Phonetics and Phonology: A Grey Area of Research in Pakistan
Keywords:experimental phonetic and phonology, pronunciation, communication, training
The present study aims to underscore those issues that render phonetics and phonology a less explored area of research in Pakistan. Traditionally, articulatory and auditory phonetics are focused for general understanding of English speech sounds in Pakistan, but acoustic phonetics that deals with understanding of pronunciation required for effective communication, is almost abandoned. This study is qualitative in nature and is based on empirical evidences from primary and secondary source research articles as well as personal observations. It has been found that experimental phonetics and phonology is generally not focused due to the paucity of subject specialists, unavailability of the trained staff, inadequacy of teaching techniques and methodologies, insufficiency of in-service courses, dearth of technical facilities, lack of interest of English teachers, and the traditional examination system in Pakistan that does not demand testing of pronunciation and speaking proficiency of English students. In this way, the advance study on phonetics and phonology is neglected almost on all levels in educational institutions. All these factors indicate that the importance of experimental phonetics and phonology is not yet well understood, hence, it is still demarcated a grey area of research in Pakistan. Moreover, a few researches are available on experimental phonetics and phonology for acoustic analysis of speech sounds. The study will be beneficial for English teachers and students as well as the educationists to critically understand the importance of phonetics and phonology in Pakistan. To get desirable results, the education stakeholders are supposed to equip English teachers and students with all required resources. Extensive training of the teachers and adoption of modern teaching techniques and methodologies along with well-defined syllabus can play a significant role. This study is different from the existing ones as it focuses the general pronunciation and communication issues of Pakistani English learners due to the lack of knowledge and interest in English phonetics and phonology.
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