Anglophone Pronunciation of English: The Case of Selected Final Year Students in the English Department of the University of Buea

Project Details

Department
English
Project ID
EN58
Price
5000XAF
International: $20
No of pages
44
Instruments/method
Qualitative research
Reference
Yes
Analytical tool
Descriptive statistics
Format
 MS Word & PDF
Chapters
1-5

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Abstract

This study explores the proficiency of Anglophones in the University of Buea with specific reference to pronunciation to give the study a focus. The following hypotheses were raised.

Students who speak Pidgin English both at home and in school will pronounce poorly than those who speak just English.

Students who have a negative attitude towards the target language will register low proficiency.

Data was collected using questionnaires and pronunciation tests. These were administered to selected final year Anglophone students in the English Department in the University of Buea.

This work concludes that the factors that negatively affect the Anglophone pronunciation of English can be attenuated through the frequent use of the language no matter the environment. Recommendations and suggestions for further studies are equally made.

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of the Study

Language according to Edward Sapir “is a purely human and non- instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by a means of a system of voluntarily produced symbols”. One grows up to learn the language of his surroundings and any other language he learns is a second language.

Language demands both writing and speaking skills. The user of a language should understand the syntax, lexicon and the general grammar of that language in order to be able to write it correctly.

Speaking skills, the point of focus of this work, deals with the phonetics and phonology of the language. A language learner. May be able to speak the target language without depending on his first language after mastery of certain language skills.

In the world today, following the development of technology that facilitates the meeting of people from all over, people are beginning to realize the need to study second and foreign languages, especially those of universal usage like the English language. There are two major ways of learning a language, that is, the formal and informal methods.

The informal method can take place in any environment without a teacher. The subject gets acquainted with the language without knowing the grammatical rules governing this language.

This is known as language acquisition and it differs from the formal method which is done in a classroom, with the aim of developing competence in the learner. This type is known as Language Learning.

The case of this study is Anglophones who are learning English. English and Pidgin English have some similarities in their structures, but however, a direct translation from Pidgin English to English results in grammatical errors leading to poor pronunciation by Anglophone students. This will be discussed in greater detail as the work progresses.

The Language Situation in Cameroon

Language plays a vital role in the achievement of national unity, stability and development of a country. This explains why the decision as to what type of language policy to adopt is very crucial in every society.

Cameroon has been critical too about the choice of a language policy considering its bicultural colonial identity: English and French inherited from the colonial masters, Britain and France. The country’s constitution states clearly that

The official languages of the Republic of Cameroon shall be English and French, both languages having the same status. The state shall guarantee the promotion of bilingualism throughout the country. It shall endeavour to protect and promote national languages, (chiatoh, 2006, p. 44).

Cameroon has over two hundred and forty-eight languages with English and French as official languages. Apart from these languages, there is Pidgin English; a lingua franca which has become unofficially official in the sense that it is central to the lives of many Cameroonians especially those in the North-West, Littoral and South-West Regions.

Many children already speak Pidgin English before they come to school and those who do not, pick it up within a few weeks of starting school. Pidgin English is the commonest language used by Cameroonians from the diverse linguistic background (Mbufong).

Pidgin English is forbidden in the school system because of the belief that it interferes with the learning of English such that, the final product is difficulties in pronunciation by Anglophones. Possible reasons for the poor pronunciation of English by Anglophone students will be analysed and recommendations made.

Statement of the Problem

The pronunciation of English by final year Anglophone students in the University of Buea is below expectation since most of them communicate in Pidgin English from then secondary school days. This is a problem because their spellings too are affected.

This poor pronunciation could be as a result of: firstly their indigenous languages has greatly affected their pronunciation since most of them speak it at home and thus, cannot construct concise and good sentences. It is essential to understand the causes of poor English pronunciation by Anglophones because it will enable us to know how it could be remedied.

The objective of the Study

The main objective of this work is to analyse the pronunciation of English sounds by Anglophones.

Anglophone Pronunciation of English: The Case of Selected Final Year Students in the English Department of the University of Buea

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