The article is dedicated to interpreting the irregularity of the difficulty of lexical interference in the foreign language speech of schoolchildren, as well as an attempt to propose a set of characteristic exercises aimed at overcoming this phenomenon. It is obligatory to make ready alumnus pl alumni with well-developed communication skills that appropriate them to achieve common apprehension and exchange existing ethnical acquaintance when contacting representatives of foreign language culture, as well as consideration for improving the overall level of culture and education of the graduate’s personality. The article presents the characteristics of this mechanism: the classifications and classification of interference are given, the psychological causes of this phenomenon in the mentality of learners are considered. The article concludes that in order to overtake lexical interference; it is paramount that the training substance incorporates carefulness of the most characteristic cases of lexical interference, as well as a leading rational procedure — planning, prognostication, and identification.
In the modern world, information and the ways of its transmission as a whole are paramount, which is why language, as a means of communication, is becoming more and more necessary and interesting object for study requires special attention. The modern socio-cultural situation requires, along with the need of the individual for self-realization, the realization of his potential, competitiveness, from personal knowledge of foreign languages, the possession of which enormously expands the range of interests and opportunities for self-realization. Thus, the problem of learning foreign languages is becoming more and more relevant in the modern world.
English has long been an international language of communication; it is studied in many countries of the world. The number of native English speakers reaches four hundred and ten million people, the number of people who speak English as a second language is about one billion. In Russia, English is the most common foreign language; it is studied in most schools from primary school, realizing its need for further social life.
Russian also continues to be one of the world’s languages. The number of people who speak and understand Russian is estimated at approximately two hundred and thirty-five million people, of whom one hundred and sixty-four million consider it native. The Russian language is being studied by an increasing number of foreigners due to the increasing interest in Russian culture and history, as well as, to a greater extent, the development of international relations, economic ties between Russia and foreign countries.
Since Russian and English are languages of similar types, when they are studied as foreign languages, interference invariably occurs, slowing down and impairing the study of a foreign language, forming incorrect speech skills, which complicates the communication process. Especially the influence of interference affects the study of new vocabulary. It is with interference that a lot of mistakes are made when learning and perceiving a foreign language. Of the two language systems interacting in human speech, one is primary in relation to the other, studied or studied by him later.
The primary system is considered as a source of interference, the secondary — as an object of interference. Such interaction and “overlapping” of two languages when learning a foreign language are a complicating factor in the assimilation of a new vocabulary of a non-native language.
Although many researchers (V.V. Ratnikov, S.F. Shatilov, I.S. Bystrova, I.N. Vereshchagina, V.N. Bogoroditskaya, L.V. Khrustaleva) consider the problem of lexical interference, interference still remains as an understudied area. In this methodological development, an attempt is made to analyze lexical interference and emerging lexical difficulties in the study of comparable languages where English is a foreign language, to predict the most likely manifestations of interference, to offer methodological recommendations for its prevention and to develop a typology of exercises and tasks to reduce its level and prevent it.
When two languages (native — Russian and foreign — English) come into contact, the phenomenon of interference occurs in linguistics, under the influence of one language level, the norms of another language structure are violated. The reason for the interference is the fact that a person builds his speech according to the norms of his native language and establishes unusual connections and relationships between individual linguistic facts of a foreign language, false associations appear. Scientific research shows that the problems of bilingual learning are complex and cover all levels (phonetic, lexical, grammatical, spelling) and, therefore, affect the study of English vocabulary.
To overcome the negative impact of interlanguage interference, the analysis of the native and the studied languages are used. Comparative analysis helps to identify lexical phenomena that pose the greatest difficulties. A differentiated approach will help to eliminate the overload of educational material. The selection of texts and exercises, preparing control papers considering interlanguage interference, is one of the most important elements of the organization of effective training. Given the possibility of interlanguage interference when learning a foreign language, we can prevent some mistakes, reduce their number, and facilitate the learning process. Especially effective with difficult rules and situations are interlanguage contrasting exercises based on interlanguage comparisons, the use of self-control mechanisms, and semantics.
Semantics is the process of revealing the meaning of a word. The choice of the method of semantics in each individual case is determined by the nature of the word, the stage of training, and the level of training. In the methodology, there is a certain arsenal of means and methods of semantics, with the help of which the disclosure of the meaning of the studied lexical structures and their comprehension should be provided through the use of real and conditionally real situations, which ensures correct understanding and awareness of what is perceived.
