Thesis On Education:
Topic: “ANALYSIS OF THE PROBLEMS IN SPEAKING ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE BY THE STUDENTS”.
Area: Teacher Education (Elementary and Secondary)
University Of Which Thesis is Submitted:
The topic has been brought under research in five Chapters. In first chapter pen picture was given on the “The impact of teacher training program in quality of learning at primary level”.
In second chapter the related literature regarding the impact of teacher training program in quality of learning at primary level has been briefly discussed from primitive periods to the present age.
The third chapter explains the research methodology by which the researcher was carried out. In this research descriptive methodology has been done.
Fourth chapter has the data tabulation of Questionnaire. Which were served to population; the interviews of prominent teachers of three colleges and the analysis of college magazine, which depict the use of the “Analysis of The Problems in Speaking English as a Second Language by The Students of Grade-7”.
Fifth chapter has the summary, conclusion, findings and recommendations.
Sr. No Chapter 1st
1.2 Statement of the problem……………………………………………………
1.3 Objective of the study………………………………………………………..
1.4 Significance of the study………………………………………………
1.8 Research tool……………………………………………………………………
1.9 Data collection…………………………………………………………………
1.10 Date analysis…………………………………………………………………….
2.1 Importance of speaking English………………………………………
2.2 Different levels of speaking English……………………………….
2.3 Problems of speaking for second language learner…………….
2.4 Speech organs……………………………………………………………..
2.5 Features of good speaking……………………………………………….
2.6 Manner of articulation……………………………………………………
2.7 IP chart for speaking……………………………………………………..
2.8 How to speak well and confidently……………………………..
2.11 Difference between phonetic and phonology………………….
2.15 Different types of speaking activities………………………………
2.16 Recommendation for Good Speaking English at Elementary Level
3.01 Design of the study………………………………….………
3.02 Population of the study…………………………………
3.05 Statistical Analysis…………………………………………..
Data analysis and its interpretation …………………………..……
5.05 Appendix #1…………………………………………………
5.06 Appendix #2………………………………………………
The word language “seems to have been derived from the Latin words, “Lingua,” which implies “tongue “. The French term,” language” also refers to a specific from of speech .Hence, in the whole process of language teaching, spoken language occupies an important place. Ballard says,” talking comes before writing, oral composition before written composition.
(Dash, 2004, p.165-166)
Speaking is the productive skill in the oral mode. It, like the other skills, is more complicated than it seems at first and involves more than just pronouncing words
Josh Billings says
“Silence is one of the hardest arguments to refute”.
There are three kinds of speaking situations in which we find ourselves:
- Partially interactive, and
Interactive speaking situations include face-to-face conversations and telephone calls, in which we are alternately listening and speaking, and in which we have a chance to ask for clarification, repetition, or slower speech from our conversation partner. Some speaking situations are partially interactive, such as when giving a speech to a live audience, where the convention is that the audience does not interrupt the speech. The speaker nevertheless can see the audience and judge from the expressions on their faces and body language whether or not he or she is being understood.
Some few speaking situations may be totally non-interactive, such as when recording a speech for a radio broadcast.
Here are some of the micro-skills involved in speaking. The speaker has to:-
- Pronounce the distinctive sounds of a language clearly enough so that people can distinguish them. This includes making tonal distinctions.
- Use stress and rhythmic patterns, and intonation patterns of the language clearly enough so that people can understand what is said.
- Use the correct forms of words. This may mean, for example, changes in the tense, case, or gender.
- Put words together in correct word order.
- Use vocabulary appropriately.
- Use the register or language variety that is appropriate to the situation and the relationship to the conversation partner. Make clear to the listener the main sentence constituents, such as subject, verb, object, by whatever means the language uses.
- Make the main ideas stand out from supporting ideas or information.
- Make the discourse hang together so that people can follow what you are saying.
1.2 Statement of the problem
This research would” analyze the problems in speaking English as a second language faced by the students of grade-7 in D.G.Khan City”.
1.3 Objective of the study
The objectives of my studies are:
- To review the concept and importance of speaking skill.
- To identify the learning difficulties to speak English at 7th class.
- To analyze the factors that are effective in speaking skill.
- To explore the new ways of speaking skill.
- To recommend how they improve speaking skill in English at 7th grade.
1.4 Significance of the study
With the help of this study we may come to know the speaking problems of students at grade-7. So this study would be significant.
- i. This research will help to identify the problem of speaking at 7th grade.
- ii. This research will help to provide method of improving speaking skill.
- This study is helpful to solve the speaking problem.
Due to limited resources and time the researcher study the following aspects:
i. Subject English
iii. This study was conducted in D.G.Khan City.
iv. Both male and female students including in sample.
The population of the study was all the students of middle schools in district D.G.Khan.
- Students grade-7 in school will be included in the sample.
- Convenient sampling techniques will be used for the selection of sample.
- It consisted of 300 female students in district D.G.Khan
1.8 Research Tool/ Instrument
Questionnaire for the one subject of the 7th class was developed and validated by the supervisor.
1.9 Data Collection
1. The research will visit her to the sample students. The trained representatives will also help the researcher to administer the instrument.
