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Analysis of a Respondents Pronunciations

The respondent is a ten years old Penangite, Liyahana Farisah. She is a Malay and a Muslim.
She is currently studying in Madrasah al-Aminiah, an Islamic primary school in Penang. She
was asked to read a storybook entitled King Donkey Ears.

Based on the respondents pronunciations, the problem that was identified was the
mispronunciation of fricative consonants which was the voiceless TH //. The word thought
(/:t/) was pronounced as talk (/t:k/). Instead of placing the tip of the tongue between the top
and bottom teeth, she pressed it against the teeth ridge producing /t/ and not //. Next, silent
consonant was pronounced. For instance, /k/ in the word know /n/ was pronounced as /kn/.
The respondent corresponded the silent consonant /k/ to the sound in the words pronunciation.

One of the factors that influence the respondents pronunciations is the lack of exposure to the
English language. Murcia, Brinton, and Goodwin (2010) stated that learners must receive large
amounts of comprehensible input before they are required to speak. The respondents
surrounding may not provide enough exposure for her to expand her domains of linguistic
competence. Besides, interference occurs. A re-arrangement of patterns occurs due to the
introduction of foreign elements that are more complicated. Certain features are transferred to
the target language due to the differences of structures for both languages.

The solutions for these problems are intensive practices and variations in class content.
Practices should be done with or without the guidance of an accurate and fluent speaker.
Through their presence, mistakes done can be corrected and improved. Afterward, practices
can be done individually through recording while keeping track of every improvements. As an
English teacher, learning content that can overcome the mispronunciations should be created
after identifying the problems. For example, by reading a story that requires them to repeat
mispronounced words aloud as Wellhousen and Crowther (2004) said that learning
environments encourage trial and error, imitations and repetitions resulting in correct
pronunciations of targeted feature.

In conclusion, in speaking skill, both fluency and accuracy are considered as vital. Issues that
occurred before mastering the skill can be solved through practices and exposure towards the
English language.

(358 words)
References

Murcia, M, C., Brinton, D, M., & Goodwin, J, M. (2010). Teaching Pronunciation Hardback with
Audio CDs (2). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Wellhousen, K., & Crowther, I. (2004). Creating Effective Learning Environments. New York:
Thomson Delmar Learning.

Bibliography

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Boyer, S. (2003). Spelling and Pronunciation for English Language Learners. Glenbrook: Boyer
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Harrison, A. M., Lau, W. Y., Meng, H. M., & Wang, L. (2008, September). Improving
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Levis, J. (2005). Changing contexts and shifting paradigms in pronunciation teaching. TESOL
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Shak, P., Chang, S. L., & Stephen, J. (2016). Pronunciation problems: A case study on English
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