The Influence of Mother Tongue (Yamba) on the English Language of Students
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This present study examines the influence of Mother Tongue Yamba on the English Language of students (Yamba students). This study on “The Influence of Mother Tongue on the English Language of students” presents a general view of the influence of the first language (LI) on the second language (1.2) acquisition and learning in schools. The research carried out shows that the mother tongue has a negative influence on the English language of students, or still on students’ learning English as a foreign language or as a second language. The findings and some recommendations are presented at the end of this paper with a view’ to help teachers who want to know the main cause of the students’ poor English proficiency and the cause of their poor performances in exams; and also to help them know how to diminish this problem and implement more effective teaching and learning techniques.
Humans are born with a natural ability or innate capacity to learn languages. Everyone’s first language acquisition was completed before he or she went to school and this development normally takes place without any conscious effort. Reason why. Muriel Saville-Troike. Second Language Acquisition said: “by the age of six months, an infant has produced all of the vowel sounds and of any language in the world, including some that do not occur in the languages their parents speak” (12). Some early observation-based ideas about language acquisition were proposed by Plato, who felt that word-meaning mapping in some form was innate. Additionally, Sanskrit grammarians debated for over twelve centuries whether human’s ability to recognized the meaning of words was God-given (possibly innate) or passed down by previous generations and learned from already established conventions e.g. a child learning the word for cow by listening to trusted speakers talking about cows.
The mother tongue disrupts the smoothness of second language acquisition. In Second Language Acquisition by Muriel Saville-Troike. mother tongue is assumed to be a “language or languages which are learned as part of growing up among people who speak them” (04). According to the Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary, the New 8th edition, the mother tongue is defined as the language that you first learn to speak when you are a child (963). Language acquisition is the process by which humans acquire the capacity to perceive and comprehend language as well as to produce and use words and sentences to communicate.
Background to the Study
U is of common knowledge that people often learn and speak the language that is commonly used around them. For example, those born and bred in Douala. Yaounde or a French-speaking town would naturally speak French, those born and bred in Bamenda, Buea, or any English speaking town speak English. The English language is the national language of several countries, so speakers worldwide can hold conversations and more or less understand each other, even though each person’s spoken English has unique variations. The mother tongue disrupts the smoothness of communication. Students with a lack of confidence tend to use their mother tongue instead of the proper English language. Background affects students’ performance in terms of communication.
The first language acquisition also applies to the Yamba natives who also grew in an environment having as the first language the Yamba dialect. They (Yamba natives) tend to use the same pronunciation and intonation used in the Yamba dialect, taking little or no note that any other language could be spoken differently. This, therefore, leaves a mark and it is hard to change or discard as it is often said: “old habits die hard”. So the influence of the Yamba dialect on the Yamba natives (more importantly students) can be seen in their use of the English language specifically in the following areas: vocabulary, syntax, grammar spelling, and pronunciation.
Significance of the Study
This section wall provides a brief description of the various significances of the study in the following categories: Educational and social levels.
At the Educational Level
For the teachers and lecturers, this topic will help them have a deep understanding of the effects of mother tongue on the English language in general and also on the English language of students. Therefore, helping teachers to understand students facing difficulties in acquiring and properly)’ using the English language due to the influence of the mother tongue (Yamba).
For students, this topic will enable them to know the causes and the reasons for their poor English performance.
At the Social Level.
The community will be able to understand, interact and better relate with the Yamba natives who face the problem of speaking the English language correctly due to the influence of their dialect on the English language.
Objectives of the Study
The objective of the topic is to help lecturers, students, and any other person in Cameroon to know the influence of mother tongue (for example Yamba) on the English language.
- To identify the effects caused by the influence of the Yamba dialect on the English language of Yamba secondary school students.
- To identify the different areas in the English language that is affected by the Yamba dialect.
- To identify possible solutions to be implemented in order to reduce the effects of the Yamba dialect on the English language of the Yamba students.