Arab World English Journal
AWEJ Volume.3 Number.3, 2012 pp. 168 – 189
Phonology and Applied Linguistics Meet in Teaching Listening
Georgia Institute of Technology
School of Modern Languages
This paper discusses connected speech as a listening problem in foreign language pedagogy. The paper presents linguistic phonological changes that are characteristic of connected speech, which make understanding more difficult, especially for learners of foreign languages. A comparison is drawn between the phonological changes in connected speech of Colloquial Egyptian Arabic (CEA) and American English language (AE), specifically the changes that occur within words and at word boundaries. This is in order to demonstrate the similarities and differences in the phonological processes employed by each language. The paper concludes with an approach to teaching listening that capitalizes on the conducted contrastive analysis. It is an approach that dwells upon processes of listening. The proposed approach, The Listening Skill and Comprehension Approach, focuses on both comprehension and skill. It trains language learners not only to construct meaning, but also to crack the code. The approach includes pedagogical listening tasks that offer solutions to language learners’ problems in listening, some of which could be related to language transfer.
Keywords: Phonological changes, connected speech, listening pedagogy, listening tasks