The monolingual means by which the disclosure of the meaning of a word is made in the foreign language being studied include context, definition, visibility, synonyms, antonyms, word-forming elements that can provide a linguistic guess and lead to comprehension. Although this path is not always the shortest, it mobilizes the cognitive forces of students and is associated with active mental activity.
Translation methods include translation into the native language, interpretation of concepts in the native language. Considering the native language during teaching vocabulary plays a crucial role in mastering the meaning, word formation, and ambiguity of words.
Among the monolingual methods, context is one of the most commonly used. Provided that the context is unambiguous, this method ensures a certain accuracy in understanding the meaning of the word. It is demonstrated in a phrase, in speech, a speech guess develops, an association between words is established. The disadvantage of this method is that a certain level of language acquisition is required.
Also, the disclosure of the meaning of words can be carried out with the help of a definition, which is also useful for the development of listening along the way. This method helps to reveal the semantic, conceptual nature of the word. On the other hand, the definition is often very cumbersome and requires, to a greater extent than the context, a certain level of language proficiency. The next method is synonyms and antonyms. There have been disputes about this method in the methodology for a long time, various opinions have been expressed from its complete prohibition to widespread use. It is believed that this method is not always accurate, since there are no complete synonyms and antonyms, and students’ knowledge of words is also assumed. The advantages are that it helps to establish semantic nests of words.
Another way of semanticizing occurs through visibility, which is one of the ways of interlanguage comparison. Visibility is an extralinguistic way of presenting a new word, but when overcoming interlanguage interference, it is effective along with a linguistic way, e.g. translation into the native language, or interpretation of a word in English. Hence, there is the requirement to use paintings, images of objects. However, the most important thing for students is to master new language tools, so the visibility should be primarily linguistic. Visibility can be defined as a specially organized display of language material and its use in speech in order to help the student in his understanding, assimilation and use, since the mastery of educational material begins either with sensory perception, or with the involvement of previously perceived and available in experience. With the help of various means of visualization, natural conditions are created for the manifestation of the communicative functions of the language.
There are different types of visibility. So, at the senior stage, linguistic and auditory visibility is widely used when revealing the meaning of a word. Language visibility should be realized by the constant speech activity of the student in a foreign language, the teacher's speech, radio broadcasts, tape recordings, etc. Another type is auditory visibility. Given its importance, it is necessary to use sound recording, as well as a combination of auditory and visual clarity, the arsenal of screen aids (slides, video materials). However, it should be noted that the use of auditory and visual clarity should be started at the initial stage, since without this, phonemic hearing and the ability to understand foreign language speech do not develop, and further training is subject to failure. Phonemic hearing (phonemics) is the distinction (analysis and synthesis) of sounds (phonemes) of parts of speech, which is a necessary basis for understanding the meaning of what is said. The development of phonemic hearing in children is necessary for their successful learning to read and write. Children often confuse phonemes that are similar in sound, which sometimes slow down the development of coherent speech. Further development of phonemic hearing is necessary for successful teaching of foreign languages.
Usually, preference is given to monolingual methods of semantics, and translational ones are considered only when monolingual ones are ineffective. This also applies to the case of interlanguage lexical interference. Translation into the native language is the oldest, most common method, which is explained by its simplicity and convenience. Its widespread use is also explained by the fact that, as L.V. Shcherba said, “it is possible to expel the native language from the audience, but it cannot be expelled from the heads of students” (Shcherba, 1974, 62). All manipulations with foreign language means inevitably come down to translation, which must be used wisely and skillfully.
A person builds his speech according to the norms of his native language. Nevertheless, there are also extralinguistic factors that cause interlanguage interference, which is the absence of a natural language environment and an important need for communication in a foreign language. In the artificial conditions of mastering a foreign language, these factors are joined by others. In particular, after a certain period of mastering a foreign language and accumulating a certain stock of foreign language knowledge, skills and abilities, students make numerous mistakes, which are no longer always associated with the effect of interlanguage interference (Sidelnik, 2008).
