How to remove mother tongue influence (MTI) while speaking in English?

The English language learners constantly face the problem of pronunciation and Mother Tongue Influence. But, what exactly is mother tongue Influence?

Mother Tongue Influence or MTI is related to an issue where the native language of a person affects his speaking ability. This can include the inability to speak certain words clearly, facing difficulties in pronunciation of certain words, speaking with a certain rhythm to name a few. For example, A person with an MTI issue may not be able to identify the difference between ‘f’ sound and ‘ph’ sound, or ‘v’ , ‘b’ , ‘w’ sounds and so on. Although critical, this issue can be resolved with a bit of dedication. Learning a second language is just like any other skill. The more you practice the better you are at it.

There are certain ways and methods that can help you overcome your difficulties and MTI issues. But before we get into it you need to remember that “Rome was not built in a day.” Therefore curtailing Mother Tongue Influence takes time, practice efforts and also right guidance.

Identify the Issue

One of the factors that make MTI difficult to solve is that most people don’t even know that they suffer from MTI. The first step is to identify the issue. In this, you can take help of certain techniques like recording your voice and listening to it carefully. A good conversation class or speaking course can help you greatly in finding out the errors while speaking and rectifying them. There are various videos available on our A youtube channel that focus on rectifying the pronunciation-based errors and right pronunciation of errors. Watching, learning, and repeating the words taught in the videos can be a good starting point.

Listen to Conversations in English

Listening to conversations in English, especially the ones by native speakers helps a new learner in understanding the flaws in his speaking. While listening to these the learner can better understand the pronunciations of the words and in turn, self-correct them. However, listening alone doesn’t help, one needs to practice along with these conversations and emulate the speakers as much as possible. The right way is to listen to the conversation attentively twice, at least. Thereafter one must try to replicate the conversation using the same dialogues and record yourself and listen. This will help you not only to realize the problem areas but also to correct it.

Reading Eloquently

A language learner often gets scared about learning new words and fumbles in the pronunciations as they are unable to understand how the word is pronounced. Paying attention to phonetics can help in this regard. Whenever you get stuck on a certain word, try to look for that word in the dictionary (online or hard copy). Try to understand the pronunciation by paying attention to the phonetics signs mentioned and repeat the words aloud. Repeating the text or passage eloquently helps the learner in recalling the pronunciation.

Investing in a Good Language Trainer

The biggest problem with MTI is that most of the people suffering from MTI don’t even realize they have an MTI issue. Quite often we get students who say that it wasn’t until they joined the courses did they realize they have an issue with MTI. These students started noticing such issues in other family members too, which they had overlooked up till now. A good language trainer or English-speaking institute will help you realize the underlying issues which may be the cause of your slow career growth or even mockery. These courses and trainers will help you overcome this issue, in the bargain, as they are trained in handling these situations efficiently.

Watch, Listen, Sing , Repeat

Watching English Movies and Listening to English numbers can be a good source of entertainment. But, these also go a long way in helping a learner get rid of MTI issues. Watching shows and mimicking the dialogues- helps in curbing issues related to tone and rhythm. When we listen to the native speakers we indirectly catch and notice various words that we had been speaking wrongfully as of now. What goes more is these also help in learning beautiful expressions and their usages which is a cherry on top. The question arises, What to watch?

Read our blog on “8 TV shows to watch to improve your English Speaking”.

Having said all that, I can’t emphasize enough the importance of patience and recapitulation.

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step - said, Lao Tzu. Start small but start today. Giving up a wrong habit takes a lot of patience and also effort. Now think of a habit that you picked up as a child - MTI is just like a bad habit. It requires practice, guidance, and motivation to get rid of it.

  Written by: Anchal Upadhyay

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