How Thai EFL Learners Deal With English Regular Past Forms: A Case Study of a Speech Sound Perspective

  •  Kotchawara Yaowaratana    
  •  Apichai Rungruang    


The pronunciation of regular past tense verbs seems to be difficult for most L2 learners, especially in L2 learners whose first language phonological system is different from the English one. It is predicted that Thai EFL students could encounter difficulties perceiving English coda clusters like the ‘-ed’ ending sounds. For this reason, this research investigates the extent to which the first-year and the third-year English major undergraduate students in a public university perceive the English regular past tense verbs. To be precise, this study compares the ability to perceive the regular past tense of the first-year and third-year students. In addition, the strategies they use to perceive the ‘-ed’ ending verbs among the three different allomorphs ([t], [d] and [ɪd]) are investigated. The data collection was derived from the perception tests of 30 first-year and 30 third-year students and a Pronunciation Learning Strategy (PLS) questionnaire. The perception tests were divided into two subtests: perception test and perception syllable identification test. The PLS questionnaire was employed to find out the strategies they used in English pronunciation learning. The overall results show that the third-year students demonstrated a better performance than the first-year students in both tests (t=-2.778; p<.01 in the perception test; t=-1.466; p>.05 in the syllable identification test). However, the syllable identification test’s results do not show consistency with Solt et al.’s (2004) model, while the perception test’s do. Moreover, the findings from the questionnaire reveal no statistically significant difference between the first and the third-year students in terms of pronunciation learning strategies (p>.05).

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