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The negative transfer of mother tongue and Chinglish

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So, foreign language acquisition is a very complex psychological process. For the learners who have already mastered the basic lexical items and basic grammatical structures of a anguage, foreign language learning is proceeding on the basis ofthe existing linguistic knowledge (of the mother tongue, of general learning strategies, or of the universal properties of language). Consequently, the grammatical and semantic knowledge of the mother tongue will have definite effects on the learning of the grammatical and semantic structures of the second language.

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In addition, different nations have different communicative ways and discourse structures, which by every means, are sure to influence the new communicative ways and discourse structures on different occasions and to ifferent degrees. During the period of storing newly learnt ideas in memory, on the one hand, based on the established knowledge, the newly learnt ideas will be restructured when they are drawn on. On the other hand, once the newly learnt ideas become part of the existing linguistic knowledge, they will lead to the restructure of the existing knowledge structure and will be attributive to the future learning of the new knowledge.

Therefore, the process of foreign language learning is a process of restructure of knowledge structure as well as the draws-on of new message. Restructure is in effect the ecreation. The learner is active during self-monitoring his language behavior. In the process of the second language learning, the learner is actively engaged in both sorting the second language data into a form in which it can be stored and making use of knowledge already in store. In short, the learner’s first language knowledge can serve as one of the inputs into the process of hypothesis generation.

The learners process and use the second language on the basis of the first language. The effect of the mother tongue will manifest itself in the process of foreign language learning. Chinese tudents have no way to dismiss the effect of native language and culture when learning English. When learning a foreign language, an individual already knows his mother tongue. Transfer is “a term used by psychologists in their accounts of the way in which present learning is affected by past learning “. 2] Od’in has suggested that transfer is the influence resulting from the similarities and differences between the target language and any other language that has been previously (and perhaps imperfectly) acquired . [3] In second language learning, this phenomenon is a very general psychological process-that of elying on prior knowledge to facilitate new learning. For the first place, before learning a foreign language, the experience of the learner is acquired and preserved through his native language, so these experiences will be used for the foreign language learning.

For the second, the native language serves as a tool for the foreign language learning and the knowledge and skill of the native language will be transferred to the foreign language unconsciously. Since there are equivalents, similarities and differences between the native and the foreign language in linguistic structure, social culture and logic hought, the forms of transfer during the process of learning are different, including positive and negative transfer. We get “negative transfer or “interference” when the two languages have similarity and difference.

In this case, first-language-induced errors occur. For instance, (2) A: Didn’t you come yesterday? B: Yes (l came yesterday). Chinese and English have the same reply forms to negative interrogation, but the two replies express different meanings. In this case, the Chinese student tends to use the mode of expression of his mother tongue instead of that of English, thus, the negative transfer happens. The English learner should get rid of Chinese ways of thinking and try to combine the form with the meaning and mode of expression in English.

One task of teaching is to prevent such kind of interference of mother tongue. Many experiments have proved that negative transfer is in general temporary, and can be prevented by training and learning. We get “positive transfer” or “facilitation” when some characteristics of mother tongue are similar to or equivalent to the target language. It benefits the foreign language learning. For instance, the basic word order of Chinese and English is the same: Sentence=Subject + Verb + Object. In this case, Chinese students can construct a correct sentence by the version of Chinese word order. 4) The good news made her happy. We can conclude from the above that the native language is a contributive factor to the second language, not an interference factor. Therefore, transfer is not always a factor of interference and not all the influences of the native language should be abolished. The mother tongue has the characteristics of positive transfer as well as negative transfer. The double effects will always be acting in foreign language teaching and learning. [4] Generally speaking, transfer is a glossary of psychology.

