One of the most important prerequisites for the corporate world to accept you is to be fluent in English. While, not being fluent In English can lead to people not taking you seriously, to them making fun of you, to being stuck at a single position in the corporate ladder and even to being rejected from a job interview even though you had all the required qualifications. In today’s scenario, having an MTI (Mother Tongue Influence) can also result in the same situation. It can also take a toll on your confidence and cause embarrassment for you. Now what do we mean by Mother Tongue Influence? Basically, it is the influence of one’s first language, spoken by one right from their birth over their second language, i.e, English. Each Language has its own patterns, tone and sounds, therefore, if we keep on speaking in our mother tongue daily, it sets down in our brain and affects any other language we tend to learn or speak.
Hence, some effective ways of reducing MTI while conversing in English are:-
- Speak in English: Start speaking in English. It might be difficult to do so, but start with words used to describe an object, then move on to saying small phrases and eventually start making whole sentences. For example: Start by using the word ‘Table’, after that start using phrases associated with it like ‘Table and chair’ and finally make whole sentences like ‘The leg of the table is broken’. In this scenario, think before speaking and keep practicing.
- Develop regular reading habits in English. You can start by reading the 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 better.
- Watch English news channels daily and also watch English movies daily and focus on the way the words are being used in a dialogue and the pronunciation of the same and to understand the correct sound of each syllable.
- That friend, who is fluent in English, ask him to practice conversing in English with you and to point out your mistakes and correct you at the same time.
- While speaking, focus on your usage of the words, i.e., are you using them in the right context or not and also on your pronunciations. You can do this by thinking before you speak, paying attention to what you speak, and only using a word when you know its meaning and the context in which it is used normally.
- Identify specific words that you have difficulty in pronouncing or which you think you pronounce differently than others and practice them with the help of correct pronunciations available on Google.
Learning to speak in a language that is not your mother tongue can be difficult. However, sometimes traces of MTI can be found while speaking such languages that can hamper your conversations but if one is determined enough and willing to learn, he/she can remove the influence of their first language over the second language easily with practice by developing some 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.