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Mother Tounge Interference in English

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Mother Tounge Interference in English

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  • October 2010
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Methods to reduce Mother Tongue Interference (M T I ) in the classroom

Introduction: The importance of English language acquisition as a stepping-stone for proficiency in school subjects cannot be over emphasized. The knowledge of English is important both for educational, national and economic development of a country. English is the official language of administration and commerce and also a major language of science. It should be further highlighted at the need for improving the quality of spoken and written English language among children. Although English language retains its dominant position in the education delivery system, the thrust of our educational language policy is the use of the mother tongue or the language of the immediate community..

English Language Teaching, like all other fields of human endeavour, generates its share of false prophets. Year after year, we find ourselves that are buzzing with the news that someone has found “The Best Method”.

Wilkins observes:

“When learning a foreign language an individual already knows his mother tongue, and it is this which he attempts to transfer. The transfer may prove to be justified because the structure of the two languages is similar – in that case we get “Positive transfer” or “facilitation” – or it may prove unjustified because the structure of the two languages are different – in that case we get “negative transfer” or “inference”

(Wilkins, 1972 : P 199)

Language Learning is about taking risks and rising to the challenge. Teaching English as a second language presents some difficulties, one of which is MTI, especially Pronunciation and Transliteration.

The most noticeable hurdle our students face is MTI. Mother tongue therefore, is defined as the language which a group of people considered to inhabitants of an area acquired in the early years and which eventually becomes their natural instrument of thoughts and communication.

Why Monolingualism?

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