2. List of 7th class students will be obtained from the school.
3. Selecting the sample of students based on this proportionate distribution of male school for data collection.
1.10 Data Analysis
1. I will analysis the whole information which I will collect from interview and questionnaire and take out the percentage. The answer which highest value will give result and according to the research result. I will recommend the solution.
2. Finding of this study will be drawn on the basis of data analyzed.
3. The conclusions of the study will be drawn from the findings and finally recommendation will be made on the finding of the study.
2.1 Importance of Speaking English
By speaking we do not mean merely uttering words through mouth. It means conveying the message through the words of mouth. This skill is also neglected in our classrooms students do not get any chance either in the classroom or outside to speak English. Speaking is not a part of our examination. Learning to speak also demands a lot of practice and attention. We learn to speak our mother tongue just by listening and repeating. Teacher can adopt the same natural way he can give them certain structure and ask them to repeat. This will remove their shyness. He can give those drills in the basic patterns of language (Mumtaz, 2007).
We learn to speak our mother tongue by imitating those who speak around us .In a similar manner , a foreign language is learnt by imitation and reproduction .in the early stage ,parrot like repetition is more important then understand the various part of sentence or formulating ideas in desired patterns. It is just like learning some skills as driving or knitting. The rule follow is, “practice makes man perfect”. Teacher should produce them at his will. The teacher should therefore, drill practice in the basic pattern of language so that they become automatic with pupils (Hashmi, 1991).
A speech will be characterized by a long turn (a speaker speaking without interruption), whereas, when we talk to friends there will be short turns, where people say a few words and then someone else contributes, and so on.
It is likely that different topics will be discussed in these situations. In a work context there is likely to be a set topic and issues outside those related to work may not be acceptable. The formality of the language will also vary because the power relationship between friends is equal, but this is not the case when speaking to a boss. This may affect who initiates conversational exchanges – typically the person with more power or authority – and also the choice of vocabulary used.
The discussion with the newsagent may be ‘transactional’ in nature. She asks for a certain amount of money, you give it, say thank you, and leave. There is unlikely to be any development beyond what is essential for the transaction to be completed. This is obviously different to speaking to a friend, where there is no transaction as such, and the purpose is to build or maintain social relationships (Watkins, 2007, P.81).
2.2 Different Levels of speaking.
Learning of speaking skill for a foreign learner of English language is a hard task. The habits of speech which facilitate the native speakers pose serious problems for the foreign learner. However, speaking skill can be divided into sub skills according to the level of the foreign learner. These sub skills can be called as of speaking .They are mentioned as follows.
2.2.1 Ability to pronounce phonemes of English:
First level of speaking English is the ability of the learner to pronounce or a basic sound of English. Pronunciation of sounds with good standard is very vital for the production of understandable speech. If sounds not pronounced correctly, communication can not take place between two interlocutors coming of two different areas .So it is necessary that a Learner can pronounce sounds with good standards.
2.2.2 Ability to use stress correctly on the syllables of the longer words:
A speaker combines phonemes or sounds to make words which are basic meaningful unit of speech. When in a word there are more than one syllables in words are stressed or pronounced prominently. Such prominence gives rhythmic character to English speech If the syllables are stressed incorrectly .Vowel sounds will change the words will not give their meaning correctly and the listener will not be able to understand the speech.
2.2.3 Ability to use stress to emphasis
The correctly and stress syllables in words rightly .a speaker should be able to pronounce content words in a sentence. Native speakers of English do not pronounce every word of a sentence equal voice .They pronounce content words likes nouns , verbs etc. at high voice and grammar words like articles , preposition, pronouns at low voice ,this rhythmic characteristic of English speech is to be necessarily followed if a speaker wants to keep his speech understandable.
2.2.4 Ability to use correct intonation pattern:
Native speakers of English complete their sentence with the raise and fall voice in voice. These two patterns indicate the necessity and attitude of the speaker which make the speech highly communicative. These intonation patterns also serve as grammar purpose of the sentence and sometimes they serve a lexical purpose. So mastery over at least basic intonation patterns is highly necessary for a speaker of English.
2.2.5 Speaker should have the knowledge of grammar:
Accuracy of speech is based on the grammar rules of a language .So the foreign learner should have good knowledge of morphology and basic grammar rules.
2.2.6 Speakers should know formats for expression:
A Foreign learner should have ability to express his meaning with the help of set format of expression..For example he should be able to use “will “plus the base form of the verbs in order to express a decision as in this sentence “that’s ok .I’ll put it through the computer at the office if you can’t do the work”.
2.2.7 Ability to plan message:
In speech only linguistic and phonetic skills are not enough, a speaker should be able to interact successfully for this purpose he should be able to plan his message and use interactive routines. For example he should be able to ask someone for directions to a particular place like bank, office hospital, etc
2.2.8 Ability to use routines appropriately:
Meaningful use of language at interactive level is very complex. Here the speaker should have knowledge about the listener and the context .He should also be aware of the level of formality needed. For example if the speaker is an employee and requires disagreeing with his employer, he should be able to disagree politely (Bajwa, 2002).
