Perceptual Identification and Perception of Sibilants of English Language by Turkish English Majors
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Sibilants of English, /s, z, integral, z, t integral, dz/, are a combination of fricative and affricate consonants, produced with an audible hissing /s, z /and hushing / integral, z, t integral, dz/ overtones via perceptual intensity in pitches in their articulations. They are louder and their acoustic energy occurs at higher frequencies, which create some perceptual problems to Turkish students in English majors. The aim of this research is to explore whether Turkish English majors are able to perceive the articulatory distinction among English sibilant sounds. The 11 questions of the pre-test included one of the 6 English sibilants as the correct choice. In a soundproof language lab, the pronunciation coach articulated the correct choice three times. The correct answer was placed among the other four alternatives which were all fricatives and affricatives like [f, v, phi, beta, theta, (sic) s, z, integral, z, t integral, dz, c, j, gamma] in the same question. The English majors chose one of the alternatives as the correct answer. After the pre-test, the English fricatives and affricative were intensively studied three hours by means of exercises. Fifteen days later, the same pre-test was administrated to the participants as a post test. The students' success rate is 73.83 % for the pre-test and for the post-test is 91.60%, this showed that the participants improved their perception of the sibilant sounds of English (C) 2016 Published by Elsevier Ltd.