I. Phonemes, Phonetics & Phonology

CHAPTER NO 1 (Phonemes, Phonetics & Phonology)

Introduction

Background

Working Title

Statement of the Topic and Aims

Hypothesis

Research Design

Phase I (Survey)

Phase II (Devising Phase)

Population

Sampling

Data Collection Instrument

Limitation of the Study

Delimitations of the Study

CHAPTER NO 2 (Phonemes, Phonetics & Phonology)

Importance of Communication

Various components of Pronunciation:

Relation of Pronunciation with Phonemes:

Problems of Phonemes to Pakistani Learners

Problems related to Vowels:

Problems related to Consonants:

Factors affecting learning of the pronunciation

The age of the learner

The learner’s native language

Exposure to the target language

Phonetic ability

Motivation 

Integrative motivation

Instrumental motivation

Phonological problems

Distributional problems

Classification of English Consonants

Voicing

Place of articulation

Manner of articulation

Impact of Urdu on English

Classification of English vowels

Individual vowels of English in detail and possible problems with their    pronunciation

What Is Phonological/Phoneme Awareness?

Why Is It So Important?

Teaching Methods of Phonological Awareness

Understanding the Development of Phonemic Awareness

Phonological Awareness vs. Phonemic Awareness

Different Stages of Phonological Awareness

Phonemic Awareness- a branch of Phonological Awareness

Phonemic Awareness is the branch of Phonological skill

Phoneme identity

 Phoneme blending

Phoneme deletion

Phonics is not Phonemic Awareness

Role of Phonetic Transcription in phonetic awareness

CHAPTER NO 3 (Phonemes, Phonetics & Phonology)

Research Methodology

Population

Sample

Selection / Sampling Bias

The Frequency of the Students’ Location and their Rural and Urban Ratio

Validation of the Questionnaires word List 

 Presentation of Data

CHAPTER NO 4 (Phonemes, Phonetics & Phonology)

Data Collection and Data Analysis

Introduction

Explanation

CHAPTER NO 5 (Phonemes, Phonetics & Phonology)

Summary, Findings, Conclusions, Discussion and Recommendations

Summary

Findings

Conclusions

Hints on pronunciation for foreigners

Bibliography

Chapter one

1.                 Introduction

  1. Background:

There are many common words being utterly mispronounced by foreign users of English. Pronunciation is very important. A good teacher would never say otherwise. Even a dictionary first teaches us how to pronounce a word. Of course, to understand it we need to know phonetic symbols. Nevertheless, it emphasizes the importance of pronunciation. The English language has 26 letters of alphabet but 44 sounds (phonemes) (IPA). It is not a phonetic language as there is no direct relationship between the spelling and the sound in the language. By looking at a written word, one cannot know how to pronounce the word. Or in other words, by hearing a word, one cannot know how to spell the word. This clearly indicates why learners of English as a second language (ESL)/ English as a foreign language (EFL) should be taught pronunciation.

In the four skills of language, listening and speaking are very important. These both are the means of oral communication. In oral communication, segmental and supra segmental features are of extreme importance. If we categorize these two features then segmental one is of primary importance because it is the basis of improving pronunciation. If a learner is able to pronounce phonemes in the best possible way, his way of speaking will also be impressive as well as correct one. Pronunciation and communication are interrelated with each other and main purpose of language is communication. Communication not only helps in trade but also stimulates our creativity, enables more flexible mindsets and brings us into touch with our essential humanity.

Where English is considered a sign of social mobility in Pakistan, its pronunciation is also very important. A few years ago, there was not any concept of phonics at school level. Its reason was that Linguistics was not being taught at Masters in English also. So the teachers who were serving in the schools were not familiar with phonetics and phonology also. Because of this, both teachers and students were facing many problems regarding with the pronunciation of words. The main reason of this problem is that the alphabet which we use to write English orthography has 26 letters and each letter does not represent one sound. So teaching of letters does not mean teaching of sounds but English (British) has 44 sounds (Phonemes) and each phoneme represents a single sound. In this way, we can say that English spelling is not a reliable source to pronunciation. Some letters or group of letters has more than one sound. E.g., enough, ghost, through have same combination “gh” but give different sounds. So, it becomes difficult for students especially at school level to pronounce correctly. And if the base of sounds is not strong from the beginning, it becomes very difficult for learners to overcome the phonemic problems. Some letters are silent in some words.e.g., in knowledge; psychology the letters k and p are silent respectively. The learners at primary level are facing much difficulty in right pronunciation. This is also a problem that same sound can be represented by different letters also.

According to Dr. Jager Adams (1990) phonemic awareness is not phonics. Phonics is the relationships between sounds and their symbols (letters), and the methods of instruction used to teach those relationships. Phonemic awareness is the ability to identify and manipulate speech sounds. It is also the understanding that speech is composed of a sequence of sounds (phonemes) that are combined and can be recombined to form other words. This ability must be present if a child is to successfully map the sounds onto print to decode words.

The solution of all these problems is that phonemes must be taught at primary level to strengthen their basics of reading as well as speaking English. There are many benefits of teaching phonemes at primary level. The most important thing is that they can use dictionaries themselves and can be independent learners. They themselves can check at any time the pronunciation of words. Sometimes it happens at higher level classes that if a teacher is pronouncing wrong, his error may be pointed out by the learners also. So a teacher has to be very conscious while teaching in class and this thing also improves the teaching standard of teachers. . What is more, they can write down the correct pronunciation of a word that they listen to. If they cannot use phonemic symbols for this, they will use the sound values of letters in their own language and this will perpetuate pronunciation errors.

Phonemic symbols are a visual aid. Learners know that two different words can have same pronunciation also as is in the case of son and sun. There is the coordination of eyes with ear. They can also use hands to hold and manipulate cards with the symbols on, and then they are using the sense of touch also. Their learning is directly related to the use of senses. Pasting of phonemic symbol chart with key words in the classroom is also very supportive in the classroom. This chart reminds the teacher as well as taught to pay attention to improve the pronunciation skills.

In 1990’s the government of Pakistan emphasized the teaching of English in Pakistan both in government and private sector. The main purpose of the government was to promote the learners of poor and backward families by equipping them with the weapon of English. In 2006, curriculum was changed and many innovations were introduced regarding the subject of English. Phonics was also introduced at primary level but they could not fill the gap of Phonemes. In the current situation, phonemes in full-fledged way are taught at Masters Level only.

In the situation, some teachers teach phonemes through GTM which is not interesting one. Some teachers teach phonemes with the help of written material and take the help of white board only. Some others use AV aids but not in an appropriate way.  If phonemes are taught at primary level, then their pronunciation will be better. So, the Researcher’s point of view is that if phonemes are taught at primary level to the learners, then their articulation system will be adjusted according to the requirement of the phonemes and they will be near to native speakers in speaking. The researcher wants to devise the best and most interesting as well as easiest way of teaching phonemes.

