How to Speak English Fluently with Your Native Language
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Learn how to use your native language to your advantage when learning English. This video covers the concepts of cross linguistic influence, L1 transfer, and fossilization, and provides tips on how to avoid making mistakes and improve your pronunciation.

Imagine being able to speak English fluently, confidently, and naturally. Imagine the doors that would open for you, the people you could meet, the opportunities that you could seize. Today, in this lesson, we're going to help you turn that dream into reality. Stay tuned.

Did you know that your first language, the one that you grew up speaking, your L1 can actually influence how you learn English? It's like having a secret weapon in your language learning arsenal. Intrigued? Stick around and we'll show you how to wield it.

Hello, Advanced English learners. Welcome back. Welcome to another exciting episode. I'm your host, Mary Daphne, and today we're diving into the fascinating world of language acquisition. We'll explore how your native language can be a powerful tool in mastering English, boosting your confidence and enhancing your social fluency.

Let's start with the concept of cross linguistic influence. According to Jarvis and Pavlenko's book, Cross Linguistic Influence in Language and Cognition, your first language can influence your second language in terms of language and cognition. But what does cross linguistic influence mean?

It's the effect that your first language, also known as your L1, has on the way that you learn and use another language. This influence can be seen in many areas, such as grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, and even the way that we perceive the world.

For instance, if your native language has a particular sentence structure, you might find yourself using the same structure when speaking in English. This can be an advantage. You can leverage this knowledge to understand English grammar even better.

So let's look at a couple of examples. In Spanish, the adjective usually follows the noun, like casa grande for big house. As a Spanish speaker, you might be inclined to say house big in English. Being aware of this tendency can help you remember the correct English structure.

So how can you use this knowledge to improve your English? One way is to be aware of the differences between English and your native L1 language. When you're aware of these differences, you can anticipate potential difficulties and work on them. For example, if your native language does not have a certain tense that exists in English, you can focus on practicing that tense and remembering it.

Next, let's talk about Brian McQuinney's Unified Model of Language Acquisition. So this model emphasizes the role of L1 transfer, which means using your knowledge of your first language, your L1, to learn a second language, your L2. But what exactly is L1 transfer? Well, it's the process of using what you know about your first language to help you learn your second language.

And this can actually be very helpful, especially when the two languages have a lot in common. But, it can also lead to mistakes if the languages are very different. So we call this typologically similar languages and typologically different languages.

A simple strategy here is to look for cognates. Words that are similar in your native language and in English, so this can significantly boost your vocabulary. For example, if you're a French speaker, words like "impossible" or "original" or "confortable" are the same in English, impossible, original, comfortable. There we have it.

But just be careful with false cognates or faux amis as we say en français. So these are words that look similar, but they have different meanings. For example, if you see the verb travailler, you might think that that means to travel, but in fact that means to work.

And another example is in the French word librairie, which means bookstore in English, not library. So how can you use the concept of L1 transfer to improve your English? One way is to use cognates to quickly expand your vocabulary, but remember that you do need to be careful with the false cognates.

Another way is to use the grammar of your native language as a starting point, as a launch point, and then learn the differences between your native language and English. This makes learning English grammar far more fun and less overwhelming.

Now, let's delve into language transfer and fossilization. According to Odlin's Language Transfer and Han and Selinger's Fossilization in Adult Second Language Acquisition, certain L1 based errors can become a permanent part of a person's English. But don't worry, we can actually combat this.

What are Language Transfer and Fossilization? Language transfer is the process of using your knowledge of your native language when you're learning or using another language. This can be helpful, but it can also lead to mistakes, so we have to be careful. Fossilization is when these mistakes become a permanent part of your English.

So they become fossilized, in other words. That is fossilization. So how do we combat fossilization? One effective strategy is to be aware of these errors and consciously correct them. So every time you make them, you correct them.

