A PHONOLOGICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE PROBLEMS ON THE PRONUNCIATION OF ENGLISH SOUND SYSTEM BY EKID L2 LEARNERS

A PHONOLOGICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE PROBLEMS ON THE PRONUNCIATION OF ENGLISH SOUND SYSTEM BY EKID L2 LEARNERS

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A PHONOLOGICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE PROBLEMS ON THE PRONUNCIATION OF ENGLISH SOUND SYSTEM BY EKID L2 LEARNERS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Cover Page

Certification    --          --          --          --          --          --          --          --          ii

Acknowledgement      --          --          --          --          --          --          --          iii

Table of Contents       --          --          --          --          --          --          --          v

List of Tables  --          --          --          --          --          --          --          --          vii

Lists of Figures           --          --          --          --          --          --          --          viiii

Abstract          --          --          --          --          --          --          --          --          ix

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1            Background of the study        --          --          --          --          --          1

1.2           The Ekid Language      --          --          --          --          --          --          3

1.2.1     Classification of the Language --          --          --          --          --          4

1.3      Statement of the Problem         --          --          --          --          --          6

1.4      Research Objectives     --          --          --          --          --          --          6

1.5      Research Question        --          --          --          --          --          --          5

1.6      Significance of the Study         --          --          --          --          --          7

1.7      Delimitation of the Study        --          --          --          --          --          8

1.8      Definition of Technical Terms  --          --          --          --          --          8

           

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.0       Introduction    --          --          --          --          --          -           --          10

2.1       Mother Tongue Interference   --          --          --          --          --          10

2.1.1    Language Transfer      --          --          --          --          --          --          13

2.1.2    Phonological Interference       --          --          --          --          --          16

2.1.3    English Language in Nigeria   --          --          --          --          --          19

2.2       Theoretical Framework           --          --          --          --          --          20

2.2.1    Contractive Analysis               --          --          --          --          --          20       

2.2.2    Ekid and English Consonants and their words --       --          --          23

2.2.3    Ekid and English Vowels and their words--  --          --          --          28

2.2.4    Inconsistency in English Sound System--      --          --          --          32

2.3       Second Language Learning    --          --          --          --          --          34

2.4       Sound System Difference between L1 and L2          --          --          36

CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

3.1    Introduction       --          --          --          --          --          --          --          40

3.2    Research Design                        --          --          --          --          --          --          40

3.3    Research Population      --          --          --          --          --          --          41

3.4    Sample and Sampling Technique           --          --          --          --          42

3.5    Instrument for Date Analysis    --          --          --          --          --          42

3.6    Validity of Reliability    --          --          --          --          --          --          42

3.7    Procedures for Data Analysis    --          --          --          --          --          43

3.8    Methods of Data Collection      --          --          --          --          --          43

CHAPTER FOUR:

4.1    Introduction       --          --          --          --          --          --          --          44

4.2    Data Presentation           --          --          --          --          --          --          44

4.2.1 The Pronunciation Problem of Ekid L2 Learners          --          --          54

4.3    Data Analysis     --          --          --          --          --          --          --          56

4.3.1 Contrastive Analysis of English and Ekid Sound System        --          56

4.3.2 Analysis on Area of Differences --        --          --          --          --          60

4.3.3 Analysis on the phonological description of Ekid and

         English Sounds --           --          --          --          --          --          --          61

4.4    Discussion of Findings  --          --          --          --          --          --          63

CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

5.1    Introduction       --          --          --          --          --          --          --          65

5.2    Summary of Findings    --          --          --          --          --          --          65

5.3    Conclusion         --          --          --          --          --          --          --          66

5.4    Recommendations         --          --          --          --          --          --          67

         References         --          --          --          --          --          --          --          69


LIST OF TABLES

Table 1: Ekid Consonants Chart         --          --          --          --          --          --          24

Table 2: Examples of Ekid Consonant Words            --          --          --          --          25

Table 3: English Consonants Chart     --          --          --          --          --          --          26

Table 4: Examples of Consonants Words       --          --          --          --          --          27

Table 5: Examples of Vowel in Ekid  --          --          --          --          --          --          29

Table 6: Examples of Vowels in English        --          --          --          --          --          31

Table 7: Representation of English Consonant Sound           --          --          --          44

Table 8: Representation of Ekid Consonant Sound   --          --          --          --          45

Table 9: Representation of English Vowel Sound      --          --          --          --          46

Table 10: Representation of Ekid Vowel Sound        --          --          --          --          48

Table 11: Data Presentation on the Level of Differences between

Ekid and English Sound System        --          --          --          --          --          49

Table 12: Data Presentation on the Phonological Distribution of

Ekid and English Sound System        --          --          --          --          --          50

Table 13: Ekid and English Vowel Sound System Juxtaposed          --          --          56

Table 14: English and Ekid Consonant Sound System Juxtaposed   --          --          58


TABLE OF FIGURES

Figure 1: Classification of Ekid Language     --          --          --          --          --          5

Figure 2: Ekid Vowel Chart   --          --          --          --          --          --          --          28

Figure 3: English Vowel Chart           --          --          --          --          --          --          30