  1. Working Title:

The researcher wants to work on the problems of phonemes that the students of 5th class face while speaking and reading activities in the classrooms and devise a new method for teaching English phonemes keeping in mind the problems faced by the learners.

Pakistani learners at Primary level are facing problems to produce phonemes correctly in using English as a second language. Studying the problems of phonemes faced by the learners of grade 5 will be quite necessary because without the utterance of phonemes in a proper way, improvement in pronunciation is out of question. Wrong pronunciation becomes the reason of miscommunication. This study will also help the teachers to teach phonemes in the best possible way. The researcher has been teaching to the students of Masters in English at KhawajaFarid Govt. Post Graduate College Rahim Yar Khan since 2012. He has observed that the learners are not able to pronounce phonemes in an appropriate way. Its reason may be the rigidity of articulation system because the students are too aged to change their articulation system. Teaching style may be also responsible for this issue. Keeping this problem in mind, the researcher has decided to conduct the research on topic of phonemes at primary level because maximum learning takes place at this level.

  1. Hypothesis:
  1. The learners of grade 5 face a lot of problems regarding phonemic awareness and their utterance.
  2. Phonemic awareness of the students will be increased with the use of the researcher’s newly designed method.
  1. Research Design

The researcher is interested to study the phonemic problems of students, so both the qualitative and quantitative research methods would be appropriate in conducting such a research. It requires both, the theoretical description of the data as well as the Mathematical manipulation of the findings. Moreover, it’s a descriptive research, because I am keenly interested in locating and identifying the existing problems and lacunae of learners of class V of rural and urban area and bringing to limelight the beneficial elements or factors that play a decisive role in the effective learning of phonemes. In doing so, I would like to put forward few useful suggestions for the language teachers in general. Although the prime motive of my research is directed to the primary level students but overall I will provide the suggestions for the language teachers across the border as well.

The design of this study will have two methods: (1) Survey and (2) Experiment

The research will involve the collection of data for finding out the phonemic problems of 5th class learners of govt. and private schools. The researcher will go in different schools and collect the data regarding phonemic problems by giving citation words (key word for each phoneme) as well as some phrases and sentences to check the phonemic problems of the learners. Recording will be recorded with the help of Camtasia Software.

1.6Phase II (Devising phase)

After that the researcher will apply different methods of teaching phonemes including games, Suggestopedia, Direct Method etc. Different methods can also be mixed to develop the most appropriate methods of teaching phonemes. Keeping the point of view of Multiple Intelligence (MI) no one is dull in the world. So the researcher will use the idea of Multiple Intelligence in the mind to introduce a new method of teaching phonemes.

1.7 Population

All the primary schools of government and private sector in Rahim Yar Khan Tehsil will be population of this research.

1.8 Sampling

Simple random sampling technique will be used in this research. The researcher will take the list of all the primary schools of Rahim Yar Khan and select 30 different schools among the whole. In each school, if there is more than one class, the researcher will select random students from all classes. 8 to 10 students will be selected from each class. When the phonemic problems will be sought out then one class will be selected and taught through the new method devised by the researcher.

1.9 Data Collection Instrument

Recording, oral assessment and observation will be the tools of data collection. The researcher with the consultation of the supervisor concerned will design oral test to collect data for phonemic problems. The researcher will include some words which create pronunciation problems like suggestion, read (past tense), truth, the ,day, boy, plough, car, lawyer, etc. some phrases and sentences which have connected speech phonemic problems will be included also to phonemic problems in normal routine life. When the students will pronounce these words and phrases then learners’ problems regarding phonemes will be pointed out and keeping these mistakes in the mind, a new method will be designed and implemented into a class. The general idea of this method has been discussed already.

1.10 Limitation of the Study:

The researcher will generalize the results of this study on the learners of 5th class Urdu speaking community.

1.11 Delimitations of the Study

  • This study will not check the supra segmental problems of the learners
  • The new method of teaching English phonemes will be applied only on one class due to time constraint.
  • Public Sector schools: The schools run by the government of Pakistan
  • Multiple Intelligence (MI): 9 types of intelligence introduced by Gardiner
  • DM: Direct Method
  • GTM: Grammar Translation Method
  • AV Aids: Audio Visual Aids

Chapter Two

Review of Related literature

 

2.1      Importance of Communication:

Communication is very important in our daily life. Through communication, we express our thoughts and feelings to other people. Communication is of two types: verbal and non- verbal communication. In verbal communication, pronunciation is of vital importance. Most of the sounds which a language has seem to be similar, but they are not pronounced in the exact manner. There are certain differences in pronunciation. Therefore, when a person speaks any non-native language, he has to face certain sound difficulties. For example, the Japanese do not have the sound of ‘r’ in their language. Therefore, they have to use an alternative sound available in their language according to their convenience. While pronouncing the sound ‘r’, they pronounce ‘l’ sound. Similarly, the Arabic language does not have ‘p’ sound and they replace it with ‘b’ sound. Pakistani speakers are very good speakers of English and can utter almost all the sounds of English but mispronunciation has also been observed.

2.2Role of Pronunciation in Communication:

In language teaching and learning, pronunciation has got the status of umbrella.  (Dalton 1997). But, in Pakistan, this sub skill has been ignored. This sub skill is not the part of syllabus especially of examination system and in Pakistan, the skills that are not the parts of examination system, are ignored mostly. Regarding this situation, Joanne Ken worthy (1987) says that poor pronunciation makes both the speakers as well as listeners frustrating and unpleasant. According to a survey conducted by Rahman T. (2000) most of the students want English to be taught as a proper language subject.

  • Problems of Phonemes to Pakistani Learners:
  1. Problems related to Vowels:

Sheikh Q.A (2012) says that regarding phonological features, restructuring of vowels is an important thing in the new varieties of English. This phenomenon of nativization of English is very important because every language has its own requirement and system of utterance. A famous linguist Plat et al (1984) says that following restructuring is almost same in new varieties of English.

  1. In some varieties of English vowels are shortened e.g., in purse /ɜ/ is substituted by / ʌ/.
  2. Sometimes long vowels are replaced by short vowels and short vowels are replaced by long vowels e.g., in the word “genetic” /e/ is exchanged by/æ/. 
  3. Central vowels are replaced by front or back vowels as in “vehicle” the /ə/ is traded by /i /.
  4. Sometimes diphthongs are replaced by mono thongs or changed to some extent e.g., in ‘gate’, /eɪ/ is uttered as a monophthong, /e: /.

This reshaping of vowels is also present in Pakistani variety of English.

