Almbark, Rana (2012) The Perception and Production of SSBE vowels by Syrian Arabic learners: The Foreign Language Model. Doctoral thesis, University of York.

This thesis presents an examination of the perception and production of Standard Southern British English (SSBE) vowels by Syrian Arabic (SA) Foreign language (FL) learners. The focus of this thesis is the FL learners who learned their English in their country and mostly by non-native teachers. Thus, by definition, the FL learners do not have native English input on a daily basis. This thesis reports on an empirical investigation of the Second Language (L2) perceptual and production patterns of a group of FL learners, which has received little interest in the literature, combining insights from current cross-language speech perception (Perceptual Assimilation Model) (Best 1994, 1995, 1999) and L2 learning models (Speech Learning Model) (Flege
1995). These models were mainly developed to account for early and advanced L2 learners, respectively. Thus, this study aims to develop an account for the perception and production of FL learners based on current L2 models.
Results indicate that the specific learning context of FL learners is reflected in their perception and production patterns. For example, these learners live in a predominantly L1 environment, and their L2 input is mainly taken in a classroom and mostly by local teachers. However, this study argues that though FL learners lack native L2 input, they do have access to the phonology, syntax, and structures of the L2 via
direct teaching. It is also shown that the perceptual patterns of the learners succeeded in predicting their production patterns, which has implications on the perceptionproduction link for L2 learners, in general, and for FL learners in particular.
The main outcome of the present thesis is that it develops an account of the perception and production of FL learners. It outlines the main principles for a proposed Foreign Language Model, in which the peculiarities of FL learners are taken into consideration compared to other groups of learners.



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