Academic journal article International Journal of English Linguistics

Interference Phenomena in Mastering Foreign Languages and the Methods of Preventing Them

Academic journal article International Journal of English Linguistics

Interference Phenomena in Mastering Foreign Languages and the Methods of Preventing Them

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

In the XXI century mastering foreign languages is a significant life skill. Specific challenges which to some extent interfere with acquiring foreign language skills appear in studying any foreign language depending on the degree of kinship of the mother tongue and the target language. Undoubtfully, bilinguals whose mother tongue and second language are unrelated languages are more likely to be disposed to the phenomena of interference. The study of interference is really important both in Linguistics and Methods of teaching English for effective teaching and learning the foreign language.

Barriers in mastering the second language might be related, mainly, to psychological and educational aspects of bilingualism. Every foreign language teacher is a psychologist to a certain degree. Since the studying of a foreign language is a complicated psychological phenomenon realized in the process of teaching, the teacher has to take into consideration some important issues while working with students: age characteristics, duration of memory, learning styles (audio style-by means of listening, visual-by extensive use of visual aids and kinesthetic-learning based on students' personal practice, that is by doing actions in moving and dynamic way), students' individual characteristics (sociability, inclination to reading, writing activities, shyness, interactive skills, addiction to virtual world, etc).

In investigation of the phenomena of interference the experimental and observation methods were used.

2. The Phenomenon of Interference in Mastering a Foreign Language

Interference phenomenon can basically occur in conditions of artificial bilingualism in studying a foreign language at school and higher educational institution. At a later stage of the foreign language learning when a bilingual individual already completely adapts to phonetic, morphological, lexical and syntactical system of the mother tongue, challenges in "adaptation" to the system of the foreign language if it is possible to express in this way, directly appear.

Depending on phonetic, morphological, grammatical, lexical and syntactical features of the target language phonetic, morphological, grammatical, lexical and syntactical types of interference are distinguished. Phonetic interference is observed in deviations from pronunciation norms, intonation and stress in bilinguals' speech; it is especially expressed in the accent manifested in reverberant speech in cases when there are not equivalent phonemes characteristic to the second language in the mother tongue. In such cases phoneme interference distorts the sound form and the meaning of the utterance, also impedes, and in some cases disrupts communication process (e.g., the phoneme [æ] in the word "track" is pronounced as phoneme [e] by Russian students)

Grammatical interference is manifested in interpenetration of grammatical forms and structures of native and foreign languages. On lexical level interference of lexemes is meant in using both native and foreign languages; in the sphere of syntax transfer of syntactical rules of sentence building is implied, that is the word order characteristic to the mother tongue into the target language. Syntactical interference also implies errors in expressing syntagmatic relations between words (agreement, government) which are manifested in the wrong choice of prepositions in Azerbaijani students' speech who learn English.

For example, the verb "enter" in English is used without any preposition; in students' speech we often observe the usage of the above-mentioned verb with preposition "to", which indicates dative case in Azerbaijani language. In case with the verbs "wait for, listen to" which are used in English only with fixed prepositions Azerbaijani students use without the preposition as the usage of the preposition with Azerbaijani equivalents of these verbs is not characteristic for Azerbaijani language.

Also, the wrong usage of the Complex Object expressed in gerundial, infinitive constructions in the English language can be referred to syntactical interference (e. …

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