The researcher’s study is also on this topic and going to this direction. The researcher is interested to add something to the Pakistani variety of English.

  • Problems related to Consonants:

    Raza W. (2008) says about Pakistani consonant problems that:

  1. Pakistani English most of the time has no distinction between /v/ and /w/. It becomes difficult for learners to differentiate between wine and vine; west and vest.
  2. Pakistani English lacks the category of / ʒ /. It is variously replaced by /s/ or /z/ as in words measure and garage.
  3. It turns / θ / by t and / ð/ by d. e.g., earth, the, they etc. and such other words are not pronounced well.
  4. It mixes up /s/ and /z/. e.g., the Pakistani speakers mix up the sound of noise and house.
  5. The letter x is / KS / in expect but (gz) in exact. So, the Pakistani speakers mix up both the sounds and do mistakes of pronunciation.
  6. Most Pakistani speakers do not know about the supra segmental features. If some persons know and use it, they misuse it.
  7. The sounds / dʒ, tʃ / are pronounced with the blade than the tip of the tongue and lack the lip rounding.
  8. /r/ is also not pronounced in a proper way.
  9. ‘Syllabic’ / l, m, n/ are usually mispronounced and / ə / sound is added at the beginning of the syllable.
  • Impact of Urdu on English

The phonemic inventory of English comprises of 24 consonants and 15 vowels. The phonemic inventory of Urdu comprises of 37 consonants and 16 vowels   English consonants can be easily mapped to Urdu consonants  and  there  is  one-to-one  correspondence  between  them  in  all  cases.  There are some sounds in English e.g.  Dental fricatives, /Θ/ and /Ð/ which are non-existent in Urdu and hence they are mapped to their closest counterpart i.e., dental stops.

  • Non-native pronunciation

Hrubes P. (2008) says that right pronunciation is very important for good communication and it should be learnt in a proper way. Grammar and vocabulary are very essential for speaking but the element of pronunciation cannot be ignored. Some persons may face physical and health problems but most of the time, this happens because of the non-native language which hinders the right utterance of pronunciation. Its basic reason is that our articulators are adjusted to our native language and misfit to non-native language. William G. Moulton says a very astonishing thing regarding pronunciation of sounds. This is also because of some internal emotional block also. He says that wrong pronunciation is like wearing wrong clothes. So, it becomes necessary for a learner of the nonnative speaker to learn the sounds of that specific language. Following are the factors that affect the pronunciation of a new language.

  • Factors affecting learning of the pronunciation
  1. The age of the learner

The age of the learner is one of the main factors to affect in learning the sound system of a new language. Many scholars say that if the learners are younger then they can learn the sounds of any language easy because their vocal system is not rigid. It sounds quite easy for children to learn the things in their earlier parts of lives. The reason of this fact seems to me that the children have fresh and empty minds and can pick the things easily. On the other hand, the older the people, the bigger are the problems that face in their lives. It is also reality that vocal organs of the children are soft and flexible and can produce sounds in a better and easier way.

  1. The learner’s native language

The learner’s first language and its phonetic system are very important to learn the second language because everyone’s first language has some specific characteristics which may be lacking in other ones. Every language has its own stress pattern, intonation, rhythm and prosody etc. if we compare English with Urdu then we come to know that the English language is stressed time; on the other hand, Urdu is syllable timed. Phonetic system of different languages is different. For example, the Arabic language does not have the /p/ sound and they utter this sound as /b/ sound. The Japanese language does not have /l/ sound and replaces it with /r/ sound. The Urdu language has more sounds as compared to the English language but there are some sounds which are present in English but not in Urdu. So, the speakers of Urdu cannot utter those sounds in a proper way.  They change these sounds with their nearest related sounds e.g. /θ/, /ð/ sounds of English are replaced by their closest sounds. If the case of Pakistan is discussed, it is also reality that here also the Urdu language is not taught in a proper way which results in the deficiency of growing vocal organs. Here in Pakistan almost all the schools have changed the medium of instruction from Urdu to English. It is the researcher’s opinion that Urdu should be taught in the best possible way by such teachers who have a sound grip on Urdu phonemes. After that it would be quite easy for English teachers to teach sound system of English in an easy way.

  • Relation with the target language

This thing is also very important to learn the second language. If the second language is being exposed to a great extent to the learner, then the learning process will increase manifold. It is also important that the learner is exposed to the native or non-native form of language. If the native form is being exposed then the learner will be able to grasp the idea of stress, rhythm, prosody, intonation etc. in a practical way.

Phonetic ability

This quality is also an important factor to learn sound system of any language in a nice way. It is a common notion that some learners can utter sound easily as compared to other ones. The learners who have much phonetic ability are better learners of English.

  • Attitude to the language

According to Joanne Kenworthy, it has been shown in many studies that those learners, who have a positive attitude towards the speakers of the language they are learning, “tend to develop more accurate, native-like accents.” Also, the learner’s feeling of identity plays an important role. Generally said, the closer emotional relationship the person has towards the learned language, towards its native speakers and/or the country where the language is spoken, the more probable it is, that they will tend to try to mimic its sound accurately.

1.1.6. Motivation

Another rather psychological factor determining the success of the learning process is the driving motive, which leads the learner to learn the particular language and to try to achieve a correct pronunciation. Celce-Murcia mentions three types of motivation:

Integrative motivation – A desire to be socially integrated in the target culture

 Assimilative motivation – A desire on the part of the learner to become avague member of

the target speech community

 Instrumental motivation – An individual learns a second language to attain a certain goal, for instance job advancement

However, not only the type of incentive is important, but also its concentration might be a decisive

  • Types of learning problems

When a learner learns anything, different types of problems are expected during learning process. In the same way, when a learner learns another language, he may face following problems according to William G. Moulton which are as follows:

1. Phonological complications.

The phonemes which are present in a language affect the pronunciation of second language. Different studies have shown clearly that impact native language is obvious on the pronunciation of target language e.g. In the Arabic language /p/ is not pronounced which creates problems when Arabic people speak Urdu because if they want to say Paani( water ) they will say Baani (Founder ) which changes the meanings fully. Same is the case with Urdu. The speakers of Urdu cannot pronounce /ð/ phoneme properly and so they replace it with /d/ so when “they” is pronounced by Urdu speakers, they pronounce it as “day” which hinders perspicuity. So it can be said that understanding of phonological complications is necessary for intelligibility of target language.

Phonetic habits of one language effect on other languages e.g., in Urdu clear /l/ is pronounced. In English light or dark /l/ is pronounced. When English light /l/ is replaced by clear /l/, it looks very strange but it does not hinder understanding.

  • Allophonic problems.

The speaker of one language uses the allophonic habits of his own language while uttering the phones of target language

  • Distributional problems.

