Differences in the number of mispronounciations in English by Luo children
Olaly, Wilfrida Hellen Aduol
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The purpose of the study was to investigate differences in the number of mispronunciations of English words on a list by Luo students. The study further attempted to establish some of the factors which may be related to the differences like grade level, ability level and mother tongue influence. The sample consisted of 120 children from standards Two, Four and Six. The children were from two primary schools in Muhoroni Division of Kisumu District. The Luo Pronunciation of English Words (LPEW) Test composed of 40 words was individually administered to each child under specific instructions. The LPEW list consisted of three categories; easy words for easy recognition by most children; difficult words as a challenge for the brighter children, and words with mother tongue influence. The analysis of the data revealed that there were significant differences in mispronunciation between children of Standard Two and Standard Four and Standard Two and Six. There was no significant difference in mispronunciation between children of Standards Four and Six. Significant differences in mispronunciation were obtained between children of different abilities in Standards Two only. There was, however, no significant difference in mispronunciation by children of different abilities in Standards Four and Six. There were significant differences in the number of mother tongue related mispronunciation between children of Standards Two When it came to ability levels, there were significant differences among the children of Standards Two and Four but not Six. The recommendations from this study include the following: i. It would be necessary to incorporate reading tasks and teaching of reading methods that favour pronunciation, and ii. The teachers should be prepared to devote some of the lesson time to pronunciation and by his whole attitude to the subject should get the student to feel that there is a matter worthy of reviewing his close attention. These recommendations imply that there should be occasions when other aspects of English, such as grammar or spelling should be allowed for the moment to take second place. The Luo Pronunciation of English Words (LPEW) Test which was developed for this study was found to be reliable and valid but needs to be validated for use with larger samples. It can also be used for further research with other ethnic groups but might need refinement.