THE IMPORTANCE AND APPLICATIONS OF PHONETICS IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL
This project investigates the importance and applications of phonetics in junior secondary schools in the Esakor West local government area of Edo State. To determine this, the project examines the concept of language, language functions, and language skills.
English phonemes, as well as vowel and consonant sounds, are investigated. As a result of the foregoing, efforts are being directed toward analyzing the data collected using the research methodology used to obtain the data. As a result, the findings are summarized, and a discussion, conclusion, and recommendations are presented to conclude this study.
The study’s context
The English language has unquestionably established itself as Nigeria’s Lingua Franca (Jolayemi, 2007). English, as a Lingua Franca, is obviously the country’s formal or official language. This status explains why Nigeria places such a high value on it. Because it is a foreign language, the skills must be learned rather than acquired.
Because the language is required for the proper functioning of the country, the Federal Republic of Nigeria has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to the language’s promotion and development in the country. As a result, the government employs multifaceted approaches or strategies.
The inclusion of English as a subject in the school curriculum is an essential component of these strategies aimed at ensuring the growth of the English language in Nigeria. A curriculum planner is particularly interested in the speaking skill; knowledge that enables learners to speak the language in the same way that native speakers do. Phonetics and Phonology are the branches of English that cater to this interest.
Phonetics, as defined by Akande (2002), is the study and description of the physical properties of human speech sounds. It is divided into three sections: Articulatory Phonetics, Auditory Phonetics, and Acoustic Phonetics.
Phonology, on the other hand, is the process by which speech sounds are patterned into a specific language system (Akande, 2002). The phonology of the English language is investigated at the segmental and supra-segmental levels.
Segmental phonology studies the consonant and vowel phonemes of the English language, whereas supra-segmental phonology studies stress, rhythm, intonation, and tone. A learner’s proficiency in English speaking is usually determined by how well he or she has internalized the properties of the English language sounds system.
It is unfortunate that most students at all levels of education today are unable to identify English phonemes due to over or under differentiation and reinterpretation of English phonemes for their mother tongue(s) (Alabi, 2002). Furthermore, students face numerous difficulties when encountering English consonant clusters that do not exist in their native language.
The students’ mastery of stress and intonation patterns in English is significantly low because it differs significantly from their indigenous languages, which are primarily tonal. The students normally pronounce the English words as they appear orthographically in their native languages or dialects, making their communication rather incomprehensible to the outside world.
Statement Of The problem
Nigeria has made concerted efforts to ensure that candidates for these examinations perform optimally since 1989, when Oral English or English Paper 3 (Test of Orals) became a compulsory paper to be written in the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WAEC and NECO).
In pursuit of this goal, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Education, invests a significant portion of its resources each year in recruiting, training, and retraining English language teachers in order to achieve these goals of citizen proficiency in spoken English and reap the many benefits that come with it.
As a result, opinions on the effects of teaching phonology in Nigerian secondary schools differ. While some believe that the subject has improved the students’ spoken English. The pessimist contends that, despite the teaching of Oral English, there is still noticeable speech difference among our secondary school students.
They believe that some students have resorted to their Mother Tongue (MT) in order to alleviate their anxiety about speaking English. This school of thought believes that only a small percentage of these students speak good English, most likely due to their background.
In light of the preceding argument, the purpose of this study was to determine the validity or otherwise of the claims. It is titled ‘The Influence of Teaching Phonology on Junior Secondary School Spoken English.’ Students in Edo State’s Esakor West local government area.
The study’s objective
The study’s objectives are as follows:
To investigate the relationship between phonetic instruction and academic performance in junior secondary school students.
To determine the significance of the relationship between teachers’ qualifications and phonetic instruction in junior secondary schools.
To determine the importance and applications of phonetics in junior secondary school.
Hypotheses for research
Ho: There is no significant relationship between phonetic instruction and junior secondary school students’ academic performance.
Hello, there is a significant relationship between phonetic teaching and academic performance of junior secondary school students.
Ho: phonetics has no relevance or application in junior secondary school.
Hello, there is a place for phonetics in junior secondary school.
The study’s importance
The purpose of this research is to determine how the teaching of phonology in secondary schools has influenced the spoken English of senior secondary school students in schools in the Esakor West local government area of Edo State. Students and teachers were chosen at random for the project work. As a result, 120 students and teachers were used as the source for this project’s empirical hypothesis.
The study’s scope and limitations
The study’s scope includes the relevance and applications of phonetics in junior secondary schools in the Esakor West local government area of Edo State. The researcher comes across a constraint that limits the scope of the study;
a) RESEARCH MATERIAL AVAILABILITY: The researcher’s research material is insufficient, limiting the scope of the study.
b) TIME: The study’s time frame does not allow for broader coverage because the researcher must balance other academic activities and examinations with the study.
1.7 TERM DEFINITION
The study and description of the physical properties of human sounds is known as phonetics.
Phonology is the study of how speech sounds are patterned and organized into a special language system.
Acoustic Phonetics: This branch of phonetics studies how sound waves travel between a speaker and a listener.
Auditory phonetics is the study of how sounds affect the human ear. It investigates how sounds are perceived by the listener.
Articulatory phonetics is another branch of phonetics that deals with the description of how speech sounds are produced; the human organs of speech involved, as well as the source air stream that is modified in the production of speech sounds.
Mother Tongue (MT): The learner’s first language.
Mother Tongue Interference: When a learner’s (Student’s) native language is reflected in their English language usage, this is referred to as mother tongue interference. Interference is a major issue for non-native English learners.
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THE IMPORTANCE AND APPLICATIONS OF PHONETICS IN JUNIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL