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Possible CAUSE

1) oral-motor problems

Various areas of the brain responsible for speech production do not communicate with each other
effectively, and your child might have trouble moving his lips, tongue or jaw in the necessary way to
pronounce sounds. For example, you might notice your toddler has difficulty pronouncing “S”
sounds, which might be a result of him having trouble pushing his tongue against the back of his
front teeth, a necessary movement for making the correct sound.

2) Oral Impairments

Physical problems like oral impairments, including conditions of the tongue or palate, can also cause
pronunciation problems in small children

3) Mother Tongue Interference

The mispronunciation of the above sounds is the result of the over practice of the first language, a
process of fossilization. The adults vocal musculature is set to pronounce foreign sounds with an
accent reported that the main problem of English pronunciation is to build a new set of sounds
corresponding to the sounds of English, and to break down the arrangement of sounds which the
habits and the systems of our LI have strongly built up.

4) Sound System Differences between LI and L2

These differences between the sound systems are regarded as a barrier against competence in the
pronunciation of English, because the new sounds still remain strange for their organs of speech

5) Influence of Spelling on Pronunciation

This problem is due to the spelling system in English language, because in Arabic language students
can easily pronounce a word from a written text just by looking at it; so each letter represents one
sound, so the relationship between the orthography and the phonology is very easy to distinguish, in
addition to that there is no silent letter in Arabic language as it is found in English. Many words in
English have letters, which are not pronounced. The sounds of spoken English do not match up, a lot
of time, with letters of written English. So if we cannot use the letters of the alphabet in a consistent
way to represent the sounds we make, it is difficult to describe the sounds of a language like English.

6) Learners’ wrong generalization on the correct pronunciation of the


Another cause of EFL learners’ incorrect pronunciation is perhaps learners’ wrong generalization on
the correct pronunciation of the words. Although in general English has many regularities in English
spelling, there is no one-to- one correspondence between letters and pronunciation (Harmer, 2007).

Analysis [ǝ'nælǝsǝs] This word analysis is often incorrectly pronounced as [ænǝlaisis]. Such
pronunciation is assumed to be the interference of wrong generalization of the pronunciation of its
verb form analyze which is pronuonced ('ænǝlaiz).

7) Problems in Minimal Pair

“In minimal pair, two words in a language differ from each other by only one distinctive sound which
also differs in meaning.” So students sometimes inter-mingle one word with the other at the time of
pronunciation. So, the meaning or the structure of the sentence is changed by the students because
they cannot differentiate the minimal pairs. Students made problems in following sounds:
surpass~surpasses, ask~asks, disclose~disclosed, discuss~discusses, undisturb~undisturbed,
get~gets, etc.

8) The age factor, mother tongue interference and phonetic ability.

Chitravelu, N.,Sithamparam,S.,& Teh S.C. (1995) defined sounds as, “spoken language and

the sound system varies between languages”. The subject as non-native speakers of English often
use their mother tongue (first language) as a starting point in learning new language which is why
she/he may have problems producing sounds of English words. It may be difficult for him/her to get
used to the new English Phonemes. The use of the first language as a guideline to learning English
also limits how phonemes are produced or heard that make him/her hard to distinguish different

For example, the subject have difficulty pronouncing the word “blue” /blu/ instead of saying “blue”,
he says “belu”.

Possible Solution

1. Practice Listening & Watch the English movies,

2. Watch news in English

3. Assign the teaching and learning process to the native speaker

4. Phonology classes with Qualified phonology teachers

5. Teaching should focus on both recognition and production i.e. teachers should recognize the
pronunciation errors and correct them and teach the students how to pronounce these
sounds correctly.

6. worth looking at the dictionary for checking the correct pronunciation of words.

7. Correct L2 input should be given more and more; drilling would be helpful for the students;

8. The students should be taught that writing symbols and sound symbols are different and
spelling is not pronunciation.

9. • Teachers should be trained on phonetics to aid students improving their pronunciation