Vowel Blindness and Gender: The Case of ESL Learners at the University of Jeddah

  •  Rahaf Bandar Almoabdi    


Because vocabulary knowledge is considered the building block of language learning, any difficulties concerned with vocabulary can harm the overall vocabulary acquisition process. Literature suggests that native Arabic speakers struggle to notice vowels while reading English texts. This can result from the differences between L1 and L2 linguistic systems or the negative transfer of L1 processing routines to the L2 in their attempt to process the L2 forms. This study investigates this problem and whether gender affects this phenomenon or not. It used a test on Twenty-eight participants to examine the effect of gender on vowel blindness, which type of vowels (short or long vowels) are more problematic, and the kinds of vowel spelling errors that are easily noticed when processing vowels. The results showed that gender does not affect vowel blindness in a significant way. In other words, the overall results showed that the role of gender cannot be considered to have a significant effect. Thus, male and female students both struggled to deal with short vowels equally. However, males also showed difficulties regarding the long vowels. The research also revealed that missing vowel spelling errors are salient and more likely to be noticed while processing vowels for both genders.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4768
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

Journal Metrics

h-index (July 2022): 26

i10-index (July 2022): 61

Learn more