) train to respond to common questions.

Practicing is important for any language learning, and practicing in effective ways is king. We would like to share more about verbal fluency with you on Monday evening August 9th, during our bi-monthly forum. The forum will be held via ZOOM. The meeting link will be published on our site on August 7th. Welcome to join us.

Wish you a pleasant summer time.

Language Plaza