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How to use linguistic differences to our advantage

Do not miss Achilles heel! Linguists and teachers disagree about the use of inclusive mother language in the classroom. Your native language is the equivalent of an instinct, and the vast majority of the mistakes you make when using English are made through logical transmission (or interference).

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In fact, you are trying to navigate the “English landscape” using a map of your native language. For example, Russian does not have any articles (a, an, the), so the natives of this language may always try to use these words correctly in English. Native French often find it difficult to pronounce “h” in English, so they may pronounce the word “chicken” as “en”. If you want to speak fluent English, you should try to correct your mistakes by understanding where they come from.

Pay close attention to the differences!

What is the difference between your native language and English in terms of structure and use? If you improve your understanding of these differences, you can eliminate some of the errors that come with your native English language (or language instinct). For example, if you know that the standard word order in your language is “enough big “, but the correct order in English is “big enough”, then you can do more to prevent this mistake from happening in the future. . This requires a conscious intervention on your part until you make a mistake, which is automatically transmitted from your native language.

Choose to use English wherever possible.

You will encounter many situations where you can use English or your native language. If you decide to become fluent in your mother language, your fluency in English will suffer. Whenever you have the opportunity, leave your comfort zone and use your English! Even if you do not speak full English, you will improve over time.

Use the translation to your advantage

Some teachers discourage students from translating into their native language. This may be because the tutor feels uncomfortable with a language they do not understand, or it may be because they believe that students should understand English through English. This method can not recognize the benefits of limited use of the mother language when learning another language. A quick translation into the student’s native language can save a lot of time, and the use of an accurate bilingual dictionary often helps to better understand the meaning of words in each language and how they overlap or differ.

Learning a new language means learning a new culture

Every linguist tells you that language and culture are closely related – you cannot learn one without learning about the other. By “culture” we mean: mentality, views, norms and so on. Our mother language is full of colorful terms, similes and terms that reflect our values, beliefs and understanding of the world around us. As you learn English, you will find that “things we do” happen in a place similar to yours, but very different in others. Be aware of the fact that we do not see the whole world the same. By acknowledging our special cultural characteristics, you can truly appreciate the beautiful, weird and wonderful faces of other languages. For example, let’s compare English and Russian: an Englishman says “needle eye” where a Russian says “ear”, an Englishman says “(I’m so hungry) I can eat a horse” Russian says “elephant” and a British says “drink like a fish” (that alcohol drinks like a fish) while a Russian says “be quiet like a fish”. What do you think?

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