L1 Interference on L2 Speech Sounds in an EFL Context: A Study on the English Speakers from the Southwestern Parts of Bangladesh

Md. Rakibul Islam, Mohammad Akteruzzaman


Regardless of the context, English-speaking has seen dramatic geographical and local varieties whether it is used by the native speakers or the non-native ones. As English still enjoys an EFL status in Bangladesh, it is only used in some specific insets. Although English is taught as a mandatory subject in the national curriculum for the first 12 years of study (secondary and higher-secondary), students still fail to conceptualise the factors of Received Pronunciation (RP) resulting into the distortion of some specific speech sounds and a serious impairment in the level of their intelligibility. To be more precise, there are some distinct speech sounds that seem to be the most challenging ones for them to pronounce as per the rules of RP and those have been identified through an initial survey. Brewing on this very idea, this paper has been designed drawing phonetic samples from 47 students studying at the Department of English in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University (BSMRSTU), Bangladesh. Keeping some specific discrepancies in the ways these very students pronounce English sounds at its focus, this paper attempts to find out the reasons behind the changes or modifications, which are made sometimes deliberately and sometimes with purpose. Data were collected by Focused Group Discussions and Interviews which clearly project the factors working behind their mispronunciation. Also, some recommendations have been proposed at the end of the paper.


L1 interference, speech training, L2 pronunciation, language variety

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