Spelling and Phonetic Inconsistencies in English: A Problem for Learners of English as a Foreign/Second Language

  • N Umera-Okeke


Spelling is simply the putting together of a number of letters of the alphabet in order to form words. In a perfect alphabet, every letter would be a phonetic symbol representing one sound and one only, and each sound would have its appropriate symbol. But it is not the case in English. English spelling is defective. It is a poor reflection of English pronunciation as we have not enough symbols to represent all the sounds of English. The problems of these inconsistencies to foreign and second language learners can not be overemphasized. This study will look at the historical reasons for this problem; areas of these inconsistencies and make some suggestions to ease the problem of spelling and pronunciation for second and foreign language learners.

African Research Review Vol. 2 (1) 2008: pp. 64-83

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2070-0083
print ISSN: 1994-9057