Hebron University Faculty of Graduate Studies English 2018-11-29¢  Hebron University Faculty of Graduate

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  • Hebron University Faculty of Graduate Studies English Department

    The Impact of English Orthography On

    Arab EFL learners' pronunciation of English

    By

    Ashraf Awad

    Supervisor :

    Dr. Ahmad Atawneh

    This thesis is Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of English in Applied Linguistics and the Teaching of English, College of Graduate Studies & Academic Research, Hebron University

    2010

  • III

    Dedication

    To my parents

    To my brothers and sisters

    To my professors

    To my friends

    To every one who helped me

    I dedicate my work

  • IV

    Acknowledgements

    I would like to extend my heartfelt acknowledgement to all those who, in one

    way or another, have sustained me in making the completion of this study possible.

    First and foremost, inevitable special acknowledgements go to Dr. Ahmad Atawneh,

    my academic supervisor, for his unwavering efforts, unfailing support, dedicated

    guidance and insightful remarks.

    A bundle of thanks also go to my instructors Dr.Hanna Tushyeh and Dr.

    Raghad Dwaik for their beneficial suggestions and corrections.

    I'm also most grateful to my students, too many to mention by name, who

    participated in this study. Without their participation, the study would have been a

    failure altogether.

    Special thanks also go to my colleagues, the teachers whom I interviewed and

    who participated in the study

    I'm sincerely grateful to my wife, adorable children, sisters, brothers, friends

    and parents whose prayers for me never stopped day and night.

  • V

    Table of contents Dedication ...................................................................................................................................................... III

    Acknowledgements ................................................................................................................................. IV

    Table of contents …................................................................................................................................. V

    Tables ............................................................................................................................................................. VIII

    Abstract .......................................................................................................................................................... IX

    Chapter One: Introduction .................................................................................................................... 1

    1.1 The issue of transfer: a theoretical perspective ........................................................... 3

    1.2 Orthographic interference: how the native language affects pronunciation 4

    1.3 Statement of the problem ....................................................................................................... 6

    1.4 Rationale and significance of the study .......................................................................... 9

    1.5 Scope and limitations of the study .................................................................................... 10

    1.6 Purposes of the study ............................................................................................................... 10

    1.7 Research hypotheses ................................................................................................................ 11

    1.8 Research questions .................................................................................................................. 11

    1.9 Key terms ......................................................................................................................................... 12

    Chapter Two: Review of related literature .................................................................................. 15

    2.1 The writing systems ................................................................................................................. 16

    2.2 The controversy over the English spelling system .................................................. 16

    2.3 English orthography ................................................................................................................ 19

    2.4 The Arabic spelling system ................................................................................................. 22

    2.5 The orthographic depth hypothesis ................................................................................ 22

    2.6 Grapheme-phoneme correspondences in English .................................................... 23

    2.7 Phonological and orthographic processing knowledge ......................................... 24

    2.8 The effect of orthographic complexity ......................................................................... 25

  • VI

    2.9 Graphophonemic awareness ............................................................................................. 26

    2.10 Studies on the relation between orthography and pronunciation ................. 27

    2.10.1 Cross-linguistic studies .......................................................................................... 31

    2.10.2 Studies examining learners with a Roman script ..................................... 31

    2.10.3 Other studies ............................................................................................................... 33

    Chapter Three: Methodology ............................................................................................................. 34

    3.1 Participants ..................................................................................................................................... 34

    3.2 Instrumentation ........................................................................................................................... 35

    3.3 Materials ........................................................................................................................................ 35

    3.4 Data analysis ................................................................................................................................ 38

    3.4.1 Quantitative data analysis .......................................................................................... 38

    3.4.2 Qualitative data analysis ............................................................................................ 39

    Chapter Four: Results, analysis and discussion ......................................................................... 40

    I The diagnostic test .......................................................................................................................... 40

    Discussion of the errors .................................................................................................................. 44

    4.1 Multiple functionality ........................................................................................................... 44

    4.1.1 Vowel digraphs .............................................................................................................. 46

    4.1.2 Vowels ............................................................................................................................... 46

    4.1.3 Consonants ..................................................................................................................... 46

    4.2 Doubling consonants ................................................................................................................ 47

    4.3 Silent letters ................................................................................................................................. 49

    4.4. Morphological endings ......................................................................................................... 51

    4.5 Highly unpredictable spelling of words ........................................................................ 53

    4.6 Syllabic nasals and liquids .................................................................................................. 57

    4.7 Failure to recognize the schwa sound ........................................................................... 59

  • VII

    General comment on the errors ................................................................................................. 60

    II The interview ................................................................................................................................ 61

    Chapter Five: Conclusion and Pedagogical implications ..................................................... 68

    References ...................................................................................................................................................