The learners of target language may also face distributional problems e.g. Urdu speakers are used to using /k/ sound before /n/ or /l/ or some other sounds as in kneez (maid ) or in klm (pen) but in English in such a situation /k/ sound is silent .e.g. in knowledge, knee etc.

Consonants

2.2.1 Taxonomy of English consonants

We can classify consonant sounds according to this way:

a). voiced or voiceless:

If the vocal cord vibrates while uttering the consonant sound, it is called voiced; but if it does not vibrate while its utterance, it is called voiceless.

b) Modus of Vocalization:

Different parts of vocal system are used while uttering consonant sound which are as follows

Bilabial: both the lips are used while its exclamation.

Labio-dental: lower lip and upper teeth is used for its utterance

Dental: upper teeth and tip of tongue is used for its expression.

Alveolar:  blade of the tongue and alveolar ridge is used for its utterance.

Post-alveolar: for its utterance tip/blade of the tongue is used and area between alveolar ridge and palate is used.

Palatal: it is uttered by the use of front tongue and palate.

Velar: for its utterance back of the tongue and velum is used.

Uvular: it is uttered by using back of the tongue and uvula.

Glottal: for its utterance, vocal cords are used.

Modus of Vocalization:

It means the way in which sound is articulated. Following are the manners of articulation.

Stop or Plosives

Fricatives

Affricates

Nasals

Trills

Tap or Flaps

Approximants

Lateral Approximants

  • English Consonants and their Problems with Pronunciation:

There are 24 consonants in the English language. The speakers of Urdu have some

problems in pronunciation because of the impact of Urdu language.

/p/: it has the qualities as voiceless, bilabial and plosives. Most of the time, it is not pronounced with aspiration. However, the learners who pronounce it with aspiration, pronounce it with aspiration medially and finally also.

/b/ – following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiced; it is bilabial; it is plosive. Sometimes at the end of sentences, it is replaced with /p/

/t/ –this consonant sound has following features: it is voiceless; it is alveolar; it is plosive. Mostly this sound is pronounced with aspiration in the beginning of the word. But if Urdu speakers use this sound with aspiration, they use it with aspiration medially and finally.

/d/ – this consonant sound has following features: it is voiced; it is alveolar; it is plosive. Sometimes it is replaced by /t/.

/k/ –this consonant sound has following features: it is voiceless; it is velar; it is plosive.

It is also uttered with aspiration. But Urdu speakers most of the time do not utter it with aspiration.

/g/ –this consonant sound has following features: it is voiced; it is velar; it is plosive. It is often replaced by /k/.

/f/ – following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiceless; it is labiodental; it is fricative. Most of the time, no problem occurs in its utterance.

/v/ – following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiced; it is labiodental; it is fricative. The speakers of the Urdu language often replace /v/ with /f/ and mix up with /w/ sound.

/θ/ – it has the qualities as voiceless, dental and fricatives. This sound is not present in Urdu so the speakers of Urdu sometimes replace it with /s/ or /t/.

/ð/ – it has the qualities as voiced, dental and fricatives. This sound is also not present in Urdu so the speakers of Urdu sometimes replace it with /d/ or /z/.

/s/ – following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiceless; it is alveolar; it is fricative. Sometimes the quality of epenthesis is observed in this sound e.g. school /sku:l/is pronounced as ischool /Isku:l/

/z/ – following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiced; it is alveolar; it is fricative. The speakers of Urdu language utter it properly.

/ʃ/ –following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiceless; it is post alveolar; it is fricative. Urdu speakers do not feel any problem in its utterance.

/ʒ/ –following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiced; it is post alveolar; it is fricative. The speakers of Urdu language do not utter it properly most of the time and replace it with /ʃ/.

/h/ –following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiced; it is glottal; it is fricative. Urdu speakers do not feel any problem in its utterance.

/tʃ/ – this consonant sound has following features: it is voiceless; it is post-alveolar; it is affricate. Urdu speakers do not feel any problem in its utterance.

/dʒ/ –this consonant sound has following features: it is voiceless; it is post alveolar; it is affricate.

/m/ –this consonant sound has following features: it is voiced; it is bilabial; it is nasal. There is no problem in its utterance.

/n/ – this consonant sound has following features: it is voiced; it is alveolar; it is nasal. There is no problem in its utterance.

/ŋ/ – this consonant sound has following features: it is voiced; it is velar; it is nasal. There is no problem in its utterance.

/w/ –this consonant sound has following features: it is voiced; it is bilabial; it is approximant. This sound is not present in Urdu and mixed up with /v/ sound.

/r/ – following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiced; it is post-alveolar; it is approximant. It is often mispronounced because of its complicated nature.

/j/ – following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiced; it is palatal; it is approximant.

 /l/ – following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiced; it is alveolar lateral; it is approximant. English has dark /l/ but Urdu does not have dark /l/.

Vowels

Taxonomy of English vowels:

Vowels can be divided into two main groups:

  • Monophthongs
  • Diphthongs

Vowels can be classified on behalf of three different categories.

  1. Horizontal Position of Lips:

Some vowels are uttered from the front part, some from middle and some from the back part of tongue.

  • Vertical Position of Lips:

if tongue touches the upper part, then it is called close; if it touches the lower part then it is called open; if it is in the middle then it is called mid. If it is near to open then it is called mid open; if it is near to close then it is called mid close.

  • Lips Shape:

While uttering vowel, if lips are in the round shape, it is called round; if it is in the spreading form, it is called spread; if it is in the neutral shape, it is called neutral.

  • English and their Vowels Problems with Pronunciation:

/i:/ –following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is long; it is front; it is close.

/ɪ/ – this vowel sound has following features: it is short; it is front; it is close; it is spread Mostly Urdu speakers have no problem regarding its utterance.

/e/ – – this vowel sound has following features: it is short; it is front; it is mid; it is slightly spread.

/æ/ – following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is short; it is front; it is open-mid/open. It is slightly spread monophthong.

/ʌ/– this vowel sound has following features: it is short; it is central; it is mid-open. There is no problem in its utterance.

/ɑ: / –following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is long; it is back; it is open. Lips are neutral.

/ɒ/ – this vowel sound has following features: it is short; it is back; it is open/ mid open. Lips are slightly round. Now and then it is supplanted by /ɑ: /           

/ɔ: / –following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is long; it is back; it is mid. Lips are in round shape.

/ʊ/ –this vowel sound has following features: it is short; it is back; it is close mid lips are round in shape.

/u: / – following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is long; it is; it is back; it is close. Lips are round in shape.

/ə/ – this vowel sound has following features: it is short; it is central; it is mid. Lips are neutral in shape. This sound comes with unstressed position. Conversely, J. D. O’Connor shares in his book Better English Pronunciation that “non-final /ə/ is usually too similar English /ɪ/, and final /ə/ usually too identical English /ɒ /”.