Using self-control mechanisms significantly reduces the number of errors in the speech of students in mastering a foreign language, compared with the work of a teacher on error correction. It seems preferable to create such an educational situation in which the reflective and evaluative activity of the students themselves is activated. This applies primarily to graphic interference at the lexical level, since reading a word according to all the phonetic laws of the English language eliminates the likelihood of false associations regarding the semantic meaning of the word. This is implemented in practice through the formation of a situation in which the student himself must analyze the difficulty, error and independently assess the significance of its impact learning a foreign language. It is in this way that not a simple mechanical correction of an error occurs, but the simultaneous development of the student's critical thinking, the use of self-control mechanisms, and for older students.
Conscious analysis of certain phenomena will prevent interference. The selection of texts and exercises, preparing control papers considering interlanguage interference, is one of the most important elements of the organization of effective training.
Taking into account the interference factor when learning a foreign language allows one to prevent mistakes, reduce their number, and facilitate the learning process, which meets the objectives of the intensification of the educational process.
The regularities of the formulation of thought with the help of a language code indicate that selection and combination are the main operations associated with the functioning of lexical units in speech. The choice of the word is aimed at the nomination, i.e. the naming of what should be discussed. The nomination field is updated in the conceptual scheme (I.A. Zimnaya). When mastering a foreign language, this scheme, formed in the native language, acts as a “foundation” for the formation of such in a foreign language. In the absence of this knowledge or with insufficient depth, mental activity may be erroneous and the tendency to establish similarities between linguistic phenomena may lead to a violation of the language norm and inadequate word usage. Knowledge significantly prevents the interfering influence of linguistic experience of students from both native and foreign languages. They are a means of creating a system of guidelines for the successful development of vocabulary and the prerequisites for the formation of a foreign language speech lexical skill. Knowledge enables the student, in case of difficulties, to consciously carry out both the operation of choice and the operation of combination.
In the conditions of teaching a foreign language, the task of a teacher is to achieve full mastery of the lexical minimum provided for by the program, create a mobile vocabulary, prevent its leakage, forgetting, activate the vocabulary laid down in elementary school and its adequate use in oral speech. The teacher is forced to look for new, more effective ways and techniques for mastering lexical material, without which communication is impossible.
The study of a new lexical unit is a crucial moment in the work on its assimilation, and it depends more on whether it will be imprinted in memory or not since it has been proven experimentally that memory works not only by the type of memorization but by the mechanism of imprinting “once and for all”. The subject of familiarization should be the semantics of the word in unity with its sounding and graphic forms.
The assimilation of a word involves the formation in the cerebral cortex of a complex of temporary connections between the visual, auditory, and motor areas of the cortex since the word has two sides: sensory and semantic. Since the word is an irritant it comprises a visual and auditory component. When they talk about the semantic side, they mean the meaning of the word, the relation to the object or phenomenon that it designates, and its concept, the form of thinking that reflects objects and phenomena in their essential features. Cognitive thinking is characterized by operating with concepts, while communicative thinking relies on both representations and the experience of repeated use of a word in a speech situation.
Today, the development of society, knowledge of foreign languages is an important condition for the personal development of students.
In this regard, the search for the most effective methods of teaching the vocabulary of the studied foreign language becomes a priority for the methodology.
Students can hardly use lexical material under the context, cannot distinguish synonyms, antonyms, homonyms, and other stylistic figures of speech. Lexical interference is a kind of convergent restructuring of languages in the course of language interaction and represents the transfer of all the properties of the lexical unit of the native language to its correlate in a foreign language when similarities between them are detected. The reason for this is the psychological phenomenon of transference, the formation and implementation of which occurs in the minds of students unconsciously, regardless of their will. When students learn foreign language vocabulary, they face several objective difficulties that they follow from the peculiarities of the lexical system of a foreign language. Interference has both positive and negative effects on the language. The positive influence is manifested because, under the influence of a foreign language; this language is enriched with a significant stock of diverse vocabulary, new syntactic forms and constructions, as well as different ways of pronunciation. The negative impact of interference is that after a while, some language elements become almost impossible to distinguish from each other. Unfortunately, within the framework of a modern foreign language lesson, tasks aimed at overcoming the phenomena of lexical interference are not always systematically used.
