Phonological Basis of Misspellings in the Written English of Nandi Students in Eldoret West District
The study focused on the common spelling errors that were made by learners who speak Nandi as a first language as they use English as a second language. The research sought to investigate whether phonology and orthography of Nandi as learners‟ first language affected the English orthography. Learners of English have continued to lose marks and get poor results for they are penalized for all misspelt words and illegibility in their written work. In oral competitions, students have equally lost marks which results from mis-articulations.This study investigated the spelling errors in English words which can be accounted for in terms of first language influence and whether such influence may be attributed to the influence of the sound system of Nandi as their first language and the relationship between this sound system and the Nandi writing system.The present study intended to generate information on the nature of the phonological awareness deficits of learners in secondary schools with misspelling in the written and mis-articulations in their spoken English. Data was collected from dictations and written compositions which were given to the subjects as well as spoken words which were tape recorded.Natural Generative Phonology (NGP) and Interlanguage theories were adopted. In this study, all the words that were wrongly spelt were identified and categorized according to their nature. They were put in broad categories. The relationship between the first language phonology and the wrongly spelt forms was looked at and an attempt to explain the errors has been given. In addition, the possible causes of misspellings have been given after making an observation on the nature of errors. After identifying, categorizing, describing and explaining the errors, remedial measures were presented. These remedial measures are intended to correct and improve the deficient spellings as students attempt to learn and put into practical use a new language.
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