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    How to Neutralise Mother Tongue Influence (MTI) while speaking English?

    Nov 27,2019

    How to Neutralise Mother Tongue Influence MTI

    Hello English learners & Overseas Aspirants!

    I have a very interesting and relatable topic to discuss today: How to neutralise mother tongue influence (MTI) while speaking English? It is interesting because most of us are unaware of the fact that at times we speak English like Punjabi, Gujarati, Telugu or Bengali. We usually blame dialects for this, especially when we hear the words. Mother tongue influence examples like ‘see’ instead of ‘she’, ‘phonts’ instead of ‘fonts’, ‘veener’ instead of ‘winner’, ‘iskool’ instead of school, ‘understandabul’ instead of ‘understandable.’

    Do you know why this happens? This happens because until we enter maturity, our mother tongue is the only language we speak. Children in non-native English speaking countries, such as India, are rarely taught English from the beginning of their lives. When they start speaking English after a certain age, it becomes difficult for them to comprehend the flexibility of producing sounds in a new language, such as English, resulting in a Mother Tongue Influence (MTI) issue. You can discover the exact MTI meaning below

    What is MTI?

    You might have come across or may be among the ones who have sound English knowledge and skills but go down when they speak. Their pronunciation and accent is highly influenced by their mother tongue. Such a problem is called Mother Tongue Influence or MTI issue.

    Mother Tongue Influence or MTI issue is a common problem encountered by non-native English speakers. The influence of mother tongue in English language is a big problem for those aiming to score high in the speaking part of an English language proficiency test like IELTS. Mother Tongue Influence in English can play a significant role in diminishing their speaking component score.

    Start Speaking English Properly

    How to Neutralise Mother Tongue Influence (MTI) while Speaking English?

    Mother tongue influence (MTI) means the impact of the usage of our mother tongue on the second language; for example, English. In other words, we can figure out the ethnicity/nationality of someone with the way he/she uses the dialects that interferes with English speaking. This is very common in India.

    The fact that Impressive English Speaking is key to good communication skills cannot be denied, and with grammar and vocabulary, pronunciation too is given equal weightage worldwide. However, the evidence of mother tongue influence is obvious, so this manifests in the form of incorrect pronunciation.

    How to Overcome Mother Tongue Influence in  English

    After becoming aware of mistakes which we make while using English with interference of sounds from the mother tongue, we happen to lose our confidence when Speaking English in public which may result into embarrassment or hatred for English language. Don’t you worry as this is not a serious problem and it can be overcome with the right practice.

    Undoubtedly it is possible to overcome Mother Tongue influence (MTI) issue, however, only with hardwork and the right practice I repeat. Mother Tongue Influence issue is a major issue in India and cannot be solved in a day. You are required to be patient and take the right actions if you want to overcome Mother Tongue Influence issue.

    When you begin practicing, your brain starts adapting the new speaking style, and the new sounds eventually get ingrained in your brain. As the routine takes hold, the level of effort required lowers, and once you get used to, the time and effort needed for practice is greatly decreased.

     A few of various techniques for neutralisation of Mother Tongue Influence are

    • Enhancing pronunciation
    • Practicing English speaking regularly
    • Performing as much communication in English as possible
    • Listening to English songs
    • Watching English movies
    • Joining a reliable English speaking coaching

    Why do People Face MTI Problems?

    The biggest reason for MTI problem is the lack of importance given to pronunciation in most of Indian schools because the number of dialects in India is too high; hence, it is very difficult to pick each one for research and neutralise it. So, it is considered a serious challenge faced by English teachers across India.

    Influence of Mother Tongue in English Language

    One of the most difficult aspects of MTI is that it impairs your ability to communicate effectively. You may feel depressed when speaking with a fluent English speaker because the individual may make fun of your accent and speaking manner. Apart from this, MTI may negatively impact your English language proficiency test scorecard and may diminish your chances to study or migrate abroad.

    Learn to Avoid Indianism in Communication

    What can be done to Overcome Mother Tongue Influence?

    It might sound like a pipedream to practice and master the sounds of consonants and vowels (phonetics); however, it is not so. Here are some ways to get rid of mother-tongue influence while using English.

    • Well, reading the Oxford dictionary is highly recommended to know the pronunciation of each word as the words are also spelled phonetically; e.g.: cuisine /kwɪˈziːn/.
    • Practicing tongue-twisters may also help in improving the pronunciation particularly of homophonic words, and to learn differentiate between the sound of consonants like ‘s-sound’, ‘f-sound’, etc.
    • Start watching English news on Star World, CNN, BBC if you haven’t started yet. Honestly speaking, I find this option quite boring, so I prefer watching English series from Netflix because I find it recreational and interesting.
      Undoubtedly, watching English news would be a great help as you would also improve your fluency by imitating the newsreader.
    • Usage of Artificial intelligence eg: SIRI, google assistant for detection of the words. You may have to keep pronouncing the same word until Siri or google assistant detects it and bingo! There you go!
    • Read aloud in English for 15-20 minutes daily and record your voice. I prefer to read aloud from the newspaper or magazines. Research has proven the fact that it takes at least three months to develop strong mouth muscles to speak a new language.

    So, use all the tips to prevent the interference of regional language while using English. Feel free to Reach Out to Me. All the best!

    The students who are appearing for CELPIP, PTE, IELTS Coaching at Aspire Square tend to get an extra practice of the question types of Speaking module such as Read aloud, repeat sentences, re-tell lectures and describe image with accurate pronunciation and intonation; thus, making us CELPIP, IELTS, PTE Coaching Centre in Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara.

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      Written By

      Kirati Shah

      Kirati Shah is a certified IELTS/TOEFL/PTE Trainer with 10 years of experience. She is on a mission to provide good quality lessons about IELTS and PTE through blogs and videos that can help students get their desired score and achieve their dream to migrate/study abroad.


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