Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 9. Number 2. June 2018                                   Pp. 429- 440

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Vowel Instruction for Spelling Enhancement of
Arabic-speaking Learners of English 

Marinette S. Ishizaki
Center for English as a Lingua Franca
Tamagawa University, Tokyo, Japan




Word spellings are often a common linguistic issue among Arabic-speaking learners of English, and English vowels are one of the most difficult to resolve. Therefore, the study presented vowel instruction as an intervention to address this issue by determining its effect on the spelling performance on monosyllables and bi-syllables. Vowel instruction sessions were then offered to 15 university freshman students for two months. Instructional strategies consisted of teaching vowel pronunciation, vowel letter-to-sound relationships, vowel spelling patterns, word-breaking, and providing various spelling opportunities. To measure overall spelling performance, pre-test and post-test on vowel spellings were conducted which revealed a significant increase in the mean scores. This suggests that vowel instruction was facilitative in the improved spelling performance on monosyllabic and bi-syllabic words, with more misspellings in the latter than in the former. The strategies used were generally perceived as beneficial, and it is recommended that including them in language lessons could improve vowel spelling skill and minimize English vowel confusions. Moreover, constant exposure of learners to many English words and more spelling activities are still necessary for better English vowel recognition and whole word spelling.
Keywords: Arab learners, English vowels, spelling performance, strategies                                        

 Cite as:  Ishizaki , M. S.  (2018). Vowel Instruction for Spelling Enhancement of Arabic-
speaking Learners of English. Arab World English Journal, 9 (2).


Marinette Soriano Ishizaki was an ESL instructor in the Philippines for over eight years, and she
is currently teaching at Center for English as a Lingua Franca, Tamagawa University, Japan. Her
interests include English language education, teaching methodology, multilingualism, ESL, EFL,
and ELF. ORCid ID: 0000-0003-1139-831X