In the article, Addressing Cultural and Native Interference in Second Language Acquisition, Allard, Bourdeau & Mizoguchi, 2011, brings out the difficulties and challenges of second/foreign language acquisition and ways to deal with these problems. The article further evaluates matters of interference that can be traced to a student’s mother tongue and cultural elements. In their work, the authors use Japanese as L1 and English as L2 in an attempt to show how changes and interference from an individual’s native language can influence expression in the language one is trying to acquire.
From the article, it is evident that the initial steps of acquiring a second language (L2) taking into consideration one’s mother tongue (L1) can be a primary cause of error in learner language. Allard, Bourdeau & Mizoguchi, 2011 define it as a cross-linguistic influence. The existence of mistakes in acquiring a second language is a clear indicator that there are various ways to approach the world. The language being a social practice, it’s instilled with culture. Additionally, individual’s voice is both personal and collective since a person expresses the skills, knowledge and abilities and social models accepted in their native society. The transfer comes out as both facilitator and limiter of second language acquisition. The transfer facilitates L2 if the skills acquired in L1 supports the learning of L2. On the other hand, it acts as a limiter if the skills learned in L1 impedes the learning of L2.
Allard, Bourdeau & Mizoguchi, 2011, further describe the interferences. These are the negative transfers or the mistakes in the use of the second language that can be traced back to the influence of mother tongue. It is clear that second language learning is not only a process applying L2 words and inserting them in the L1 sentences but involves content analysis and structuring. In a written or verbal communication of L2, learners often depend on their native L1 to generate a response. In a situation where the two languages differ entirely, there is a high possibility of error in L2. It clearly brings out the interference of L1 on L2.
The authors also present the concept of ontology in an attempt to elaborate possible solutions to the problems associated with second language acquisition through the ontological modeling. In the text, ontology comes out as means to understand and acknowledge the world variations. Across the text, the authors formulate ontology of culture and L1 interference in L2 acquisition. According to (Allard, Bourdeau & Mizoguchi, 2011), this is the only way to curb language fossilization and avoid transfer errors from recurring. Through ontological framework, an instructor can evaluate the magnitude of the learning difficulty and develop an instructional intervention to eliminate the problem. For instance, the instructor can create awareness among the learners of the proper use of words while creating sentences taking into consideration the diverse cultures. To achieve this, an illustration of the proper and improper use of such word will be necessary. Learner’s practice on the use of such words is also appropriate. Lastly, there is a need to test students on the correct, understanding and acknowledgment of the diverse cultures.
The article further incorporates the role technology has played in eliminating interference of L1 on acquiring L2. Through the use of CALL system, a component of Intelligent Tutoring System, instructors can identify challenges associated with cross-linguistic influence. Additionally, through this system teachers can access necessary instructional strategies and various activities to overcome challenges of acquiring L2 among students. Through this system, instructors can access the best way to prepare the course or lesson plan, teaching suggestion and best pieces of training and drills. The system does not eliminate the learners (Allard, Bourdeau & Mizoguchi, 2011). While working on an exercise, the system can swiftly identify a current challenge and direct learners on what to do or introduce them to activities for more practice.