An investigation into pronunciation problems of Hausa-speaking learners of English

M Keshavarz, Khamis Abubakar
2017 International Online Journal of Education and Teaching (IOJET   unpublished
There is no dearth of publication on pronunciation problems of different L1-bacground learners in EFL contexts; however, research in ESL situations (where English is spoken outside the classroom) in general, and in the Nigerian context, in particular, is scarce. Accordingly, to fill this research gap the present study set out to investigate the pronunciation problems of Hausa speakers of English in Nigeria. To achieve the goals of the research, 60 native speakers of Hausa studying at three
more » ... rsities in Northern Cyprus participated in the study. The participants' pronunciation problems of English were elicited by mean of a pronunciation test that consisted of a word list, a short paragraph, and 15 individual sentences. Moreover, 15 pictures were shown to the participants to name while being audio-recorded. All the test items contained English consonants and vowels with potential pronunciation difficulties for Hausa speakers of English. The collected data were then transcribed and analyzed, and percentages and frequencies of pronunciation errors were computed. The results revealed that native speakers of Hausa face problems in pronouncing certain English vowels (i.e., /ᴧ/, /ᴐ:/ and /з:/) and consonants (/f/, /v/, /θ/ and /ð/). Theoretically, the findings lend support to the notion of negative transfer as all of the errors were the result of mother tongue interference. The findings are interpreted to have pedagogical implications for ESL teachers and syllabus designers in general and in Hausa-speaking communities, in particular.