The Influence of Spanish on the Pronunciation of the English Phonemes /t/ and /d/ in Students of the Eighth Level of the International Commerce Career at PUCESE

Karla M. Olivo Tello


The main goal of this investigation is to analyze the influence of Spanish on the pronunciation of the English phonemes /t/ and /d/ in students of the eighth level of the International Commerce studies at PUCESE during the first semester of 2016. The students from this level have shown some problems when pronouncing two of the most common English phonemes, mentioned above. For this reason, the author decided to carry out this investigation in order to find out the possible causes which are affecting those pronunciations, by comparing the way in which English and Spanish /t/ and /d/ phonemes are realized, identifying the specific problems presented by the students in the pronunciation of them in English, and adapting different techniques that teachers could apply in the classroom in order to improve the pronunciation of them. This thesis first makes a review of previous studies, done in the same field, to be contrasted later. In a second stage, seven students from the eighth level of the International Commerce studies who were registered in the eighth level of General English were observed during two weeks and following that they were interviewed. At the end of those two weeks the results showed that the biggest problem students have when pronouncing those two phonemes is when they are located in the final position of a word, due to the influence of their mother tongue. The author recommends General English teachers to implement an explicit phonetic instruction technique to help students improve this pronunciation problem.

Key words: pronunciation; mother tongue; influence; phonetics 

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