/ɜ: / –following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is long; it is central; it is mid. Lips are neutral in shape. Sometimes it is replaced by /r/.

/ɪə/ –this vowel sound has following features: it is centering diphthong; it can be exchanged by /aɪ/.

/eə/ – following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is centering diphthong and can be changed by /ea/ in case of Urdu speakers.

/ʊə/ –this vowel sound has following features: it is centering diphthong and can be exchangedby /ʊa/.

/eɪ/ –following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is closing diphthong and can be switched by long monophthong /e: /.

/aɪ/ –this vowel sound has following feature: it is closing diphthong and the speakers of Urdu language do not face any problem regarding its utterance.

/ɔɪ/ –following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is closing diphthong and can beswitched by some other vowel in different situations.

/əʊ/ – this vowel sound has following features: it is closing diphthong and can be switched by long monophthong / ɔ: /.

/aʊ/ – following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is closing diphthong and the speakers of Urdu language do not face any problem regarding its utterance.

Vowel schemes of Urdu and English:

In Urdu there are 37 consonants and 16 vowels while in English there are 24 consonants and 20 vowels. The number of vowels in English is more as compared to Urdu language. The number of diphthongs is also more in English as compared to Urdu.

  • `Indulgent the Improvement of Phonemic Awareness

Phonology:

Phonology, a study of the spoken language as it dictates the rules for speech and sound, offers the foundation for phonemic awareness. Children bump into spoken language on a daily basis sometimes without knowing, as they to speak, listen, and communicate with those around them (Walsh, 2009).  As children develop in their speaking and listening skills, they cultivate acquaintance and meaning for the language they are using and listening to, which allows them the aptitude to gain phonological awareness. 

Phonological Awareness:

Phonological awareness is the knowledge and concentration to the fact that spoken language has beats, rhymes, individual sounds, and other workings of structure (Walsh, 2009). Stanovich (1993) refers to the term phonological awareness “[as] the ability to deal unequivocally and segmentally with sound units smaller than the syllable” (p. 283).  Stanovich’s definition of phonological awareness contributes to the hazy definition lines of what constitutes phonological awareness and what constitutes phonemic awareness.  It is important to refer back to the demarcation of awareness as simply the knowledge of something; therefore, 3the “ability to deal obviously and segmentally” with something is a skill not awareness. 

  • Phonological Processing Complaint:

While phonological awareness is not the focus of this examination, it should be noted that not all children develop phonological awareness and thus may have a discrepancy, such as a phonological processing disorder with averts them from acquisition phonemic awareness and skills needed for reading success. However, when a child has established phonological awareness, he/she should obtain coaching and be able to execute phonological skills such as blending and segmenting words into those distinct sounds as mentioned beforehand (Walsh, 2009).

Developing Phonemic Awareness:

After gaining phonological awareness and skills, the next level is developing phonemic awareness. Phonemic awareness is: [the] conscious awareness that spoken words are made up of individual sounds (but not necessarily which sounds they are or what order they are in); it represents the pinnacle of phonological awareness development in that it deals with an abstract, fleeting and tiny unit of perception in spoken words. (Walsh, 2009, p. 215)

Phonemes vs. Letters

Phonemic awareness deals with the knowledge that words can be broken down into smaller units of sounds that are called phonemes, in which there are 44 phonemes in the English language (Ehri, Nunes, Willows, Schuster, Yaghoub-Zadeh& Shanahan, 2001). “A phoneme is the smallest unit of speech that differentiates one word from another. For example, the word barn has four distinct speech sounds, or four phonemes (b, a, r, and n), while the word sight has five letters, but only three phonemes (s, i, and t)” (Rinsky, 1997, p.208). It should be kept in mind that there are more phonemes than there are letters in the alphabet; therefore, phonemes do not have an exact one-to-one correlation with the letters of the alphabet.  Understanding the differences between phonemes and the alphabet and their non-lineage can be difficult for some children who have knowledge of the alphabet before developing phonemic awareness. 

In a Nutshell:

It can be said that phonemes are very important to speak English fluently and clearly. For this purpose, the researcher has intended to design a new method of teaching phonemes at grade 5 keeping the Pakistani Learners’ problems in mind

CHAPTER: 3

Research Methodology

A research methodology is the framework of your research. It describes the ways and methods you are going to use in exploring your topic and in achieving your objectives. In other words, it’s the prescribed path of the research. As mentioned afore, it’s a study of identifying phonemic problems of students, so both the qualitative and quantitative research methods would be appropriate in conducting such a research. It requires both, the theoretical description of the data as well as the Mathematical manipulation of the findings. Moreover, it’s a descriptive research, because I am keenly interested in locating and identifying the existing problems and lacunae of learners of class V of rural and urban area and bringing to limelight the beneficial elements or factors that play a decisive role in the effective learning of phonemes. In doing so, I would like to put forward few useful suggestions for the language teachers in general. Although the prime motive of my research is directed to the primary level students but overall I will provide the suggestions for the language teachers across the border as well.

The present research was descriptive in nature as it involved the collection of data for finding out the phonemic competencies of 5th class learners. This method of research was considered appropriate because a measure of status – rather than prediction was intended.

The quantitative paradigm was also employed in order to make the data analysis more reliable, valid, and less extraneous and more controlled for procedural bias (Borg & Gall, 1989).

A Questionnaires word list in which all the 44 phonemes were included was designed as a tool of data collection due to its advantages and ease of administration. Some sentences were also selected to check the phonemic problems in connected speech.

3.1      Population

The population of the study was the boys and girls of class V from government and private schools of rural and urban areas of Rahim Yar Khan Tehsil. The researcher collected data in January 2015 when almost the session 2014-15 was near its completion. Thus, data were collected when the children had completed their syllabus.

The sample was selected in the form of students from the schools of Rahim Yar Khan Tehsil. Sixty schools (thirty schools from urban area and thirty schools from rural area) of Bahawalpur Tehsil were selected to achieve the target of 600 students.

It was literally very difficult to visit all the classes in Tehsil Rahim Yar Khan, so I decided to take samples from few Classes for my research in order to make a generalization for others. Keeping in mind that it’s not an easy task to collect accurate sample to make generalization for the rest, I had taken a keen interest in doing this basic job for my research and tried to get a sample for the stream which can be considered as valid as possible.

As according to Grinnell sample is,

            …. the totality of persons or subject with which a research-study is concerned.”

A brief description of the sample design is stated as follow.