Domination between a bilingual’s Language1 and Language2 may consummation from one of four accomplishable interlanguage interactions. The first and most apparent opportunity is that the earlier-acquired Languge1 affects the creation of the Language2. It is familiar for bilinguals to communicate their Language2 with a detectable foreign accent, generate speech that is detectable dissimilar from that of congenital speakers of the language. Substantial evidence recommends that the extent of the dissimilarity between bilingual creation of Language1 and Language2 phones from those of monolinguals depends on the age at which each language is acquired. This difference occurs because acquiring speech sequentially axiomatically has in mind that the Language2 is learned through the ‘filter’ of the Language1. The resulting consequence of the Language1 on the Language2 is termed ‘interference’. Numerous studies have demonstrated that the results of this interference persist in Language2 creation and also perception, even after several years of continued Language2 use .
There is a certain theoretical basis that allows studying the specifics of language interference, including lexical interference: in the field of the theory of language contacts (U. Weinrich, L.V. Shcherba, etc.); the use of a rational approach to the study of languages (M.N. Ignatova); bilingualism and interference (V.M. Alpatov, L.I. Barannikova, U. Weinreich, etc.); overcoming interference in a professional translation (V.V. Alimov); the mastery of the foreign language at a high level with the universal set of exercises (V.V. Viashchenko), etc.
Results and Discussion
According to V.V. Alimov, lexical interference is the interference of the vocabulary of one language system into another. The linguist considers the line between grammatical and lexical, as well as semantic and lexical types of interference, barely distinguishable . For example, the grammar and semantics of one language can influence the vocabulary of another and lead to the emergence of many new words: shaping, rating, monitoring, bodybuilding, etc.
In his work “Language contacts”, W. Weinreich emphasizes that the common reason for lexical innovations is the need to name new objects, people, places, and concepts. These new introductions, falling into other languages, led to the emergence of lexical interference .
The reasons for the occurrence of lexical innovations are different, some of them are lexical borrowings that have appeared in a foreign language because of language contact. These borrowings can imperceptibly interfere in the language for an indefinite time, and then, obeying the grammatical norms of another language, take a full-fledged place in its vocabulary.
Foreign language learners and translators often have difficulties translating individual words and expressions from their native language into a foreign language and vice versa. This was confirmed in the words of W. Weinreich: “Perhaps the fundamental condition for lexical interference is a similar feeling of lexical deficit (lexical “gap”)” .
When a communicant or translator understands that there is no equivalent of a word from the translated language in their native language, they are forced to resort to calcifying or transliterating this word, which in the vast majority of cases leads to lexical interference.
According to N.P. Medentseva, students studying English face many difficulties in trying to overcome lexical interference. The most common of them are:
- Lexical-semantic interference based on microstructure, due to polysemy (such interference is not a distinction between sememes (the minimum unit of the content plan at the level of abstract description) with a common lexeme comprising one word).
- Lexical-semantic interference in synonymy:
- with lexical synonyms that differ in shades of meaning (English: to stare, to gaze, to look, to watch, to see);
- with lexical synonyms that differ in the sphere of use (English: beautiful, pretty, nice, handsome);
- with lexical synonyms that differ in emotional and expressive coloring (English silly, foolish, stupid).
- Lexical-semantic interference in antonymy.
The main mistakes students face in this area are:
- incorrect translation of a Russian word in a certain context due to the existence of polysemy, and as a result-incorrect selection of an English antonym:
- black bread — white bread-English white bread;
- black magic-white magic-English light magic, (the word “light” is used here in a figurative sense and means “good, not evil”).
- the inability to distinguish sememes in the lexemes of the English language, most often is a consequence of insufficient proficiency in it:
- large (small) distance-English long (short) distance;
- big (small) eyes-English big (small) eyes.
- Lexico-semantic interference in homonymy.
Typical mistakes of students are associated with the following types of lexical homonyms:
- homoforms: English: 1. Book me two tickets — Закажи мне два билета.
- I've read a book — Я прочитал книгу.
- homographs: the word “'record” or “re'cord” (record or record on a gramophone record).
- homophones: English: be — быть; bee — пчела; beer — пиво; bear — медведь.
- Lexical and semantic interference in the field of paronymy of the Russian and English languages: eng. Collision and collusion, affect and effect .
The research of N.P. Medentseva showed that the phenomenon of lexical interference occurs precisely when working with paronyms and homonyms in foreign languages (most errors are allowed here) .
