Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 5-2016


The purpose of this study is to explore the factors that affect the comprehensibility of oral language produced by English language learners whose first language is Arabic. This study will analyze four separate interviews with English language learners phonetically. Apart from the phonetic analysis, an analysis of supra-segmental errors, syntax, morphology, and semantics will be provided for each speaker. This study will also take into account the perceptions of a range of native speakers of the English language. Through each analysis the goal is to identify the factors that most affect comprehensibility in order to create an education plan for each individual English language learner which will highlight the aspects of the English language that will most improve their spoken comprehensibility and the educational strategies that could be used to help them achieve this improvement.

The parameters of this study are limited by the fact that only four English language learners were interviewed and only fifteen native speakers rated them, not including the principal investigator. The data, therefore, are not significant quantitatively, however they are significant qualitatively. Analyzing four English language learners of the same language background can give researchers insight into common problems among learners of that language. It can also provide information about the key factors interfering with their comprehensibility and intelligibility. The linguistic information provided will, therefore, help a small subgroup of English language learners and teachers, yet the information provided concerning the instruction of these language learners can be applied to a larger population.