It is first defined by behaviorist psychologists to refer to the process of automatic, uncontrolled and subconscious use of past learned behavior in the attempt to produce new responses. According to them, the main impediment to learning was interference from the prior knowledge. Proactive inhibition occurred when old habits got in the way of attempts to learn new ones. Psycholinguists use the term to refer to the influence imposed by a learner’s possessed linguistic knowledge and skill upon the subsequent learning of new linguistic nowledge or skill. 5] And the language transfer refers to the phenomenon that the learners handle the rules of the mother tongue to deal with the target language consciously or not because they are not familiar with the expression rules of target language in the Second Language Acquisition. It usually presents to the primary stage of the Second Language Acquisition. The theory of the Second Language Acquisition figures that language transfer can be divided into positive transfer and negative transfer because of the similarities and differences between the learners’ mother tongue and the target language. ] 3 Negative transfer and Chinglish coming into being 3. 1 Negative transfer Chinese and English are poles apart. However, when adult native speakers of Chinese learn English, they tend to lose sight of the differences between the two. This is particularly the case because they have formed the habit. As a result, Chinglish, an awkward mixture in which ideas conceived in Chinese are ungrammatically or unidiomatically expressed in English. The main cause of Chinglish is, of course, the linguistic interference. 7] If what is transferred from a previous situation is the same or favourTABLE or dequate to the present situation, this is called a positive transfer; if, however, what is transferred from a previous situation is different or damaging or inadequate to the present situation, then this is called a negative transfer. [8] Accordingly, negative pragmatic transfers are those cases under which non-native speakers differ from native speakers in interpreting and producing a speech act in the target language.

As elements within a pragmatic analysis are all free from ill grammatical forms, negative pragmatic transfers are all sound but different forms and means that non-native peakers employ in situations where native speakers do not use. 3. 2 Chinglish coming into being To the Chinese learners, as a tool to recognize the world, Chinese has abundant glossary and semantic frames, which not only reflects the development of Chinese history and culture, but also materializes the value of Chinese cultural tradition.

Furthermore, different nations have different social manners and linguistic frames. So the learners must be affected by the mother tongue. The distance between mother tongue and target language has great effects on the transfer. The causes of Chinglish are language egative transfer, infection of culture, application of social policy and so on. But language negative transfer is the most important. To compare the two languages, Chinese and English are based on the theory of the language negative transfer. The former belongs to the Sino-Tibetan language which has the system of ideogram.

The latter belongs to the Indo-European language which has the system of speech and written. So there are great differences between the two languages in sound, syntax, semantics and so on. According to the Chinese learners, the rules of the mother tongue are ineradicTABLE hich they usually unconsciously apply into studying English. This is the cause of Chinglish. For instance, English is an intonation language, and Chinese is a tone language. Because of the interference of Chinese sound and intonation, Chinese learners’ intonations are short of changes which sound like “Chinese tune-pattern”.

Take the structure of sentence as another example; most of Chinese sentences adopt the structure “bamboo style” which means to set out the content one by one in the order of thinking structure or the developmental of the circumstances. In that way, most of Chinese sentences re simple and short. But most of English sentences use the structure “grape style” which expresses the main idea by the frame of using subject and verb, and expresses the subordinate idea by accreting to the SV trunk getting across the relationship of affiliation or decoration.

These differences make Chinese learners like using a trail of short sentences to describe a complicated affair in English while native speakers use a principal and subordinate compound sentence to express. [9] 4. The representation of Chinglish Because of the influence of Chinese, Chinglish often represent in the glossary and culture. 4. Glossary aspect The phenomenon that the glossary issues lead to Chinglish is the most extrusive. In conclusion, they represent as follows: (i) The learners mix up the thesaurus and they do not really understand the meaning of the word.

So they make the relationship between Chinese word and English word only based on the dictionaries of Chinese to English or English to Chinese. The result is that the learners interpret without real understanding. For example, a highly respectful linguist (the correct one is “a highly respecTABLE linguist”); She has a considerTABLE husband (The correct one is “She has a considerate usband”). (ii) The learners arrange the words in pairs or groups improperly. For instance: (5) Let’s go and eat our meals. (6) He is going to sing songs at the concert.

