Essay by bagakahUniversity, Master's April 2010

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Articulation Paper � PAGE �1�


Articulation Paper

The ability to speak is different from the ability to be understood. Proper articulation denotes speaking while also being clearly understood. This process is not always an easy one for speakers of a second language. A learner's native language is among the several factors affecting the interpretation and production of sounds. For students who study English as a second language, pronunciation errors are likely to occur due to phonemic differences between their native language and English. These errors may challenge and even impair the understanding of native speakers of English, as well as other English language learners. The purpose of this assignment is to examine pronunciation errors specific to French, Chinese, and Japanese speakers learning English, as well as the extent to which these mistakes affect overall meaning. Insight will determine whether pronunciation issues are part of normal language development or if they are associated with articulation disorders.

Classroom implications will follow to illustrate how educators can integrate such knowledge to maximize learning.

Errors Made by Native French Speakers

The English language includes an array of sounds that do not exist in French. "Non-native speakers of the English language tend to carry the intonation, accent or pronunciation from their mother tongue into their English speech" (Knowledgerush, 2009, ¶1). In French, the /h/ sound is always silent, while in English, if placed in front of a vowel, the /h/ sound is a glottal, and arises "from the flow of air through the open glottis" (Fromkin, Hyams, & Rodman, 2003, p. 240). French speakers thus tend to either insert or omit the /h/ sound inaccurately, which results in words like hair and air being pronounced interchangeably. Another common issue for French speakers is word stress. Stress is a distinctive feature...