2.4 Problems of speaking for second language learner.
Difficulties in learning correct speech habits English arise from several sources.
1. There is no correspondence between sound and symbols. For Pakistanis whose national language is highly phonetic, English pronunciation presents difficulties, particularly in clusters like “ough” that has many different sounds as found in ‘rough’ (raf) ‘plough’ (plow), ‘thought’ (thot), ‘drought’ (drot) and ‘naughty’ (naty). The sign “OU” has seven different vowel sounds as in cloud (clowd0, soul (sole), touch (tuch), youth (yooth) could (kud) bought (bot), journey (jurni).
Long ‘e’ (ee) sound is also very troublesome. It is represented by as many as seven vowel letters or signs, as in, me (mee), mete (meet), meat (meat), field (feeld), seize (seeze), cease (seez), police (poleece).
2. The silent letters are usually baffing because in Urdu we have very rare such occurrences. We come across silent in the medial position of such words as. But silent letters in English are found in all the three positions.
Initial Position: *Psychology, *Psalm, *Wrap etc.
Medial Position: *Debt, *Calm, *Adjustment etc.
Final Position: *Autumn, *Condemn etc.
3. Hard and Soft sounds create difficulties:
Letter ‘C’in Cat – hard sound.
Letter ‘C’ in Cinema – soft sound.
Letter ‘G’ in Get – hard sound.
Letter ‘G’ in Gem — soft sound.
4. The chief problems arise out of the contrasting patterns of the sounds of the mother tongue and English. Our students utter the sound of English letters I the pattern of Urdu.
5. Letters in English spellings do not correspond with their sounds. One letter ‘a’ gives different sounds in father, fate, late, cat, fall; ea; in beat, heart, break, ear, learn, bread gives different sounds; ‘U’ in but and put causes a lot of confusion to the child.
6. Long, short and broad sounds of vowels are bewildering.
Short ‘a’ as in rat.
Long ‘a’ as in baby.
Broad ‘a’ as in father.
‘a’ with short ‘o’ sound: What (wot), Was (wos)
‘a’ with ‘au’ sound; all (aul), bald (bauld)
7. The problem of stressed and unstressed syllables, vowels and consonants.
8. Transliteration creates pronunciation problems. By transliteration we mean to write the English word in Urdu script, for example, ‘Electric’. The danger of it is that the students pronounce the English word as it is expressed in Urdu. This sort of practice of the teacher has marred the correct pronunciation of our students.
9. Bad mode.
10. Lack of understanding of the systematic arrangement of various sounds which a human vocal organ is capable of producing.
Denial Jones in his book ‘An Outline of English Phonetics’ points out five main difficulties that a student of spoken English has to face.
(i). Learning “to recognize readily and with certainly the various speech sounds occurring in the language, when he hears them preannounced.”
(i) Learning “to make foreign sounds with his own organs of speech.”
(ii) Learning “to use these sounds in their proper places of connected speech”.
(iii) Learning the proper usage of stress, intonation, rhythm etc.
(iv) Learning “to join each sound of a sequence on to the next, and to pronounce the complete set stumbling(Tahir,1988,p.179 -182).
2.5 Speech organs
Speech organs produce the many sounds needed for language. Organs used include the lips, teeth, tongue, alveolar, ridge, hard plate velum (soft plate), uvula and glottis.
Speech organs – otherwise articulators – are dividing into two: passive articulators and active articulators. Passive articulators are those which remain static during the articulation of sound. Upper lips, upper teeth, alveolar ridge, hard palate etc. are the passive articulators. Active articulators move towards these passive articulators to produce various speech sounds, in different manner. The most important active articulator is tongue. Uvula, lower jaw which includes lower teeth and lower lip are the other active articulators.
2.6 Features of good speaking
Many English students complain that they understand English, but don’t feel confident enough to join a conversation. There are a number of reasons for this including:
- Students are trying to translate from their native language into English.
- Production “blocking” is occurring due to nervousness, lack of confidence, etc.
- The speaker is looking for a specific word, rather than using simple language to describe what is meant.
- There aren’t enough conversation opportunities in or outside of class.
- Students aren’t able to speak to peers (for example: mixed classes of adults and teenagers).
- Exam preparation focuses on grammar, vocabulary, etc. and leaves little time for active use.
Here are a number of resources, lesson plans, suggestion pages and more which will help you and your students improve English speaking skills in and outside of class.
2.7 Manners of articulation
Manners of articulation include:
Where there is a total blockage and the sound instead goes through the nose. Examples include English /m/, /n/, etc. to nasal, where there is complete occlusion of the oral cavity, and the air passes instead through the nose. The shape and position of the tongue determine the resonant cavity that gives different nasal stops their characteristic sounds. Examples include English /m, n/. Nearly all languages have nasals, the only exceptions being in the area of Puget Sound and a single language on Bougainville Island.
