‘Phonemics and Second Language Learners: A longitudinal study in the context of Arab learners of English’ by Syed Sarwar Hussain


This study examines the importance of phonemics in ascertaining and defining the distinctive aspect of language learning with special reference to the Arab Learners of English as a second language. It focuses, at the onset, on the pronunciation of words in shaping and molding ability and understanding in the learning of the target language. It also shows how pronunciation plays the pivotal role of articulating language and what is often termed as ‘language melody’. In this respect the study also underscores the phonemic mix-up of regional accent, immigrant accent and the native accent in the process of second language learning. It also shows how phonemics can play a positive and pivotal role, in building up and evolving language skills. My approach has been to understand and interpret my understanding of the importance of phonology, and the positive and creative resources of language as the most powerful vehicle for social harmony.  The natural or primary medium of human language is sound. In this respect, the study of sound is of more central importance to language learning than any other language skill, be it writing, reading or whatever. I have, therefore, tried to understand the acquisition of the sound system of the target language in the background of the social structure where it is taught.

Keywords: Phonetics, phonemics, language shifts, accents, sound patterns

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