Practice makes progress and consistent correction and corrective feedback can help you overcome these fossilized mistakes. For example, if you're a Russian speaker, you might omit articles a and the because Russian doesn't have articles. By being aware of this, you can focus on including articles in your English sentences.

So what's another way you can avoid fossilization and improve your English? Another way is to get corrective feedback from native English L1 speakers. They can point out mistakes that you might not even be aware of.

And another way is to practice regularly. The more you use English, the more comfortable and confident you're going to become with it. And finally, please don't be afraid to make mistakes. Mistakes are a normal and natural part of learning a language, and they help us get to the next level.

I want to also take a moment to discuss Gass and Selinker's Second Language Acquisition, an introductory course. So this book provides an overview of the research in the field, including a discussion of L1 transfer. But what exactly is second language acquisition, you ask? Well, It's the process of learning another language other than your L1 native language.

So if you're learning English as your second, third, or fourth language, you are in the process of second language acquisition. And yes, this can be a very challenging process, but with the right tools and strategies and resources, you can become fluent in a second language. Trust me, I've done it with two foreign languages myself.

As a native English speaker, I speak two other languages fluently. So, if I can do it, you can do it.

Let's take another example. Let's say if your native language has a specific sound that English does not have, then you might be using that sound when speaking English, and this might lead to a strong accent. But don't worry, because accents are beautiful. They make you unique, they are a sign of bilingualism, and they show that you know more than one language, which is a very impressive feat.

However, I get the point of wanting to maybe reduce your accent a little bit, but the goal is always intelligibility, right? So if you want to improve your intelligibility, and you want to slightly reduce your accent, then you can practice the English sounds that are challenging for you and try to let them sit a little bit and make sure that you're getting the intonation and the patterns right.

So how can you use the knowledge of second language acquisition to improve your English? One way is to understand and accept that learning a language is a process. You are not going to become fluent in two weeks, or seven weeks or ten days. Don't be fooled by those kinds of claims. That's just not how language learning works.

It takes time, practice, dedication, consistency, and yes, you will get there. You will become fluent if that is your goal. So, don't be discouraged if you make mistakes or if you don't understand everything. Take it one step at a time and be consistent. Another way is to immerse yourself in English as much as you can, as much as possible.

And this can be through watching English movies or shows, listening to English music, reading English books, listening to podcasts, or even speaking English with L2 and L1 speakers.

And where better to practice these strategies than in our very own community, Explearning Academy. Here we offer multiple live workshops a week, providing ample opportunities to practice speaking and communicating. This not only decreases anxiety and social anxiety, but it boosts your confidence and gets you closer to becoming socially fluent and fluent in English.

So you can sign up by going to academy. exploring. co. We would love to have you. 

Our members have seen significant improvements in not only their fluency, their social fluency, their communication, but also their confidence. They've gone on to ace job interviews, make new friends, move to different countries, live in English speaking countries, and even give speeches in English.

So, why wait? Join us right now if you're serious about taking that next step in your language learning and communication journey. And join us at Exploring Academy, where you can start your journey to English fluency today. 

Remember, your journey to English fluency is unique. And your native language is not a barrier, but a bridge. Use it, embrace it, and let it guide you towards your goal.

Keep practicing, stay curious, and don't be afraid to make mistakes. That's how we learn, that's how we grow. 

I'll see you in the next one. That's all for today. That's all for today, Advanced English Explearners. I hope that you found this episode insightful. We'll be back with more language learning tips and communication strategies. Until then, keep practicing and stay positive. I will see you in the next one. Bye for now!

About the Author and the Explearning Academy:

Mary Daphne is an expert in communication, executive skills and professional development. She is the founder of the Explearning Academy, a platform dedicated to helping individuals enhance their social fluency, boost their careers, and elevate their social game. Through immersive group coaching programs like the Executive Communication Lab and self-guided journeys, participants gain the social superpowers and career catapults they've been searching for. If you're ready to take your negotiation skills to the next level and connect with like-minded individuals, visit and explore the various plans available. Join the Explearning Academy community and unlock your full potential.

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