Plosives or stops an “explosion” resulting from a momentary closure and then release of air. Examples include English /p/, /b/, etc. , plosives where there is complete occlusion (blockage) of both the oral and nasal cavities of the vocal tract, and therefore no air flow. Examples include English /p t k/ (voiceless) and /b d g/ (voiced). If the consonant is voiced, the voicing is the only sound made during occlusion; if it is voiceless, a plosive is completely silent. What we hear as a /p/ or /k/ is the effect that the onset of the occlusion has on the preceding vowel, as well as the release burst and its effect on the following vowel. The shape and position of the tongue (the place of articulation) determine the resonant cavity that gives different plosives their characteristic sounds. All languages have plosives.
Fricatives or spirants, where there is continuous friction at the place of articulation. Examples include English /f/, /s/, etc. Sibilants are a special type of fricative where the airflow is shaped by the form of the tongue. /s/ and /z/ are sibilants in English. Lateral fricatives are yet another type of fricative, where the friction occurs on one or both sides of the edge of the tongue.
Sibilants are a type of fricative where the airflow is guided by a groove in the tongue toward the teeth, creating a high-pitched and very distinctive sound. These are by far the most common fricatives. Fricatives at coronal (front of tongue) places of articulation are usually, though not always, sibilants. English sibilants include /s/ and /z/.
- Lateral fricatives
Lateral fricatives are a rare type of fricative, where the frication occurs on one or both sides of the edge of the tongue. The “ll” of Welsh and the “hl” of Zulu are lateral fricatives.
Affricate which begins like a plosive, but this releases into a fricative rather than having a separate release of its own. The English letters “ch” and “j” represent affricates. Affricates are quite common around the world, though less common than fricatives.
Flap often called a tap, is a momentary closure of the oral cavity. The “tt” of “utter” and the “dd” of “udder” are pronounced as a flap in North American English. Many linguists distinguish taps from flaps, but there is no consensus on what the difference might be. No language relies on such a difference. There are also lateral flaps.
Trill in which the articulator (usually the tip of the tongue) is held in place and the airstream causes it to vibrate. The double “r” of Spanish “perro” is a trill. Trills and flaps, where there are one or more brief occlusions, constitute a class of consonant called rhotics.
Where there is very little obstruction. Examples include English /w/ and /r/. In some languages, such as Spanish, there are sounds which seem to fall between fricative and approximant.
- One use of the word semivowel, sometimes called a glide, is a type of approximant, pronounced like a vowel but with the tongue closer to the roof of the mouth, so that there is slight turbulence. In English, /w/ is the semivowel equivalent of the vowel /u/, and /j/ (spelled “y”) is the semivowel equivalent of the vowel /i/ in this usage. Other descriptions use semivowel for vowel-like sounds that are not syllabic, but do not have the increased stricture of approximants. These are found as elements in diphthongs. The word may also be used to cover both concepts.
Approximants, such as the English /l/, is a special type of approximant formed at one or both sides of the tongue.
2.08 IP chart for speaking
A new Data monitor report, Call Center Component Technologies, concludes that Internet protocol (IP) and speech recognition technologies will substantially fuel increased revenues for, respectively, automatic call distributor (ACD) and interactive voice response (IVR) solutions through 2007.
In IP-networked call centers, all communications, including voice, are treated as packet data within a single enterprise network using IP. In speech recognition-based IVR systems, callers can retrieve information from, or transact with, an electronic or recorded voice by speaking commands (as opposed to pushing touchstones in traditional IVR systems).
Chart 1 shows the growth of ACDs in North America. By 2007, IP-enabled systems will represent 13.3% of the market, up from 3.0% in 2002. Revenues from traditional (circuit-switched) ACDs, after peaking in 2004 at $1.6 billion, will decline steadily through 2007.
Contributing to the expected decline is the growing market for IP-enabled call centers. In 2002, the average number of agents in an IP-enabled call center was 33; Data monitor expects this number to rise to 47 by 2007.
Data monitor forecasts that revenues from IVR solutions will to grow to $822 million in 2007 from $591 million in 2002, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8%. Driving adoption of IVR solutions is the addition of speech recognition, plus heightened competition from new IVR vendors. Most of the growth will occur in the small to mid-size business (SMB) market.
2.09 How to speak ENGLISH well
Here are a few steps to consider when speaking with confidence Steps.
- I. .Learn how to have conversations with people.
Your ideas or opinions may not always be accepted by others, but this is nothing unusual. Open your mouth, express your beliefs! This will improve your courage.
- II. Don’t be afraid and speak loudly
If you speak in low voice, not only will others not be able to hear what you say , but you will also portray a submiddive demeanor, which suggests the opposite of a confident one.
- III. Make eye connect when you speak
For one thing it is polite for others .Also, eye contact will help others to listen to your thinking carefully.
- IV. Praise yourself every day
This will promote your own confidence, which is important when you speak, with more confidence .people will take your thinking more seriously.
- Don’t be nervous when you make mistakes. Human error is far from being a new concept –no body is perfect! It’s normal for everyone to make mistakes. Just clam down keep speaking bravely.
- Try and try again! This may be difficult for a shy person at first, but you need to force yourself to speak, and not seclude your thoughts. If you have some ideas, then try to speak out! Don’t just keep them in your head.
