Phonological sensitivity of selected NTA newscasters to sound-spelling discrepancy in English and its implications for Oral English Teaching in Nigeria

  • T Soneye
Keywords: English, phonology, sensitivity, orthography, newscasters, Nigeria


This study examined the Phonological Sensitivity of newscasters in the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) to sound-spelling discrepancies in English. This is an often ignored but essential variable in English studies, hence its need. Thirty newscasters from one zonal and one non-zonal station provided the data. Respondents were examined based on the framework of Orthographic Complexity which employs rhyme-matching, alliteration-oddity detection, elision and phoneme counting tasks. Epi-info (version 6) was employed for data entry and STATA for the computer analysis. The results indicated that only 36.67% of respondents recognized phonological redundancies in the elision task of supposedly common English words. The probability of the occurrence of spelling pronunciation across phoneme, rhyme and alliteration tasks was 0.032, 0.193 and 1.000 respectively. Respondents were sensitive to spellings with phonemic tendencies as 80% passed in American sound-spelling compliant words and 45% when otherwise. The study concluded that the orthographic complexity of the English language is an important precursor of processing abilities and that the preponderancy of research in mother tongue interference as the major reason for Nigerians' poor pronunciation is half the truth. It decried as obsolete the pedagogic practice of gauging speakers' performances against natives' and recommends the teaching of dialectal variations in Nigeria.

Keywords: English, phonology, sensitivity, orthography, newscasters, Nigeria

MARANG: Journal of Language and Literature Vol. 17 2007: pp. 29-42

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eISSN: 1816-7659