Vowel harmony is a major phonological phenomenon in the phonological system of Akan. The vowel harmony rule in Akan is governed by the [ATR] parameter. It is a phonological process of regressive assimilation in Akan. It occurs when [-ATR] vowels are followed by [+ATR] vowels. [+ATR] vowels tend to assimilate [-ATR] vowels on the left, that is, [+ATR] feature spreads leftward to all the preceding [-ATR] vowels in a word. This paper examines the impact of this phonological phenomenon in Akan on the spoken English of native Akan speakers. We formed sentences with 20 English words in which relatively low vowels are followed by relatively high vowels. The 20 native Asante Twi speakers of English from the College of Languages Education, University of Education, Winneba were purposively sampled to read the sentences. The sentences were recorded and impressionistically transcribed and analysed. The results showed that the respondents transferred the Akan vowel harmony rule into their pronunciation of the English words administered.
Pronunciations of the Past Tense Inflectional Morpheme -ed Sounds among North Border University Students: Diagnosis and Remedy (Published)
The aim of this study is to identify university students’ -ed endings pronunciation problems in English language and to suggest ways of solving those problems. The study was conducted in the College of Sciences and Arts, Turaif, Northern Border University, KSA. The paper follows the descriptive research method. A sample of 20 English language students were selected using a simple random sampling procedure. They were instructed to complete a stem-inflectional task by listening to 15 regular past tense verbs ending with inflectional ‘ed’. The findings reveal that those university students have various pronunciation problems: cognitive problems about -ed morpheme endings, they think that every single regular past tense verb ending in ‘ed’ is pronounced as ‘d’ sound. In the light of these findings a number of recommendations have been made: teachers should always tell learners why there are different pronunciations of the -ed morpheme.
The Pronunciation Component in the Competence-Based EFL Curriculum in Cameroon Secondary Education (Published)
The shift from the objective-based approach to the competence-based approach in English at the secondary level in Cameroon places too much emphasis on real life situations and the vocabulary thereof, in its current field implementation. Apart from vocabulary, the other structural components are very shallowly dealt with, not only grammar, but, much more the teaching of pronunciation and speech sounds. Using the contents analysis theory, the paper brings up the shallow presence of English sounds, paramount element in pronunciation and ipso facto in oral communication in the curriculum. The paper justifies the need to stress the sounds of English in actual EFL pedagogy. It argues that the sounds of English must be significantly present in the classroom implementation of the curriculum and prescribes recordings, audio visual materials specially designed for the purpose of supporting and concretising the constitutional official bilingualism policy that is most current in the nation presently on the one hand, and worldwide intelligibility on the other hand.
Pronunciation Encumbrances for Omani EFL Students at the English Language Centre of the Salalah College of Technology: A Pre Observational Study (Published)
The study investigated the pronunciation encumbrances encountered by different linguistic groups of Omani students in the English Language Center at Salalah College of Technology. The study employed teachers’ observations and inferences as a research method to delve deeper in the nature and causes of the students’ pronunciation difficulties. Teachers’ inferences and narratives constitute the sum total of the students’ pronunciation problems in English as well as their recalled experiences over the span of teaching in the center.
Using Explicit Pronunciation Instructions to Develop Students’ English Speaking Competencies: A Quasi-Experimental Study (Published)
This article aims to find out the effect of explicit pronunciation instructions of English on developing students’ speaking skills and attitudes towards the offered pronunciation training. A quasi-experimental design was employed to conduct the current study with pre and post-tests. Sixty university students were involved in the study and those participants were subjected to a treatment for 14 weeks of instruction on English pronunciation. Data were collected using speaking tests, questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The collected data were analysed and mean values, standard deviations and paired sample t-tests results were obtained to answer the pertinent questions of the research. The findings reveal that the method of explicit pronunciation instruction is an effective one in improving the students’ speaking skill as well as their attitudes towards the pronunciation training in particular and the learning of the target language as a whole. Finally, some pedagogical implications are presented to address a few crucial issues for teachers to be taken into their considerations for better teaching practices within the Yemeni EFL context
Assessment of the Pronunciation of Saudi Students of English through Different Types of Testing Procedures (Experimental Study: Albaha University) (Published)
This paper pursues the assessment of the pronunciation of Saudi University students of English through a repertoire of testing methods including oral and paper-pencil tests. Assessment aims to measure the correspondence between these testing methods and the performance of students. An oral test and paper-pencil tests were conducted as two different testing methods to provide data in the topic at issue. Moreover, impressionistic questionnaire was distributed to both teachers and students of English to express their own point of view in relation to these testing procedures. Results revealed that Saudi score higher marks via a paper-pencil test than in an oral test. This suggests that students show poor performance in oral tests probably because the oral-based assessment of English pronunciation demands a more natural conduct from students. The use of different testing methods is more representative of the pronunciation abilities than a single method.