The study was conducted on total number of students present in class V of schools and more or less 16 students were randomly selected from the schools with good number of students so that the students of all levels (good, moderate and poor) might constitute the representative sample. This size was fixed so that maximum number of schools from both rural and urban areas could be included in the study. Further, representative sample was taken so that population under study could be representative of all the students of government private (rural and urban) and schools of the Tehsil under survey. Furthermore, this sample enabled the researcher to survey evenly the competency level of the students belonging to far and near areas of Rahim Yar Khan Tehsil.  The Questionnaires word list could not be administered to all the students receiving education in the schools of Tehsil Rahim Yar Khan on account of the constraints of money and time.

Selection/Sampling Partiality

By keeping the nature of study in mind, the researcher has decided to do Random sampling for collecting data. The researcher has tried his level best to overcome selection bias. First of all, the researcher got the list of the schools of Tehsil Rahim Yar Khan and selected thirty different boys and girls schools of rural and urban area; both private and government sector were included in this research. The standard of right and wrong pronunciation was judged by the standard of Received Pronunciation (RP). A lot of attention has been paid to show objectivity.

3.4    The Frequency of the Students’ Location and their Rural and Urban Ratio

The whole detail of the frequency of the students’ location and their rural and urban ratio has been shown with the help of tables and graphs below

AreasSectorNo. of SchoolsGender (In Number)Total Respondents
MaleFemaleMaleFemale
UrbanGovernment557575150
Private557575150
RuralGovernment557575150
Private557575150
      
Total2020300300600

Table 3.1 – Sample of the Study

The sample of the study consisted of 600 students 300 students from the school of urban area, 300 from the schools of rural area and 100. For sampling, random sampling technique was used. All these students of class V were tested.

Following is representation of frequency of students’ location: government rural 150; private rural 150; and urban government 150; and urban private 150.About half of the students were from urban schools and half from the rural schools.

3.5    Data Collection Instruments

Questionnaires word list and some sentences were given to the sample population to get the phonemic problems of learners. The total number of variables included were age, gender, and medium of education, mother tongue, parents’ education, socio-economic status of  the  family  and  the  students’  priority  and importance  of  spoken  English  in  the  academic environment  within Rahim Yar Khan. For the purpose of data collection in connection with this sort of research, survey was required.

3.6   Validation of the Questionnaires word list

In the beginning, a trial Questionnaires word list and some sentences were prepared. First, the supervisor examined it and then it was administered to the students of two urban and two rural schools. The teachers of the schools where it was administered as a pilot study also examined it. In the light of the results and opinion of the supervisor and the teachers of the schools, the words that were too difficult or too easy for the students were excluded from the test.

3.7   Administration of the Questionnaires Word List and Some Sentences

At every target school, the researcher first got permission from the head of the school for administering the test. In case students were in small number, say ten to fifteen, all the students were given the Questionnaires word list and sentences. But in the schools where the number of the students was big, the list was given to every second or third student. The students were randomly selected on the basis of the list of roll numbers given in their roll call register. The students were always made to sit for uttering the Questionnaires word list and sentences in such a room where there was no noise and disturbance. If this sort of room was not available, they were made to sit in the plot available in the premises of the school concerned.

Then the researcher told the students what the Questionnaires word list was and why it was being administered. They were also told that it was not meant for their permanent evaluation that could become the part of their annual results. At this stage the researcher told the teachers concerned that the results of the test would not be supplied to any organization of the government or any other agency. This was told to them so that they might not feel uncomfortable about the results of the recording.

Almost the students of every selected school were given the chances to utter the word glossary. A paragraph was also given to the students to utter and to check the connected speech phonemic problems.

The data for the study were collected through the Questionnaires word list and a paragraph constructed by the researcher himself keeping in view the objectiveness of the study and competencies to be measured.

The data were collected from the students of the primary schools of Rahim Yar Khan Tehsil. The data were collected in the month of January in Rahim Yar Khan Tehsil in 2015. This time was chosen so that the course work of the students for their academic session could come to an end and their teachers could have made their students revise their course as well.  This time was suitable because the Questionnaires word list and sentences given to the students could mark the impact of the teachers in its complete form.

The method of Questionnaires word list and sentences was selected because the researcher was to check the status of the English phonemic competencies of the students who were taught English throughout the year. This method of data collection was more suitable because through it right information about the learning of the target students could be collected. Further, the information collected through Questionnaire’s word list and sentences could be easily and objectively analyzed.

The survey was conducted by the researcher personally visiting the schools and the respondents. The students were provided instructions in Urdu. There was a problem regarding the collection of data that when the researcher reached some rural schools either they were closed or their students were not available because they were busy in their fields along with their parents. Therefore, the researcher had to request the teachers to ensure the availability of their students when the next time he visited the school. In this way almost a month was consumed in collecting data from the target schools. However, all this was done for an ulterior purpose.

The data collected through the Questionnaires word list and sentences were analyzed in terms of percentage for every category i.e. rural and urban boys and girls of fifth class in government and private schools as well. The basic linguistic knowledge comprising phonemes was calculated. And the competencies were also calculated in terms of average percentage. To assess the competency level of the students of the fifth class, the Questionnaires word list and sentence items were presented in the form of graphs and charts divided into two sub-domains.

3.10     Presentation of Data

Through the Excel application percentage of all the aspects of data was taken and then the information was turned into visual form i.e., transformed into tables and graphs. It was ready to be interpreted.

After examining the research methodology, with all it components, the stage of data analysis has reached. After data analysis, the status of different impacts was ascertained. Having done it, trends came out. This was done in the next chapter.

CHAPTER # 4

DATA COLLECTION AND DATA ANALYSIS

4.1 Introduction

The researcher in this research has tried to find out the problems of phonemes utterances and factors involved in the wrong pronunciation of phonemes. To authenticate the studies the data has been collected from the rural and urban students of v class through questionnaire and sentences. The research has gone through with the help of qualitative and quantitative analysis of the findings. The data has been analyzed in the form of tables, charts, graphs and theoretical description. Data has been collected by careful and meticulous observation.

Flow sheet of students included in the study

Flow sheet of students included in the study

/p/ʊəʳ/b//æ//t//u://d//ɜ:ʳ//k//ɔɪ//g//əʊ//tʃ//i:/
Right575426568517566451538307556391576170500388
Wrong25174328334149622934420924430100212
Total600600600600600600600600600600600600600600
 /dʒ//ʌ//f//eɪ//v//θ//ð//s//ŋ//z//ʃ//ɒ//ʒ//e//h/
Right55343554327350682126470527525541451217195530
Wrong47165573279451847413073755914938340570
Total600600600600600600600600600600600600600600600
 /aɪ//m//n//l//ɪ//r//ɔ://j//w//ə//ʊ//ɑ://ɪəʳ//eə//aʊ/
Right334545467548457525342519539344526502374402530
Wrong2665513352143752588161256749822619870
Total600600600600600600600600600600600600600600600


Over presentation of students of individual Phonemes

JunctureElisionIntrusionAssimilationEpenthesis
Right92389329197124
Wrong508211271403476
600600600600600
students of connected speech features

Over presentation of students of connected speech features

Individual Phonemes and their utterance by the Students:

Consonants Discussion:

/p/ poor

/p/ poor

575 uttered this sound properly. 25 learners could not utter this sound. It has the qualities as voiceless, bilabial and plosives. Most of the time, it has not been pronounced with aspiration. However, the learners who pronounced it with aspiration pronounce it with aspiration medially and finally also.

