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Team PracUp

Does your mother tongue influence your English-speaking capability?


Have you ever noticed that one of the most important prerequisites for the corporate world to accept you as an employee is your fluency in English? Not being fluent in English can lead to people not taking you seriously, making fun of you, being stuck at a position on the corporate ladder, and even to being rejected from a job interview in spite of having the required qualifications. So, Improve from Mother Tongue Influence.

In today’s scenario, having an MTI can also result in the same situation. It can take a toll on your confidence and might cause embarrassment at times. 


What is Mother Tongue Influence?

It is one’s first language spoken by them right from birth which influences their second language. For example, English. Each Language has its patterns, tone and sounds. The daily use of our mother tongue can affect our capability in speaking and learning a new language.


How to neutralize Mother Tongue Influence?


Effective ways to overcome the drawbacks caused by MTI are described in the following points.

  • Start to Speak

This might be difficult to do. Start with simple words used to describe an object. Then, move on to saying small phrases and gradually start making whole sentences. For instance, start using the word ‘Table’. After that, start using phrases associated with it like ‘Table and chair’. Finally, make whole sentences like ‘The leg of the table is broken’. In this scenario, think before speaking and keep practicing.

  • Regular Reading can help with Mother Tongue Influence

You can start by reading newspapers, gradually moving into magazines and novels. Make sure that whatever you are reading is written in simple and easy-to-understand language and is relatable to you for grasping the language in a better approach. 

  • Fun Learning Tasks

Watch English NEWS and movies frequently. This can help you focus on how appropriately the words are being used in a dialogue. Concentrate on the pronunciation and repeat the dialogue until you are able to say the word correctly. Try to understand the exact sound of each syllable.

  • Practice with your Pal to Improve your Mother Tongue Influence

Do you have a friend who is fluent in English? And you notice that they do not have a mother tongue influence while speaking? Practice conversing in English with him/her. Ask them to help you understand your mistakes and correct you at the same time. Also, pay keen attention to how they pronounce the words.

  • Use a Gadget Guide

Uncomfortable practicing with a friend? Unable to get any guidance from people around you? Read from newspaper articles, paragraphs from magazines or short stories. Whenever you read, make sure you record your voice on a recording device such as a mobile phone/laptop/voice recorder etc., whichever is handy. Once you record, play it and listen to the words that you are mispronouncing. When you come across such words, use google to help you understand the accurate pronunciation of those words. Correct your pronunciation and practice again until you sound flawless.

  • Analysis + Attention = Articulation

While speaking, focus on the usage of the words. Are you using them in a significant context with perfect pronunciation? Analyze whether the word you want to use is appropriate in the context you wish to speak. Think before you speak and pay attention to the pronunciation. This helps you to use words and inappropriate phrases with the right context and proper pronunciation.

  • Detect Difficult Words

Identify specific words that you find difficult to pronounce or you pronounce differently from others. If your pronunciation has an MTI, make sure you practice with the help of the correct sound available on Google.  

  • The Lip Movement

Enhance your pronunciation and abstain from having your mother tongue influence on your accent. A mirror helps you to rectify your lip movement while pronouncing the words. For example, for words starting with ‘W’ (Watch) we have to round our lips when we pronounce them. Similarly, for words starting with ‘V’ (Vase) we have to slightly bite our lower lip.


  • Approach the Coach Mother Tongue Influence 

The sounds '[ng], [v], [θ], [р], [z], [ʧ], [ʃ], [t], [ʤ], [ʒ], [l] and [w]' are difficult to pronounce. At times, we don’t use such sounds in our mother tongue languages. Also, the plural forms of words either end in a '/s/' sound, a '/z/' sound or a '/iz/'. Using these sounds accurately can be quite tricky. In such cases practicing true pronunciation with proper guidance is the key to success.

Learning to speak in a language that is not your mother tongue can be difficult. However, if you are determined and willing to learn, eradicating the influence of your native language is simpler. Practice and develop good reading and speaking habits. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your friends who are fluent enough and ask for help to improve your skills. 


Can reaching out to Language Coaches help you neutralize MTI?​


A professional approach to work on your MTI is to get expert help from certified coaches. Proper guidance helps walk on the right path and learn new ways to help you refrain from wrong pronunciation. Practice with a coach, this will aid your speaking skills and build efficiency in communicating in the English language. 

For professional support, reach out to us on PracUp. We work towards rebuilding your English-Speaking skills through practice. We concentrate on neutralizing MTI-based errors and coach you to be free from the influence of your mother tongue.

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Team PracUp


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