Tag Archives: listening difficulties

Aspects of connected speech: An exploratory study on ESL student-teachers of the Higher Teachers Training College Maroua (Published)

This work aims at assessing student-teachers’ ability to handle features of connected speech in listening and in transcribing sentences with some instances. The sample comprised 45 participants: Twenty-seven (27) level five (including those for in-service training), and eighteen (18) level three student-teachers. The former are in their final year to obtain grade II teacher’s diploma and the latter are in their final year to obtain grade I teacher’s diploma. They were subjected to a text of twenty (20) pre-designed sentences with varying number of connected speech processes. The text was used for two purposes; first, it served as a passage for connected speech dictation, and second, it was used as a text for the transcription task. This served as an indirect way to gauge their abilities to understand and to teach the aspects under study. The results showed that the participants have a lot of difficulties with lexical segmentation due to the phenomena that blur the word boundaries; they skipped some words and some sentences due to the listening difficulties. In the transcription task, the participants produced less than 50% percent of the overall proposed instances of each feature of connected speech. The various group performances were far below average. The findings call for actions to ensure the readiness of English language teachers to handle authentic English in classrooms.

Keywords: Student Teachers, connected speech, listening difficulties, non-native speaker, real-world English