Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume.7 Number.2 June, 2016                                          Pp.394-416

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English Pronunciation Errors by Jordanian University Students 

Raya Kalaldeh
Department of English Language and Literature
Faculty of Foreign Languages, The University of Jordan
Amman, Jordan



This paper presents some of the major English pronunciation errors made by Jordanian students at the University of Jordan. The corpus is designed to investigate the production of English consonants, vowels, consonant clusters, and word stress by informants. The tested consonants are /p – v – ʧ – ʤ – ŋ – ɹ – ƚ/. The tested vowels are /ɪ – ɛ – ɑ – ɔ: – oʊ – ə /. Words containing consonant clusters; square – explain or across words; best friend – ride and swim are tested for epenthetic vowels. The stress pattern is investigated in words such as isn’t- unfortunately. It is found that informants frequently confuse the following phonemes /p – ŋ – ɹ – ƚ/ with /b – nɡ – ɾ – l/ respectively. Moreover, informants frequently insert an epenthetic /ɛ/or /ɪ/ in consonant clusters whether within words; /sɪkɾi:m/ for /skɹi:m/ or across words; /bɛst ɪ fɾɛnd/ for /bɛst fɹɛnd/. Regarding vowels, informants commonly confuse the KIT-DRESS vowels produceing both as /e/. The realization of the schwa /ə/ is greatly influenced by spelling. The LOT vowel is produced similar to its RP /ɒ/ realization as [ɞ]even though most informants adopt a General American accent and should therefore produce the vowel as /ɑ/. The THOUGHT-GOAT vowel distinction is missing; both vowels are often merged as [o:]. Finally, the informants very often shift the stress pattern from its trochaic English stress pattern; /ɪ’zɪnt/ for /’ɪzɪnt/.
KeywordsArabic L1, carryover, consonants-clusters, English L2, vowels

Cite as: Kalaldeh, R. (2016). English Pronunciation Errors by Jordanian University Students.  Arab World English Journal,7 (2).


Raya Kalaldeh is a lecturer of English Phonetics and Phonology at the University of Jordan. She
has lived in Ireland for six years and has finished her Ph.D dissertation on the intonation of Irish
English from the University of Trinity College Dublin in 2011. She publishes articles on various
aspects of intonation in the field’s leading journals.