Cameroonian ESL Teachers’ Linguistic Perceptions and the Phonological Aspects of Their English

Julius M. Angwah


Despite the popular credence that the nature of English in Cameroon shifts significantly from Standard British English, ESL teachers seem to think differently about their competencies in the English language. This study investigated the correlation between Cameroonian ESL teachers’ linguistic perceptions and the phonological aspects of their English. Three theoretical paradigms guided the study – Labov’s (1966) correlation model, Kachru’s (1985) World Englishes Paradigm and Corder’s (1967) Error Analysis. A total of 75 Secondary School teachers of English, from five regions of the country, constituted the sampled population of the study. A questionnaire, with close and open-ended questions, was constructed to gain an understanding of their linguistic perceptions. A test of 10 sentences, with targeted phonological variables /dʒ, tʃ, ð, θ, ə, з, əu, əʊə, and aʊə/, was conceived and the informants were asked to read them aloud while the investigators tap-recorded their phonological renditions. The data was then transcribed and compared to their linguistic perceptual claims. The results revealed a significant gap between the respondents’ linguistic perceptions and the phonological aspects of their English. This led us to the conclusion that there is the dire need for the establishment of a feasible target variety that is attainable and does not pose any major problem of intelligibility to speakers of other varieties of English, especially the native varieties.

Keywords: Cameroonian, Linguistic perception, Phonological aspects, English

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/9-14-01

Publication date:July 31st 2019

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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