The verbs in the above sentences contain the meanings of the object parts. So these sentences should be put right as follows: (7) Let’s go and eat. (8) He is going to sing at the concert. Take more examples, a good friend instead of a close friend, youth crime instead of juvenile delinquency, sport suit instead of sweat suit and so on. (iii) The learners cannot understand the connotations of the words because of the extensions of the words. The extension is the meaning of word, and the connotation is the accessional sense or concealed intension of the word.

Chinglish only catches hold of the extensions of the words, ignoring the connotations of the words and uncomprehending the types of the words which are commendatory or derogatory, formal or informal, written language or spoken language and so on, such as “?„i‰*” can be translated into “politician” and “statesman”. But the difference between the two words is that they have different types of writing. Politician is a derogatory sense word which means And statesman is a commendatory word which means onest and judicious.

Take more examples, the sentence: Those who are fat should do plenty of some people have a look at it and consider it is right. But according to the native speakers, it is unaccepTABLE. The reason is that fat is an obviously derogatory word when it is used as an adjective. During affiliating with others, people should avoid to use it. This sentence can be corrected into “Those who are over-weighted should do plenty of Another example is that hen can be realized as And then “A black hen lays a white egg” can be translated into Maybe people cannot understand what it means.

Hen also refers to Z-“. For example, a henpecked The previous sentence can be translated into 4. 2 Culture aspect The final aim to learn foreign language is to master the trueborn language and combine it with the culture of the target language country to apply the language well, truly and decently. But the native cultures are different in value conception, thinking pattern, psychology and so on. The learner is automatically, uncontrollably and subconsciously using past learned behaviour in the attempt to produce new responses.

Accordingly, it appears as negative transfer. In other words, the differences between the Chinese and Western cultures in value conception, thinking pattern, psychology straight determine and have influence on the language expression manners. They also have influence on the cognition and mastering of the target language and cultures. So the fundamental way to prove the language colligate diathesis is that the learners should perceive the world as a native person.

Chinglish mainly refers that the learners do not understand the specifically historic culture of the native country. (i) The learners do not understand the culture and habit of the English society in daily lives. For example: Are you married? How much can you earn in one month? How old are you? The questions like these may arouse the westerners’ misapprehending about nosing for others’ a nigger in the woodpile. They will consider these as bad tastes. Other examples, the error responses as follow: A: Your English is excellent. B: No, no. My English is very poor. ii) The learners do not understand the traditional culture of English society, so they make misunderstanding of the creation and usage of the comparisons and idioms in English. Some people translate into “as timid as a mouse” (It should be translated into “chicken hearted” or “as timid s a hare”). Some people translate “#-tR” into “drink like an ox” (It should be translated into “drink like a fish”). Some people translate “i¶%” into “bad eggs” (It should be translated into “villains”). (iii) The learners are devoid of the understanding of the English literary quotations.

Most of the English words are from the English literary quotations. Some of them are from Bible and Achaean fTABLEs and fames; others are from literature works, for example, Odyssey, Quixotic, and Frankenstein and so on. All of these words have history cultural background. The weekly Times has reported that Nixon’s Odyssey to China. It means that Nixon visited China. Originally, Odyssey is an epic written by an ancient Achaean. It describes a long and difficult course that Odyssey had gone through after the ancient city Troy was downthrown.

Here it refers to the long and difficult course of the normalization of the Chinese and American relationship. If the learners do not know the history background of Odyssey, it will be difficult for them to catch on the meaning of it. [1 0] 5. Ways to avoid or reduce Chinglish The twenty years of reform and opening-up to the outside world have witnessed a rapid growth in China’s economy. As the process of the global economic integration is being accelerated and the knowledge-based economy is coming up, we are confronted with new challenges of English proficiency.

International contacts through the medium of English are widening and intercultural communication becomes more frequent. More and more international corporations have come to invest in China. English is required for international economic & technological co-operation and cultural exchanges between China and English-speaking countries. Therefore, Chinese learners of English are required to have qualified communicative competence. Non-English majors make up the majority of English learners in China, and they are fated to shoulder the arduous tasks of co-operations and exchanges with foreign countries.