- If you have self confidence issues.try to think that you are the only one who has sound knowledge about the topic. Ten go ahead and impart your knowledge to the audience in an effective way.
- Remember that there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance. Don’t portray an exaggerated amount of confidence, or you will come off as arrogant, believing that your ideas are better than the ideas of everyone else
http://www.wiki how.com/speak-well and- confidently.
Phonetics is the studies of the production transmission and reception of speech sounds. It studies medium of spoken language .Touching upon psychology and physics, phonetics is now a pure science that studies speech processes, including the anatomy, neurology and pathology of speech the articulation, description, classification, production and perception of speech sounds. It looks at speech from three distinct but interdependent view points. It studies the speech organs, which produce sounds of language; It studies waves, then physical way in which sounds are transmitted through the air from one person to another, and it studies the way in which human beings perceive sounds through the medium of ear .The study of phonetics can be divided into three main branches, acoustic, auditory and articulator phonetics.
2.10.1 Acoustic phonetics:
Acoustics phonetics is the study of the physical properties of speech sounds such as frequency and amplitude in there transmission. Acoustic phoneticians analyze the speech waves with the help of instruments
It is in the field of acoustic phonetics that the most striking developments have taken place since the Second World War. Complex sounds waves produce in speech can be analyzed into their component frequencies and relative amplitudes. Considerable progress has also been made in speech syntheis.Acoustic analysis has confirmed that speech is not made up of a sequence of discretesounds.The articulator features of sounding of voice of nasality, of obstruction and of fraction can also be identified acoustically. Acoustic phonetics has achieved good deal of success in maters of vowels, but regarding consonant it has not reach final conclusions.
2.10.2 Auditory phonetics:
Auditory phonetics is the study of hearing and the perception of speech sounds it studies different auditory impression of quality, pitch and loudness of sounds. The auditory classification of speech sounds .The auditory classification of speech sounds has not yet been to a device phase at present time, phonetics can be regarded as being made up of two main branches articulator and acoustic phonetics
The result of acoustic and auditory phonetics need very minute observations and great scientific and technical expertise
And are several times puzzling these branches use instrument which cannot be used easily outside a laboratory and cannot be transported successfully from one place to another .Hence the easiest approach to observations about speech is the traditional and most common approach of articulator phonetics.
2.10.3 Articulatory phonetic:
Articulator phonetics recognizes that speech is produced by some kind of sound-making apparatus inside the human body, and that specific sounds may be related to specific movement of to apparatus. Hence it is the study of movement of the speech organism the articulation of speech—lungs, larynx soft palate tongue teeth, jades and lips. The knowledge of the organs of speech, their relation to each other, and the way in which they are used in speaking provides a sounds basis for the classification of sounds of human languages.
According to Bloomfield phonology is the organization of sound into patterns. In order to fulfill the communicative functions, languages organize their material the vocal noises into recurrent bits and pieces arranged in sound patterns. It is thy study of this formal organization of languages which is known as phonology (Bajwa.s.2002).
Like Phonetics, Phonology is also an area of study in Linguistics. Phonetics and Phonology are closely related. Phonetics is the study of human speech sounds while Phonology is the study of how sounds are organized and used in a language or languages. According to David Crystal,
“Phonology is a branch of Linguistics which studies the sound systems of languages”.
In other works, phonetics is surrounded by phonology which is the application of phonetics to a particular language or languages.
Phonology is language specific; it studies the speech sound of a given language and their function within the sound system of that language. As a matter of fact, human speech is something which is extremely, delicately patterned. It is not just a jumble of sounds but a highly organized system of structure and it is in this structure that the phonologies are interested. The phonologies’ analyses speech as an orderly sequence of specific sounds and sequences of sound. The speech is orderly in terms of very complex set of patterns which repeatedly occur and which are at least partially predictable. There patterns in phonological analysis form the structure.
The most basic elements in the sound system of a language are called phonemes. Phonemes are the minimal (smallest) meaningful elements in the sound system of language. For example /p/, /b/, /t/, /@/ is called phonemes. In any language, there is a definite number of phonemes. In English, for example, there are 44 phonemes grouped into 20 vowels and 24 consonants. If there is a minor change in the sound of a phoneme, the sound is called allophone. For example.
/t/ is a phoneme; th/ is its allophone.
Syllables: Phonemes are organized into syllables in a quite definite and systematic way. Each syllable must have one or more consonants before the vowel. For example, there are three syllables in the word ‘unkindness’ un-kind-ness. In each, there is a vowel sound. The maximum number of consonants which can appear before a vowel in a syllable in English language is three, while the maximum number of consonants that appear after the vowel is four. The diagram below shows the possible structures of a syllable.
C = consonant’ V-vowel.
C0-3 V C0-4
There are quite intricate restrictions on the combination of vowels and consonants that each language permits. Of all the possible combinations of English sounds, only a small promotion are admitted as complying with the patterns of English speech structure.
2.11.2 Discourse. Next to syllable in the phonological structure of any language is food, and feet combine to make tone units in a discourse. Discourse means large meaningful units such as sentences, paragraphs.
