Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 11. Number1 March 2020                                                    Pp.52-68

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Impact of Watching Cartoons on Pronunciation of a Child in an EFL Setting: A
Comparative Study with Problematic Sounds of EFL Learners

Ali S. Alghonaim
Qassim University/ College of Arabic and Social Studies,
Department of English Language and Translation
Buridah, Saudi Arabia


The purpose of this study is to describe a longitudinal case study of pronunciation acquisition for an Arabic child who watched English TV cartoons in an English as a foreign language (EFL) setting, basically in Buraidah, Saudi Arabia. The child, whose name is Anmar, was raised in a typical Arabic environment where Arabic was the only means of communication he experienced. He watched selected English TV cartoons since he was three years old and until he was ten years old. This research study focused on Anamr’s acquisition of pronunciation, although the chances to use the language were very limited due to his EFL environment. Additionally, the study aims at comparing Anmar’s pronunciation of problematic sounds to Arab learners of English, as stated in previous studies. The research adopted a longitudinal research methodology aiming to find if watching English TV cartoons without even minimum use of language could impact the child’s pronunciation compared to his counterparts of Arab learners of English. Therefore, this research utilized some methods, including rating some audio and video recordings of conversations with his father and storytelling. Two native speakers of English rated his performance. A mispronunciation recognition test was carried out to evaluate Anmar’s recognition of mispronunciation. The study found out that Anmar’s pronunciation was native-like. He far outperformed the Arab learners of English concerning the problematic sounds to Arab learners. He easily differentiates between, for instance, minimal pairs, diphthongs, consonant clusters, vowels, and intonation. The study concluded that children might acquire English pronunciation by watching TV cartoons to be able to overcome the pronunciation problems that many Arab speakers experience. Additionally, English learners in elementary schools may watch such programs to train them to listen to authentic language in media.
Keywords: Acquisition, Arab, EFL leaner, English cartoons, phonetics, phonology, pronunciation

Cite as:  Alghonaim, A. S. (2020). Impact of Watching Cartoons on Pronunciation of a Child in an EFL Setting: A Comparative Study with Problematic Sounds of EFL Learners. Arab World English Journal11 (1) 52-68.


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Ali Saleh Alghonaim. is a faculty member at Qassim University, Department of English
Language and Translation. He earned his MA and Ph. D. degrees in Applied Linguistics from
Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA. He run some administration positions, such as
chairmen of the English language and translation, Supervisor of Graduate studies, and dean of
College of Arts and Humanities at Qassim Private colleges.