What Does the Future Hold for TH Sounds?

By Jonathon Owen

The TH-sounds /θ/ and /ð/ (dental fricatives) can be challenging for English language learners to master if their native language (L1) does not include them. The likelihood of this is high because TH-sounds are not found in the majority of the world’s languages. For this reason, many students find /θ/ and /ð/ unnatural and impossible to produce. Therefore, what tends to happen is language students substitute the two TH-sounds for sounds that exist in their own language.

There are currently over a billion English language learners worldwide. By 2020, the . . .

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