/ʊəʳ/ (poor)

/ʊəʳ/ (poor)

426 learners uttered this sound properly but 174 could not utter it properly. This vowel sound has following features: it is centering diphthong and can be exchanged by /ʊa/.

/b/ Bat

/b/ Bat

568 learners uttered this sound properly but32 could not utter it properly. Following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiced; it is bilabial; it is plosive. Sometimes at the end of sentences, it is replaced with /p/ 

/æ/ Bat

/æ/ Bat

517 learners uttered this sound properly but 83 could not utter it properly. Following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is short; it is front; it is open-mid/open. It is slightly spread monophthong.

/t/Tool

/t/Tool

566 learners uttered this sound properly but 34 could not utter it properly. This consonant sound has following features: it is voiceless; it is alveolar; it is plosive. Mostly this sound is pronounced with aspiration in the beginning of the word. But if Urdu speakers use this sound with aspiration, they use it with aspiration medially and finally.

/u:/Tool

/u:/Tool

451 learners uttered this sound properly but 149 could not utter it properly.

Following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is long; it is ; it is back; it is close. Lips are round in shape.

/d/Disturb

/d/Disturb

538 learners uttered this sound properly but 62 could not utter it properly.This consonant sound has following features: it is voiced; it is alveolar; it is plosive. Sometimes it is replaced by /t/.

/ɜ:ʳ/Disturb

/ɜ:ʳ/Disturb

307 learners uttered this sound properly but 293 could not utter it properly. Following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is long; it is central; it is mid. Lips are neutral in shape. Sometimes it is replaced by /r/.

/k/Coin

/k/Coin

556 learners uttered this sound properly but 44 could not utter it properly.This consonant sound has following features: it is voiceless; it is velar; it is plosive. It is also uttered with aspiration. But Urdu speakers most of the time do not utter it with aspiration.

/ɔɪ/Coin

ɔɪ/Coin

391 learners uttered this sound properly but 209 could not utter it properly.

Following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is closing diphthong and can be switched by some other vowel in different situations.

/g/ Go

/g/ Go

576 learners uttered this sound properly but 24 could not utter it properly. This consonant sound has following features: it is voiced; it is velar; it is plosive. It is often replaced by /k/.

/əʊ/Go

/əʊ/Go

170 learners uttered this sound properly but 430 could not utter it properly. This vowel sound has following features: it is closing diphthong and can be switched by long monophthong / ɔ: /.

/tʃ/cheap

/tʃ/cheap

500 students pronounced this sound in a correct way but 100 students could not produce it properly. This consonant sound has following features: it is voiceless; it is post-alveolar; it is affricate. Urdu speakers do not feel any problem in its utterance.

/i:/ cheap

/dʒ/ Jug

388 learners uttered this sound properly but 212 could not utter it properly. Following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is long; it is front; it is close.

/dʒ/ Jug

553 learners uttered this sound properly but 47 could not utter it properly. This consonant sound has following features: it is voiceless; it is post alveolar; it is affricate.

/ʌ/ Jug

/ʌ/ Jug

435 learners uttered this sound properly but 165 could not utter it properly.

This vowel sound has following features: it is short; it is central; it is mid-open. There is no problem in its utterance.

/f/ Flame

/f/ Flame

543 learners uttered this sound properly but 57 could not utter it properly. Following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiceless; it is labiodental; it is fricative. Most of the time, no problem occurs in its utterance.

/eɪ/ Flame

/eɪ/ Flame

273 learners uttered this sound properly but 327 could not utter it properly. Following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is closing diphthong and can be switched by long monophthong /e: /.

/v/ Virus

/v/ Virus

506 learners uttered this sound properly but 94 could not utter it properly. Following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiced; it is labiodental; it is fricative. The speakers of the Urdu language often replace /v/ with /f/ and mix up with /w/ sound.

/θ/ Thanks

/θ/ Thanks

82 learners uttered this sound properly but518 could not utter it properly.

It has the qualities as voiceless, dental and fricatives. This sound is not present in Urdu so the speakers of Urdu sometimes replace it with /s/ or /t/.

/ð/ That

/ð/ That

126 learners uttered this sound properly but 474 could not utter it properly.

It has the qualities as voiced, dental and fricatives. This sound is also not present in Urdu so the speakers of Urdu sometimes replace it with /d/ or /z/.

/s/ Secret

/s/ Secret

470 learners uttered this sound properly but 130 could not utter it properly.

Following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiceless; it is alveolar; it is fricative. Sometimes the quality of epenthesis is observed in this sound e.g. school /sku:l/is pronounced as ischool /Isku:l/

/ŋ/King

527learners uttered this sound properly but 73 could not utter it properly.

This consonant sound has following features: it is voiced; it is velar; it is nasal. There is no problem in its utterance.

/z/Zero

/z/Zero

525 learners uttered this sound properly but 75 could not utter it properly.

Following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiced; it is alveolar; it is fricative. The speakers of Urdu language utter it properly.

/ʃ/ Shock

/ʃ/ Shock

541 learners uttered this sound properly but 59 could not utter it properly.

Following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiceless; it is post alveolar; it is fricative. Urdu speakers do not feel any problem in its utterance.

/ɒ/ Shock

/ɒ/ Shock

451 learners uttered this sound properly but 149 could not utter it properly.

This vowel sound has following features: it is short; it is back; it is open/ mid open. Lips are slightly round. Now and then it is supplanted by /ɑ: / 

/ʒ/ Pleasure

/ʒ/ Pleasure

217 learners uttered this sound properly but 383 could not utter it properly.

Following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiced; it is post alveolar; it is fricative. The speakers of Urdu language do not utter it properly most of the time and replace it with /ʃ/.

/e/ Pleasure

/e/ Pleasure

     195 learners uttered this sound properly but 405 could not utter it properly.

This vowel sound has following features: it is short; it is front; it is mid; it is slightly

spread.

 /h/ Hire

 /h/ Hire

530learners uttered this sound properly but 70 could not utter it properly. Following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiced; it is glottal; it is fricative. Urdu speakers do not feel any problem in its utterance.

