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Phonological Awareness of English Phonemes by Kuwaiti Arabic Speakers with Evidence of Phonemic Hypercorrection
International Journal of Education, Culture and Society
Volume 5, Issue 6, December 2020, Pages: 126-136
Received: Oct. 17, 2020; Accepted: Nov. 2, 2020; Published: Nov. 11, 2020
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Rahima Akbar, English Department, College of Basic Education, Ardiya, Kuwait
Hanan Taqi, English Department, College of Basic Education, Ardiya, Kuwait
Nada Al-Gharabally, English Department, College of Basic Education, Ardiya, Kuwait
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Research in the area of L2 phonological awareness continues to grow rapidly considering the importance of achieving proficient spoken English and ensuring being understood during communication, but most importantly on guaranteeing learners (worldwide) better professional opportunities. In Kuwait, conversing in English at a level at which the users can understand and be understood has become crucially important, regardless of the field in which the population studies or works. Within such intriguing context of phonological awareness in second language acquisition, the current study investigated the association of English phonemes production and perception by speakers of Kuwaiti Arabic and the main triggers of incorrect production. The present study looked specifically into the phonological errors made by Kuwaiti speakers of English when L1 has a parallel phoneme of only one of the two contrasting L2 phonemes in its L1 phoneme and/or orthography systems. The study was conducted on 244 Kuwaiti male and female participants between the ages of 18 and 30. The sample answered a 44 words questionnaire consisting of three English phonemes, namely, /p/, /v/ and /t∫/ and their counterparts /b/, /f/ and /∫/. The participants were asked to choose the correct sound they hear in word-initial and word-final positions. Findings of the study suggest that many Kuwaiti learners of English found it difficult to identify the English phonemes as a result of a deeper level of complications triggered by the occurrence of contrasting phonemes in both L1 and L2, hypercorrection, and interference of orthography. It is, hence, believed that perception is not the sole reason that causes Arabic learners of English to produce English sounds incorrectly.
Second Language, Phonological Awareness, Production, Perception, Hypercorrection, Orthography, Sociolinguistics, English, Kuwaiti Arabic
To cite this article
Rahima Akbar, Hanan Taqi, Nada Al-Gharabally, Phonological Awareness of English Phonemes by Kuwaiti Arabic Speakers with Evidence of Phonemic Hypercorrection, International Journal of Education, Culture and Society. Vol. 5, No. 6, 2020, pp. 126-136. doi: 10.11648/j.ijecs.20200506.13
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This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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