English phonological errors by Kimakunduchi speaking EFL learners in Zanzibar

Erasmus Akiley Msuya, Salim Ali Mohamed


The aim of the present study was to find the phonological errors on segmental level involving selected consonant sounds which are produced by Kimakunduchi speaking English as Foreign Language (EFL) learners in Zanzibar. Specifically, the study sought to provide the evidence of cross-linguistic influence involving phonological transfer on segmental level. The study employed two sampling techniques: stratified and random sampling. The data for this study were collected from three secondary schools located at Makunduchi district in Unguja Island – Makunduchi, Kusini, and Kizimkazi secondary schools – using the oral interview and observation. The data were analyzed with the use of both qualitative and quantitative research approach. The study was guided by the transfer theory which was one of the components of Selinker’s (1992: 209) interlanguage theory. The findings revealed that, to a large extent, native Kimakunduchi speakers of EFL tended to transfer the sounds existing in their L1, or even in Kiswahili, into English. The transfer was done because of the nonexistence of the particular sound in the students’ native language or because of the discrepancy of spelling and pronunciation in English language. The study concludes that an articulation of vowels is more complex compared to consonants because of their absence in the first language (L1) or because of the confusion of spelling and pronunciation in English as FL. Thus, the study recommended that serious measures should be taken from both education holders to make sure that the learners could be able to pronounce English phonemes/words correctly.


Consonants; Foreign Language; Interlanguage; Kimakunduchi; Language Errors

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