/aɪ/ Hire

/aɪ/ Hire

334 learners uttered this sound properly but 266 could not utter it properly.

        This vowel sound has following features: it is closing diphthong and the speakers of

Urdu language do not face any problem regarding its utterance.

/m/ Most

/m/ Most

   545 learners uttered this sound properly but 55 could not utter it properly.

This consonant sound has following features: it is voiced; it is bilabial; it is nasal. There is

no problem in its utterance.

/n/ Knife

/n/ Knife

    467 learners uttered this sound properly but 133 could not utter it properly.

This consonant sound has following features: it is voiced; it is alveolar; it is nasal. There is no problem in its utterance.

/l/ Link

/l/ Link

548 learners uttered this sound properly but 52 could not utter it properly.

Following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiced; it is alveolar lateral; it is approximant. English has dark /l/ but Urdu does not have dark /l/.

/ɪ/ Link

/ɪ/ Link

457 learners uttered this sound properly but 143 could not utter it properly.

This vowel sound has following features: it is short; it is front; it is close; it is spread Mostly Urdu speakers have no problem regarding its utterance.

/r/ Raw

r/ Raw

525 learners uttered this sound properly but 75 could not utter it properly.

Following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiced; it is post-alveolar; it is approximant. It is often mispronounced because of its complicated nature.

/ɔ:/ Raw

/ɔ:/ Raw

 342 learners uttered this sound properly but 258 could not utter it properly.

Following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is long; it is back; it is mid. Lips are in round shape.

/j/yesterday

/j/yesterday

   519 learners uttered this sound properly but 81 could not utter it properly.

Following are the qualities of this consonant sound; it is voiced; it is palatal; it is approximant.

/w/ Wash

/w/ Wash

539 learners uttered this sound properly but 61 could not utter it properly.

This consonant sound has following features: it is voiced; it is bilabial; it is approximant. This sound is not present in Urdu and mixed up with /v/ sound.

/ə/ Vacant

/ə/ Vacant

 344 learners uttered this sound properly but 256could not utter it properly.

This vowel sound has following features: it is short; it is central; it is mid. Lips are neutral in shape. This sound comes with unstressed position. Conversely, J. D. O’Connor `         shares in his book Better English Pronunciation that “non-final /ə/ is usually too similar English /ɪ/, and final /ə/ usually too identical English /ɒ /”.

/ʊ/ Put

/ʊ/ Put

526 learners uttered this sound properly but 74 could not utter it properly.

This vowel sound has following features: it is short; it is back; it is close mid lips are round in shape.

/ɑ:/ Car

/ɑ:/ Car

 502 learners uttered this sound properly but 98 could not utter it properly.

Following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is long; it is back; it is open. Lips are neutral.

/ɪəʳ/ Peer

/ɪəʳ/ Peer

374 learners uttered this sound properly but 226 could not utter it properly.

This vowel sound has following features: it is centering diphthong; it can be exchanged by /aɪ/.

/eə/ Dare

ə/ Dare

402 learners uttered this sound properly but 198 could not utter it properly.

Following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is centering diphthong and can be changed by /ea/ in case of Urdu speakers.

/aʊ/ Cow

/aʊ/ Cow

530 learners uttered this sound properly but 70 could not utter it properly.

Following are the qualities of this vowel sound: it is closing diphthong and the speakers of Urdu language do not face any problem regarding its utterance.

CHAPTER 5

SUMMARY, FINDINGS, CONCLUSIONS, DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Summary:

This research deals with problems of phonemes faced by Pakistani learners. The researcher in the beginning finds the problematic phonemes and their reasons and after that gives suggestions regarding these problems. A survey is conducted in this research. Questionnaire word list is used as a tool of data collection. It is a mixed research because both of qualitative as well as quantitative data. Some consonants along with vowels have been pointed out which are disturbing for Pakistani learners. It has also been suggested to use the new method of teaching English phonemes because phonemes are the basis of not only reading but also speaking. This method gives a new insight to teaching phonemes at primary level.

Findings:

The learners mostly didn’t produce /p/, / t/, / k/ phonemes with aspiration.

/ɜ:ʳ/ was not uttered in a proper way by the learners rather it was replaced by /ʌr/

/θ/, /ð/ were not produced properly.

/əʊ/ sound a was also mispronounced and it was replaced by o most of the time.

/eɪ/ has also not been pronounced in a proper way.

  • /ʊəʳ/ is also problematic for Pakistani learners.
  • /ɔɪ/ was not uttered properly and replaced by the sound of like buoy.
  • In most cases, /e/ is replaced by /æ/as was in the case of pleasure.
  • /ɔ:/ was mostly replaced by /ɑ:/
  1. Connected speech features have not been observed by the learners in the maximum form.
  1. Juncture, assimilation and epenthesis were not observed by most of the learners.
  1. Elision and Intrusion was observed in the maximum learners.
  • Conclusions:
  • There is the problem of phonemes.
  • Most of the learners mix phonemes with phonics.
  • The learners do not know about connected speech features.
  • Changes in phonemes in connected speech are not observed by the learners and intrusion and elision have been observed by the learners.
  • Recommendations:
  • Phonemes must be taught to the students
  • Daily drill of the students must be in the class.
  • Connected speech features must be focused.
  • A new method of teaching phonemes is being introduced.
  • A new method of teaching phonemes

A new method of teaching phonemes is being introduced which is totally different from traditional teaching methods. After that the researcher has applied different methods of teaching phonemes including games, Suggestopedia, Direct Method etc. Different methods can also be mixed to develop the most appropriate methods of teaching phonemes. Keeping the point of view of Multiple Intelligence (MI) no one is dull in the world. So, the researcher has used the idea of Multiple Intelligence in the mind to introduce a new method of teaching phonemes.

  • Videos of phonemes must be shown to the students and there must be pauses so they students may imitate and pronounce with same pose in order to produce the similar sounds and style.
  • The teacher will pronounce the individual phonemes in the professional way and the    learners must follow the teacher’s pattern. In this way, the teacher will be a role model.
  • Charts of phonemes along with key words will be hung on the walls of the classroom.
  • The researcher will write down the poems in which different phonemes will be arranged in musical order to create musical flow that will enhance the students’ interest regarding learning phonemes.
  • A game of luck will be arranged in the classroom in which all the phonemes will be written down on the cards and chairs will be arranged in a sequence and the music will be played on. When the music will be played off suddenly the learner having box in his hands will pronounce two phonemes. The specific learner will leave the group along with written phoneme.
  • Recreational kits will be given to the students in which different types of sports materials will be distributed in the class. On the sports material, different phonemes will be written down and the learners will play with the material and utter phonemes.
  • Such songs can also be used for phoneme teaching.

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