Their jobs will bring them into direct or indirect contacts with English-speaking people and their cultures, so they will face the challenge to use English both accurately and appropriately. In this sense, it is reasonTABLE for the learners to avoid and reduce Chinglish which is the embodiment of the Chinese language negative transfer in studying English. 5. 1 The requirement of English-Teaching Syllabus In order to meet the needs of new situations and to bring up new enerations of qualified personnel, the Ministry of Education in China revised the old English-Teaching syllabus in 1998.

According to the newly-revised CET Syllabus (1999), CET aims to develop in students a relatively high level of competence in reading, an intermediate level of competence in listening speaking, writing and translating. More valuably, the syllabus (1999) places emphasis on that ‘the essential goal of CET is to train students to communicate with people appropriately”. Professor Wen Qioufang thinks that it is required to develop students’ cross-cultural communicative competence. 1 1] This depends largely on the application of Interactive Approach to College English Teaching. pproach We urgently need new textbooks or revised textbooks which embrace a great variety of cultural themes and topics (e. g. family, tourism, sports, history, government, environment, entertainment, religion, social problems, foreign relations and so on). [12] 5. 3 English teachers competent for the application of interactive approach Deng Xiaoping, the general designer of the reform and opening-up policy in China, once pointed out, “Education should serve the needs of modernization, hould have a global perspective and should be oriented to the future. The coming of the new millennium (i. e. the knowledge-based economy era) needs effective communicators who are fostered by qualified English teachers. Therefore, the teachers have to become competent for adopting Interactive Approach. First of all, teachers must be researchers at the same time. Since the ultimate goal of English teaching is to develop the students’ communicative competence, it is desirTABLE for a teacher of English to be more learned in the areas of linguistics, literary criticism, or the application of omputers.

English teachers should try very hard to familiarize themselves with as many disciplines as they can, especially with theories of language teaching, psychology, culture, society, history, politics and foreign relations of major English-speaking countries, such as the USA, the LJK, Canada and Australia. That is to say, teachers of English should have a good command of the language with very high intercultural awareness, and pay more attention to language in use rather than to grammar. C13] Secondly, English teachers should take a proper attitude toward Chinglish. In class of adopting the

Interactive Approach, when you teach students vocabulary and grammar, error-correction is necessary and helpful; when you focus on the fluency of speaking English, you had better not correct students’ errors immediately; instead, you may look them as indications ofthe actual acquisition process in action. As we know, frequent error-correction will make students feel anxious and upset According to the Affective Filter Hypothesis [14], acquirers with optimal attitudes are hypothesized to have “IoW’ affective filters. Classrooms that encourage low filters are those that promote low anxiety among tudents, which keep students “off the defensive”.

Besides, the teachers are expected to distinguish errors from mistakes that indicate learners’ tongue slips or pen slips and are accessible to self-correction. Thirdly, games and role-plays should be introduced into English class to form a mini- circumstance of the second language. In other words, English teachers are demanded to create appropriate language context to involve students in “authentic” communicative activities because Interactive Approach emphasizes on cultivating students’ language competence by using language.

In order to lower the anxiety level of the language acquisition, it is desirTABLE for the teachers to create a classroom atmosphere of good rapport with students. What’s more, the teachers should encourage students to practice English bravely and not to use the strategy of avoidance. Finally, the teachers should increase the learners’ intercultural awareness. That is to say, in order to make students communicate with native speakers properly and successfully, the teachers should not only help them to improve linguistic skills but also introduce to them the culture the target language reflects.

In addition, it is the teachers’ duty to help students to form good language learning habits or to become a good language learner, which benefits them in their lifetime. To sum up, the teacher-centred approach is out of fashion. Instead, the learner-centred approach or Interactive Approach should be applied to English teaching for the teachers can help, advise and teach, but only the learner can learn. 5. 4 Students as good language learners R. Ellis [1 5] provides a list of the characteristics of good language learners.


Cite this The negative transfer of mother tongue and Chinglish

The negative transfer of mother tongue and Chinglish. (2018, Feb 07). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/essay-the-negative-transfer-of-mother-tongue-and-chinglish-how-to/

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