ENGLISH SPELLING AND PHONOLOGICAL PROFICIENCY SKILL: WHAT NEXUS?
By TAIWO SONEYE PhD
Among the concerns generating controversy in the domain of English Language Teaching (ELT) are adequate model and methodology to adopt to ensure learners’ acquisition of relevant proficiency skills. Scholars are challenging the traditional models and constructs, which have underpinned and informed the teaching of especially oral English vis-a vis the native speaker model for several decades. In response to these mounting agitations, this study examines the impacts of English orthography on phonological proficiency skill of forty first year University students. The respondents were randomly selected. The study utilized as test items dictionary-sourced English words which were originally Latin or French. Most of these words possess very many redundant graphemes posing challenges to learners in Read-Aloud (RA) sessions. Findings confirm the relevance of the knowledge of orthography on oral proficiency skill and affirm the acceleration likely to take place if redundant graphemes are reduced from English spellings, as well as the impact of models on learners. The study suggests that a comprehensive documentation of linguistic patterns of words brought into English from other languages be included in the oral English curriculum via basic etymological studies for especially learners in the English as Second Language (ESL) environment.