Thus a philologist is concerned with drawing up a comprehensive phoneme inventory of a language, its classification into vowels, consonants, diphthongs, trip thongs and allophones.
Two Branches of Phonology
With in phonology two branches of study are usually recognized, segmental and supra-segmental. The minimum unit in segmental phonology is phoneme, whereas, the minimum unit in supra-segmental phonology is syllable. Segmental phonology analyses speech into discrete segments such as phonemes, while supra-segmental phonology analyses those features which extend over more than one segment such as stress, rhythm and intonation. When works are used in connected speech, certain changes take place in their sounds such as assimilation (one sound mixes with the other) elision (leaving out a sound0 neutralization (weakening of sounds), liaison (linking of sounds) and juncture (boundary between two sounds) they are studied in supra-segmental phonology.
2.12 DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY
Phonetics and Phonology are two fields within Linguistics which is the scientific study of various aspects of Language. The two fields focus on the same phenomenon and complement each other in the comprehensive investigation of the speech sounds of any language. Phonology is just one of the several aspects of language. It is related to other aspects such as phonetics, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. Given below is an illustration that shows the place of phonology in an interacting hierarchy of (lower to higher) levels in linguistics.
Pragmatic (language in communication)
Semantics (study of meaning)
Syntax (study of sentence structures)
Morphology (study of word structure)
Phonology (study of arrangements of sounds)
Phonetics (study of production of sounds)
Phonetics (study of production sound)
Both Phonetics and Phonology deals with the sounds of language. But there are certain differences in their range and process. The following comparative table is helpful to understand this difference.
|1.||It operates at the level of sound systems and linguistic units called ‘phonemes’ and arranges sounds into meaningful utterances.||1||It is concerned with the study of how human speech sounds are produced.|
|2||It has two branches: Segmental, Supra-segmental.||2||It has three branches: articulator, Acoustic, Auditory.|
|3||It is the basis for further work in morphology, syntax, discourse.||3||It is the basis of phonological analysis.|
|4||It analyzes the sound patterns of a particular language by pointing out which phonetic sounds are significant and how these sounds are interpreted||4||It analyzes the production of all human speech sounds, regardless of language.|
2.13 USING VOWELS
Though not impossible, it is very difficult to describe a vowel sound in writing in such a way as to give the reader a complete idea about the nature of vowel sound. The only way to familiarize the reader is to relate the unknown vowels to known vowels.
In production of the vowel, the tongue, lips and the mouth play a very important role. At the time of the production of vowels the tongue is held at such a distance from the room or the mouth that no frictional noise is produced. A resonance chamber is formed, when the tongue takes up a vowel position. This chamber modifies the quality of the tone produced by the voice and give rise a distinct quality or timbre, which is known as a vowel. Though the number of possible vowels is very large, in actual practice we use very small number of vowels. For example, when in Spanish there are only five essential vowels, in English there are more than this classification of vowels.
The position of the tongue and lips determine the qualities of vowels. Therefore, we should classify them according to the position of the main part of the tongue. The position of the lips on the other hand, does not have much effect on the quality of vowels. While producing most of the vowels, the tongue is convex to the palate. Therefore, it is very convenient to arrange the vowels “according to the position of the highest point of the tongue”. In order to have practical knowledge about the position of the tongue, we should examine with the help of a looking glass or feel with out finger the movements of the tongue, when it passes from one vowel position to another. Vowels may be classified under the following heads according to the movement of the tongue.
2.13.1 Classifications of vowel sounds according to the part of the tongue which is raised.
a) Front Vowel. Front vowels are produced when the “front of the tongue is raised in the direction of the hard palate”.
b) Back Vowels. Back vowels are produced when the “back” of the tongue is raised in the direction of the soft palate.
c). Central Vowels. Central vowels are produced intermediate between front and back of the tongue.
2 The High to which it is raised.
a). Close Vowels. Close vowels are produced when the tongue is held as high a possible consistently with not producing a frictional nose.
b). Open Vowels. Open vowels are produced in which the tongue is as low as possible.
3 Half-close and half-open Vowels.
Information of the half-close and half-open vowels, the tongue occupies positions one-third and two-thirds of the distance from the “close and open”.
4 Quality of Vowels according to the position of the Lips.
The quality of vowels also depends on the position of the lops to a great extent. The position of the lips may be natural or neutral. In order to leave a long narrow opening between them, they may also be spread out. They may also be drawn together as a result of which the opening between them is more or less round.
5 Cardinal Vowels
Vowels used by the people very to a very great extent. For example, a description based on the vowels presumed to be used in particular words may be correct for somebody and may not be correct for other readers. Therefore, tit it not possible to have some sort of “standard pronunciation.”
The above difficulty can be solved, if we can establish a set of “cardinal vowels.” Cardinal vowels refer to “specially selected vowel-sounds which can be conveniently used as a point of reference from which other vowels can be measured”.
2.13.2 SELECTION OF CARDINAL VOWELS.
The selection of cardinal vowels are made as follows:-
(i). Cardinal vowel No.1 is the vowel which combines the greatest degree of “closeness” with the greatest degree of “frontless.’ A frontier vowel” cannot be produced. If we raise our tongue higher, a frictional nose will be produced by the normal breath pressure. Such sound cannot be a vowel at all.
