Accuracy is often considered an important aspect of a language student’s productive ability. Whereas fluency is concerned with the student’s pace of speech and level of hesitation, accuracy focuses on the correctness of using vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation.
Accuracy includes such issues as selecting appropriate words and applying word formation, selecting appropriate tenses and other grammatical structures which are correctly formed, using punctuation in writing and correctly pronouncing words.
The word accuracy may also be used to describe activities where the focus is on improving the student’s accuracy, rather than focusing on fluency. When an activity is accuracy-focused, it may be considered more important to interrupt students to deal with correcting errors.
Although fluency tends to develop naturally before accuracy in first language acquisition, many approaches put accuracy first. For example, in the PPP (Present, Practice, Production) lesson framework popularised by CLT (Communicative Language Teaching), accuracy-focused controlled practice comes before fluency-focused freer practice. There are however other lesson frameworks that reverse this order such as TTT (Test, Teach, Test) or TBL (Task Based Learning).