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Title: Aural and Orthographic Input: Implications for the Acquisition of English Consonant Clusters by Northern Najdi Arabic Speakers.
Authors: Al Azmi, Saleh
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This study examines how exposure to orthographic input (OI) and purely aural input (AI) affects Arabic-speaking learners’ initial acquisition of a syllable structure more complex than in their L1 since Arabic language does not have the consonant clusters that English has. It also investigates the relation between first language literacy and the acquisition of a new phonological system by exposing learners to different types of exposure: educational methods, i.e. AI only and AI + OI. In this study, 60 participants aged between 25 and 38 (mean = 31) in the northern Najdi-speaking region of Saudi Arabia were given beginner lessons in English in three separate classes which revolved around 26 target words from a typical Saudi English curriculum. The teaching followed the methodology of Young-Scholten et al. (1999). The 26 words were divided into categories representing different types of English onset and coda clusters. Participants attended ten lessons over five weeks (two lessons per week; 20 minutes each session). None of them knew English or had any literacy in English and 20 also had no literacy in their native Arabic. The participants were divided into three groups: the non-literates (=20); an Arabic-literate aural-only group who were only exposed to aural input (=20), and an Arabic-literate word group which during learning was also exposed to orthographic input in English orthography (=20). The hypotheses followed previous research, that OI during learning and during testing would lead to more epenthesis and less deletion, with the added hypothesis that the Non-literate Picture Group would epenthesise the least and delete the most. Participants took a post-test where photos were displayed and participants were asked to say the word the photo represented. The literates took another post-test where the written forms of the words were displayed to see if seeing words written during testing made a difference. The results indicated significant differences in the rates of epenthesis and deletion. In the aural test, the Non-literate Group had the highest rate of deletion compared with the Arabic-literate Picture Group. The AI group displayed a higher rate of deletion than the OI group, and the rate of deletion became significantly lower when this group was also exposed to OI during testing.
Description: iPh. D. Thesis.
Appears in Collections:School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

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