(ii) Cardinal vowels Nos.2, 3 and 4 are vowels, which belong to front series. They have been selected in order to form equal degrees of “acoustic separation between Nos.1 and 5.”
(iii) Cardinal vowel No.5 combines the greatest degree of “openness” with the greatest degree of “blackness.” We cannot lower our tongue at this stage. If we retract it further a frictional noise will be produced by the air that passes through the narrow space between the back parts of the roof of the mouth. Such a sound cannot be a vowel. It is consonant.
(iv). Cardinal vowels No.6,7 and 8 have been selected in order to continue these equal degrees of acoustic separation in the back series of vowels(Dash.B.N.2004).
The greatest degree of “openness” with the greatest degree of “blackness.” We cannot lower our tongue at this stage. If we retract it further a frictional noise will be produced by the air that passes through the narrow space between the back parts of the roof of the mouth. Such a sound cannot be a vowel. It is consonant.
(iv). Cardinal vowels No.6, 7 and 8 have been selected in order to continue these equal degrees of acoustic separation in the back series of vowels.
The sounds uttered by the organs of speech are of several kinds. The continuous voiced sound produced without any obstruction in the mouth like “pure musical sounds” un-accompanied by any frictional noise
2.14.1 THE CONSONANTS INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING
(i) All voiced sounds formed by means of an obstruction in the mouth.
(ii) All breathe sounds.
(iii) Those sounds in which are a narrowing of the air passage giving rise to a frictional noise.
(iv) Sounds which are gliding.
There are some consonants which we breathe and other we voice. Every breathed sound corresponds a voiced consonant. Voiced consonant is produced with some position or movement of the articulating organs, but with voice substituted for breath or vice versa. According “V” corresponds of “f” and “b” to “p”. in English, the breathed consonants corresponding to many of the English voiced consonants corresponding of “M” and “I” occur accidentally only. It becomes difficult to utter them internally. But making such sounds is a very good exercise. There are some people, who face problems in pronouncing a fully voided “V” or “Z” in isolation. It is possible to voice and “h’ which does not occur accidentally in speech. (Dash, 2004).
English is a stressed timed language. It is not a syllable timed language in India. A stressed language is one, in which every word receives a stress on one of its syllables. In other words, “The degree of force with which a speaker pronounces a sound or a syllable is called its stress.” This force is conceived chiefly as a pressure from the chest wall affecting the air stream, but in reality the pressure extends to other parts of the body and may often be observed in accompanying gestures especially of the head and hands.
Stress may be classified into to parts, viz. stressed and unstressed, because of it’s variation from syllable to syllable. Who we pronounce a syllable more forcibly than it’s without much force, we call it unstressed. In other words the word which receives a stress on one of its syllables strongly is pronounced with strong stress and which is pronounced without much force is pronounced with weak stress.
Stressed – Mohan, neglected his studies.
Un-stressed – Mohan has neglected his studies.
To determine the stress in a word, there is no definite rule. But there is possibility of grouping the words according to whether they receive the stress on the first or second or third syllable.
2.15.1 SENTENCE STRESS
In English language there is no specific rule to determine which word in a sentence is to be stressed except the one that in normal speech all nouns, demonstrative and interrogative pronouns, main verbs, adverbs and adjectives are generally stressed. On the other hand words like pronouns, conjunctions, prepositions, articles helping verbs etc. are unstressed. To understand it clearly, let us have a glance upon the following sentences and phrases.
(v) The man in the ‘street’.
(ii) There is ‘nothing’ to be ‘done’.
(iii) Who is ‘that’ boy?
(vi) The ‘boy in the’ corner is ‘holding a’ book.
(v) ‘Did he’ run very ‘fast’?
Besides a few words which are stressed above, there are other word like on, in, it, did, he, at a, of, was, etc., which are not stressed. Articles, prepositions, helping verbs, pronouns and conjunction in English speech have given rise to unstressed pattern or the weak forms.
Since English is a stressed timed language, knowledge of weak forms of words or weak parts in long words is indispensable in English speech. But in Indian languages, it is not so. If one speaks English only with strong form sounds, he is wrong. The use of weak form is an essential part of English speech. Those who desire to speak English in the “English way” should try to learn the weak forms of 34 English works mentioned below. This will make their English sound nature. At the time of need the weak forms become strong forms? Therefore, careful listening and practice is another essential aspect of developing oral proficiency.
A list of 34 words with both Strong and Weak Forms.
2.16.1 Different types of speaking activities
Speaking means conveying the message through the words of mouth. We speak when we want to express our ideas, desires, and to establish social relationships. This skill is also called Oral Skill or Communicative Skill. This skill is very often neglected in our schools. Most of the students cannot speak English. They feel shy’ they are afraid of every student cannot get a chance to speak. To develop this skill, the students need intensive practice. Speaking practice is usually done in pair and group work.
Language experts have organized oral skills into four distinctive types.
