On the Efficacy of a Communicative Framework in Teaching English Phonological Features Absent in Persian to Iranian EFL Learners

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences,, Shahid Beheshti University

Abstract

Although Persian and English share many common phonemes, there are some phonological features that are present in English but absent in Persian which tend to lead to mispronunciation on the part of Persian learners of English, mostly through negative transfer. The present research assesses the efficacy of a communicative framework in improving Iranian adult EFL learners’ pronunciation of five English phonemes absent in the phonological system of Persian. Thirty EFL learners, divided into experimental and control groups, participated in the training course which lasted 22 sessions (330 minutes). The experimental group was instructed using the communicative framework for teaching pronunciation while the control group received traditional methods of pronunciation teaching. The pronunciation quality of these sounds were then assessed by four native and four non-native English teachers as well as by the PRAAT speech analysis software in the case of the vowels. Although no significant difference was detected between the experimental and control groups with regard to posttest results, a positive trend was observed in favor of the experimental group regarding specific features (e.g., formant frequencies, duration, center of gravity) of the problematic sounds.

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