An Analysis of Chinese Students Perception and Production of Paired English Fricatives: From an ELF PerspectiveReport as inadecuate

An Analysis of Chinese Students Perception and Production of Paired English Fricatives: From an ELF Perspective - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

Journal of Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics, v18 n1 p171-192 2014

English has assumed a new role in international communication in recent decades, that is, as a Lingua Franca (ELF) among speakers with different first languages. This study attempts to investigate and analyze Chinese university students' perception and production of paired English fricatives from the perspective of ELF. By using a listening discrimination task and a reading task, respectively, the study examined how thirty two non-English major freshmen from a key university in Mainland China perceived and produced English fricative consonants. It was found that the participants had extreme difficulty distinguishing between the two sounds in three pairs of consonants in perception, namely, /ð-z/, /v-w/, and /?-s/. In terms of production, the participants tended to replace the English fricative sounds, especially /ð/, /?/, /v/, /?/, with various substitutes. These results indicate that Chinese students often have more difficulties with certain fricatives than with others. In addition, they seem to have particular problems with voiced fricatives. Therefore, it is suggested that priorities should be given to those that impede mutual intelligibility in international communication, namely, to those that fall into the Lingua Franca Core (LFC).

Descriptors: Asians, Pronunciation, English (Second Language), Difficulty Level, Language Role, Chinese, Native Language, Auditory Discrimination, Listening Skills, Reading Skills, Mutual Intelligibility, Phonemes, Intercultural Communication, Task Analysis, Auditory Perception, College Students, Foreign Countries

Pan-Pacific Association of Applied Linguistics. Department of English, Namseoul University, 21 Maeju-ri, Seonghwan-eup, Cheonan-city, Choongnam, Korea 330-707. Tel: +82-2-3290-1995; e-mail: paalkorea[at]; Web site:

Author: Zhang, Yanyan; Xiao, Jing


Related documents