EFL In-service Yemeni Teachers’ Perceptions and Perspectives on the Importance of Teaching Stress and Intonation as Supra-segmental Features of Speech and Sound attributes to the Process of Comprehension: A Survey-Study

Rafiq Al-Shamiry, Ahmed M. S. Alduais


Purposes: To obtain the EFL in-service Yemeni teachers’ perceptions and perspectives on the importance of teaching stress and intonation as supra-segmental features of speech and sound-attributes to the process of comprehension. Methods: 40 EFL teachers who were identified as in-service teachers in both public and private schools at IBB city, Yemen (20 Arts’ graduates and 20 Education’s graduates, both males and females) participated in this survey-study. A researcher-made questionnaire consisting of 20 items - aiming at achieving the above stated objective was distributed to the participants. Results: The 17th version of SPSS, descriptive statistics, mainly percentages and frequency tools were used to analyse the collected data. The statistical data indicated that a large number of the in-service teachers are incompetent in the supra-segmental features of speech, yet demonstrated negative attitudes towards the importance of using applying such features. Though there is an attempt to communicate in English language, there is no clear consideration for the use of these features of speech. Syllabus’ update, motivation and teachers’ fluency, and teachers overall qualification are the the responsible factors behind the failure of practice and appropriate use of these features. Educational system, social situation, major differences between the two phonological systems of the Arabic and English languages, and difficulty of these features of speech are the discouraging factors respectively from the teachers’ perspective. Developing teaching methods, laboratories, and frequent evaluation were the proposed encouraging factors from the teachers’ perspective. Conclusions: The study is concluded with that a large number of the in-service school’s teachers are incompetent in terms of supra-segmental features of speech due to focus on other language elements other than communication. Most of the teachers are not fluent and this supports their tendency to ignore applying yet showing the importance of these features to their learners - an ability which they themselves are not competent in.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijssr.v1i1.3631


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