2.16.1 Drill or linguistically structured activities.
In these activities, the teacher provides a particular structure, and the students practice it by repeating it. Drills are a good example of this type.
2.16.2 Performance activities.
In these activities, the student prepares himself beforehand and delivers a message to a group. A good example of such an activity is the students speech.
2.16.3 Participation activities.
In these activities, the student participates in some communicative activity in a ‘natural setting’. One of the most commonly used participation activities is the discussion on some topic.
2.16.4 Observation activities.
In these activates, a student observes something, writes a brief summary and presents his findings to the class.
The students are given a structure and are asked to repeat it. Drills are usually very controlled. They are fairly repetitive, and not very creative. However, they are a good practice for students to speak. They can be used to practice simple statements, question forms and answers.
A dialogue is a conversation between two persons. The students may be asked to talk, introducing themselves to each other. They may ask each others, personal questions about their likes and dislikes.
This is also a form of dialogue. In this type of exercise, the students are asked to play the role of different persons and talk to each other. For example, a student may act as a shopkeeper and the other as the customer in a shopping situation. This exercise will encourage the students to speak in real life situations.
2.16.8 Information Gap Exercises:
This is again a form of dialogue. In this type of exercise, one person has some information which the other person does not have. So there is an information gap. To fill up this gap, one person asks the questions, and the other answers there questions.
In this type of exercise, the students go on adding sentences to it. For example, the teacher says: Once there was a crow. A student will add the sentence: He was very thirsty. In this way, the story will be completed. Every student will get a chance to speak.
2.16.10 Short Lectures:
The students may be given some easy topics. They will prepare them in verbal or written form. Turn by turn, they will come to the stage and deliver a lecture fro two minutes before the class.
This is the advanced stage of speaking. The teacher will give some topics to different groups of students. He will give them instructions how to proceed. The students will discuss the topic. These, the teacher will ask the leader of the group to give the result of their discussion. (Mumtaz, 2007).
2.16.12 Telling jokes.
Students first prepare and rehears by themselves before telling them in the class. They need encouragement and help from teacher in this difficult task.
2.16.13 Talks /Lecture and test.
Short lecture can be prepared and delivered by few students while others are asked to listen and note down mistakes to be discussed after wards (Hashmi .A.S.1991).
2.16.14 Practice activities.
(a) Orals drills:
Oral drills are small scale exchanges. For example four phases drills consisting Q.A-Q.A.
A: Is Ahmad Saudi?
B: NO, he isn’t.
A: where is he from then?
B: He is Jordanian.
2.16.15 Information gap Activities
Students are distributed into pairt.Each student has a card bearing complementary information. Each student asks the other for his missing pieces of information. For example.
Store list A Store list B
Apples 15 kilos apples
Banana banana 5 kilos
A: How many bananas are there?
B: 5 Kilos [A writes five kilos on list]
Examples include twenty questions, quizzes, and ask the right questions.
2.16.17 Oral activities:
Students are given cards, some general prompt, or a questionnaire to ask questions in order to get to know the likes dislikes, family and daily habits of class colleagues.
2.16.18 Problem solving:
Groups are even a problem situation. For example they have survived a plane crash in a desert with some tools and limited survival rations. They must decide what to do.
2.16.19 Story construction:
Each student is given a different picture and group is to compose a story together. He pictures may be from different stories or sources.
2.16.20 Communicative Activities.
Example of this kind activity, include selecting objects for a journey; arguing about moral dilemmas discussing reading comprehension (Bajwa.s.2002).
2.17 Recommendation for Good Speaking English at Elementary Level
1. Practice in the early stages of learning should be limited, however, to the sounds, the vocabulary or the structural patterns which are being taught for active production.
2. Practice should not be in isolated periods or of meaningless sounds, words or sentences. This deadens interest in the new language learning.
3. Pupil’s initial contact with the flow of speech will come from hearing he sentences, the teacher gives.
4. Hearing, imitation and repetition are the key activities to learn correct pronunciation and intonation. Students need to practice in groups as well as independently.
5. Sound differences could be carefully handled.
6. The teacher has to keep control over the learning process by correcting immediately pupil’s mistakes. He need not point out the mistake but he arranges for the correct practice exercises indirectly.
7. Living through a situation and finding to use the language as a compelling force always helps in acquiring a sound language habit. Can be teacher of English devise such situations when it is the second or the third language to learn?. It is not uncommon to find that the child even when he is at play he uses the new sounds as he hears them being used by other children in his play groups, without even knowing what each sound or word means. In a very short time he has learnt the meanings of the words by using them in the right place at the right moment.
8. Meaning of words must be allowed to be explored and they are learnt and remembered better. Equivalents, if used, often weaken the impression of the new word and thus tend to damage pupils interest in learning a language. Certain though around a great deal of difficulty stimulators learning. It must be guaranteed that the living personality of the teacher makes use of new word in all kinds of contexts and situations.
9. The proper plan is to adopt new sounds, words and structure patterns into well designed course which ensures gradual yet through repetition so that correct forms, construction are established in the mental habits of the pupils. Pupils should not have a free choice of grammatical form and structure.