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Title: Teacher-student phonological transference in a Saudi Arabian EFL context : a case study of phonological and attitutdinal influences
Author: Alotaibi, Wafa Jeza
ISNI:       0000 0004 6500 8097
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2018
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In the context of teaching pronunciation of English as Foreign Language EFL, many studies have investigated a range of factors that affect pronunciation (see ‎2.4). It is considered by Gilakjani (2012) and Ahmadi (2011) that the influence of learner's mother tongue (L1) is one of the most significant factors on students' pronunciation. However, among other factors, little research has investigated EFL teachers' L2 accent, as a cause of L1 influence (see ‎2.2.1), on their students' L2 outcome (Levis et. al, 2016). This case study examines whether or not there is any significant segmental phonological influence of Arabic-speaking teachers' language variety in terms of their dialectal accents on students' L2 English pronunciation of ten consonants /dʒ, ʒ, v, tʃ, ŋ, ɹ, Ө, ð, p, g/. The original contribution to knowledge of this study is to explore the factors that may affect Saudi students' L2 English pronunciation linking this to their attitude towards Arabian teachers' accented English. Different theoretical frameworks are investigated including Transfer and Markedness theories as well as Contrastive and Error Analysis Hypotheses. The main data collection methods were student surveys (n=118), recordings of teacher (n=6) and student pronunciations (n=120, 20 students per a teacher) and students' follow-up interviews (n=15). Based primarily on clarity of accent, the results of the survey indicate a clear student preference for Saudi and Jordanian teachers’ oral articulations of English. Data analyses also reveal no direct relationship between the teachers' L1 Arabic dialectal accents and their students' L2 pronunciation, which contradicts the hypothesis that there is an influence from the teachers' L1 dialects on the students' L2 pronunciation. The main source of the students' deviations counts on the students' L1 and their previous L2 education in school more than their teachers' L2. Also, the findings show that in this time of speed technology and social media, the teacher is not the only pronunciation ideal model in the class as freshman students are exposed to other sources of English. Moreover, the findings highlight that the students' negative attitude towards certain accented English does not count for the students' L2 accented pronunciation. It is revealed that students' accented English claim to their previous education aligning with the Critical Period Hypothesis (see ‎2.2.6). A key implication of this research is to consider the dialectal variation among the teachers' and students' L1 in teaching L2 pronunciation. Moreover, it may be helpful to stakeholders that the teachers' native-like English pronunciation is not a vital criterion for their students' proficient pronunciation. Thus, the incidence of having multi-varieties of Englishes in EFL environment could be concluded as being a healthy condition.
Supervisor: Beswick, Jaine ; Wright, Vicky Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available