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Practising English Sounds to Overcome Mother Tongue Influence

One of the biggest challenges in teaching or learning a second or a foreign language is in mastering its sound patterns. This challenge is most acute as far as learning how to speak English is concerned; more so due to the absence of any set rules in pronouncing English sounds. With no concrete rules to accurately learn English sounds in place, the mother tongue influence (MTI) while speaking English also becomes difficult to remove. This adds to the woes of the teachers and the learners of this language.

To facilitate the removal of MTI and to support the learning of English sound patterns, it is hence imperative that the learners go through regular sessions on pronunciation. They need to consciously learn how to articulate English sounds to improve their pronunciation in English. With the teacher guiding the learners to the correct mouth movement to help them learn the production of these sounds, the learners will gradually be able to meet the challenge of correctly pronouncing English sounds. If the teacher models a said sound, the learners will be assured of articulating the particular sound. It is understood that over a period of time, this exercise of correct mouth movement will result in the removal of MTI in the learner.

While many a teacher will not shy away from extending support to improving the pronunciation skills of her learners, it is always helpful for her to avail the benefits of a language lab to meet this objective. The language lab comprising an audio-visual based teaching-learning software can allow for a smoother and more effective process of learning of pronunciation. Such software provide a video display of mouth movements, position of the tongue or the shape of the mouth while demonstrating the production of a particular sound. This helps the learners learn about the various factors that affect pronunciation. The observation of the mouth shapes made using the software and the practise done thereof helps the learners articulate better.

The regular use of an English language lab to learn pronunciation helps learners shed their mother tongue influence as well. Following the video demonstration of each of the 44 English sounds ensures that the English sounds patterns are internalised. This results in a sure shot enhancement in the learners' articulation skills.

The Words Worth English language lab comprises audio-visual content on teaching pronunciation. Lateral and frontal view of mouth parts are provided to teach all the 44 sounds, in the software. Animation and sounds further enhance the value of this feature. Both teacher and learners find learning of English pronunciation using this tool very useful. Used by the teacher in the classroom scenario, she is able to guide the learners towards proper articulation of the English sounds, leading them further towards removal of their mother tongue influence of speaking English. In the long run, this has a profound influence on their proficiency in speaking English.