Earlier this morning, there was a reporting in our Literature class and one of my friends was assigned to deliver the introduction of the oral lore in the Philippine history. What caught my attention was her constant mention of the word "uhm" in between her speech and it did not only last for a while but on the whole duration of her report. It did not only irritate me but also made me lose my interest to listen to her.
In linguistics, this phenomenon is called "fillers." According to wikipedia.org, a filler is a sound that is used to fill in the gaps of a speaker especially when he or she cannot find the right word. The most common fillers are "uh", "uhm", "er", "actually", "literally", "basically", and "y'know"; and we use these words in mostly all of our everyday conversations especially "actually", "basically", and "literally" when in fact something is not even actual, basic, or literal.
Although fillers are considered in speech and oral communication, I believe it should not be tolerated. Maybe a filler can be used every after four or five sentences but not every after three or four words in a sentence. That's one heck of a filler conversation; and it will annoy you to death.
The mastery in one's speech and oral communication can be learned through time especially when you use the second language as often as possible. It will just take constant practice and more reading.
For further reading about non-words or fillers, I recommend this article: http://ratedralph.com/?p=626