ABSTRACT

The research work focuses on the phonological description of the problems on the pronunciation of English sound system by Ekid L2 Learners. Two languages were used: English and Ekid. The study aims at investigating the various problems Ekid learners encounter in the process of learning English. The researcher viewed pertinent works by various researchers from where some various ways in which language can be learnt effectively and methods teachers can adopt for easy learning process were also observed. In an attempt to get opinion from second language learners, we administered a wordlist to chiefs, elders and native speakers who made us realize the difficulties they encounter in language learning. For this research, the descriptive method of data collection was employed and the data obtained was analyzed qualitatively. Oral and written interviews were adopted through the use of instrument such as word list, pen, and tape recorder. The theoretical framework adopted in this research is that of contrastive analysis. The findings of this study revealed that Ekid L2 learners had problems with the pronunciation of English vowels that have more than one way of pronunciation, in addition to the consonant sound contrast. E.g./z/ and /ð/, /s/ and /θ/, /b/ and /p/, /ʃ/ and/ʧ/. Based on the findings, the study concluded that the differences in language structure and mother tongue interference cause problems to the Ekid L2 learners competence in pronunciation.



CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background of the Study

All around the world, there are a lot of people with strong desire to learn and speak English with correct pronunciation. English is an everyday means of communication for large number of Nigerians operating at different level of education. O Connor(2003) noted that the errors of pronunciation that learners of English from different language backgrounds make are systematic and not accidental, so he concluded that the main problem of the speakers of other languages, who speak English, is a substitution of sounds. That is, they substitute the sounds that they don’t have in their native language with other sounds which are close to them in the place of articulation. E.g. the sound /b/replaces/p/, /t / replaces /θ. 

Second language has become common in Africa and people often wonder why it is so. This is because in the earlier centuries, African states were over ruled by the western countries and as a result, foreign norms were introduced into African communities and languages were not left behind. These foreign norms created a unifying force among linguistically divided individuals towards a common goal of nation building. In Nigeria for instance, indigenous or local languages are not enough to serve local need of the people because they cannot compete effectively in the scientific, technological and commercial activities of the wider world.

It is not a novel fact to say that an African child especially in Nigeria is surrounded by a complex language situation. Aside having an indigenous language, he also requires a good command of English language if he is to acquire Western Education. In Nigeria, English is the official language, language of administration, law, national press and above all it is the language of education. To communicate effectively in English, one must keep up with the general accepted norms of English from the point of view of pronunciation, grammatical and vocabulary usage. If we do not have these in mind, we may end up not getting the real essence of teaching English language as a means of communication in Nigeria.

People always venture into learning a second language but not all succeed in mastering it. This is because speakers always use features of the first language to replace that of the target language. This, according to Gregor (2009), is called interference, one who has being using a language since early childhood and has been predisposed to only one language habit of thoughts which are closely tied to his experience with the world of actions and things around him. It is likely that the first language structure might be an obstacle in learning a new language since the learner needs a second grouping of his surroundings and experience which may be made in the same way and under the same condition as the first language.

Second language learning in individuals differs, the problems of Japanese learning English may not be the same as that of a Yoruba, Hausa or Igbo man. In L2, learning the two languages may not belong to the same sentence structure. Their differences may be in phonology, morphology, syntax or semantics. This situation also applies to the structure of English and Ekid languages.

1.2       The Ekid Language

The bulk of the Ekid people are found in the southern part of Akwa Ibom State.  They live along the Atlantic Coast with the Ibuno and along the Kwa Iboe River North latitude. The Ekid community extends from the Southern coast of Akwa Ibom to Ikot Ubon in Ubim clan in the North, a distance of about fifteen kilometers. Eket town which is the headquarters of the Ekid community is situated near the Kwa Iboe River (Udo 1983:72).

The Ekid people were described by the early Europeans as “Warlike Ibibio, very wild Ibibio, and truculent savages…..who had a wonderful knack of bobbing up again and giving trouble after being beaten by British officers“. From a military point of view, they were also found to be the “sporting tribe imaginable”, and political administration made seven separate expeditions to reduce them to order (Udo, 1983:72-73).

Ekid is the name of a language as well as the name of the speakers of the language. Ekid is spoken as the main and dominant Local language in Ekid and Esit Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State by a population of about two hundred thousand (Connel 1994). Ekid language is closely related to Ibibio, Efik, Anaang, Oro and Ibuno languages. It has under gone various changes from the time of early contact with other Lower Cross Languages. There is unidirectional intelligibility between Ekid and Ibibio. Speakers of Ekid understand and speak Ibibio fluently without formal training. Ekid language has two varieties, Ekid and Esit-Eket spoken in Ekid and Esit-Eket Local Government Areas respectively.

1.2.1    Classification of the Language

            Ekid belongs to the Lower Cross sub group family of the Delta group of the Cross River sub-branch of the new Benue-Congo branch of the Niger-Congo sub-family of the Niger-Kordofonian language family(Williamson 1989). The lower cross language group takes its name from its geographical location, being situated in the lower part of the Cross River basin of South Eastern Nigeria. The group spans three Nigerian States in the coastal region-rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River- as well as the international frontier to the Isangele sub-division of South Western Cameroon (Connell 1994). More recent classification has placed Ekid in the Lower Cross group of the Cross River sub-branch of Proto Benue-Congo of the Niger-Congo phylum (Williamson and Blench 2000).





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