Overcoming lexical interference in the foreign language speech of secondary school students makes it important to consider this problem not only from a linguistic but also from a psychological point of view.
When mastering a foreign language, students use the skills and abilities that they have developed on the material of their native language . Thus, a foreign language is acquired on a certain psycholinguistic basis of mastering a previously studied (native) language, in other words, based on specific skills previously formed in a person . These skills subsequently enter a certain interaction with new emerging speech skills and abilities in a foreign language.
Discrepancies in the vocabulary of the native and foreign languages should be possible prerequisites for the actualization of interference, which cannot always materialize in speech. The reason there is interference when trying to master a foreign language violates the mental mechanisms of speech.
To reduce the phenomenon of skill interference, modern psychology calls for using several the following measures in practice:
- analyze the extent to which teachers perform the work during the lesson and their subsequent instruction in order to create an identity between the teaching methods used;
- transition to work on other skills only after the final consolidation of the previous skills;
- strive to implement the greatest standardization of situations-stimuli and reactions (or create the greatest discrepancies in these situations) .
According to L.A. Schwartz, the solution of the problem of neutralizing or removing the interference of skills is impossible without understanding the features of the learned lexical units by the trainees, which is achieved by comparing them . This conclusion is also emphasized in other psychological studies: the negative transfer can be significantly weakened if the essential distinctive signs of interfering phenomena are brought to the consciousness of the trainees . In this, in our opinion, the task of a foreign language teacher is to plan work on the study of foreign language vocabulary, the meanings of which may not always coincide with the corresponding meanings in the native language.
In the modern methodology of teaching foreign languages, there are various approaches to identifying the causes of lexical difficulties and the phenomenon of interference.
Among the domestic researchers dealing with this problem, N.V. Nikolaeva highlights that the choice of vocabulary depends on the ratio of the form of a word and its meaning in a foreign and native language. The linguist divides words into eight types:
- borrowed / international language units, the meaning of which is the same in the two languages;
- components of phrases, as well as complex and derived words that are already familiar to students, but have different semantic shades with words from their native language that are similar in meaning;
- words with a volume of meaning that does not conflict with the semantic volume of words of the native language;
- words whose content is considered as specific from the position of the studied language;
- words that have a common root with their native language but have different contents;
- lexical units that have a wider scope of meaning compared to the native language;
- lexical units that have a narrower scope of meaning than in the native language .
I.M. Ignatova states that to overcome the phenomenon of interference in the study of foreign languages, the best solution is to turn to a rational approach . A rational approach does not allow language learners to replace the system of lexical rules of the studied language with a system formed earlier as a product of learning their native language. Because of using a rational approach, students acquire the ability to analyze the ratio of structural units in different languages, as well as mutual influence systems of two languages in each other. It is a thorough study of the interaction and interpenetration of two languages that is the key to successfully recent mastering the lexical side of the speech of the studied language.
For methodological purposes, it is necessary to conditionally distinguish 3 stages of mastering lexical material:
1st stage — the introduction of vocabulary and its primary consolidation. The main task of the first stage is to explain the distinctive features of English verbs when comparing them with Russian correlates. To do this, it is necessary to explain to schoolchildren the meaning of each verb and compare their meanings with each other to ensure a conscious perception of the differences in their semantic structures.
2nd stage — formation of lexical speech skills in oral foreign language speakers. The purpose of this stage is not just the primary fixation of a lexical unit in the consciousness, but bringing the level of proficiency of this lexical unit to automatism. At the second stage, the skill is formed and its subsequent consolidation takes place. This is achieved by a large number of repetitions of lexical units in the exercises. In contrast to the first stage, at the second stage, students choose the appropriate lexical unit independently.
3rd stage — improvement of lexical speech skills, as well as the development of speech skills for using the studied vocabulary in speech. This stage includes creative exercises that require active mental activity of students. These tasks assume full independence of students in the choice of foreign language lexical means for expressing their thoughts [12; 13].
Thus, to overcome interlanguage interference at the lexical level, it is necessary to adhere to the following principles:
- the principle of oral advance (interference occurs from the very beginning of learning a foreign language, which is why to overcome interference, it is necessary to acquaint students with the sound form of a lexical unit, so that in the future the correct sound appearance of the word correlates with the graphic form of the word and is associated with the correct image, without causing false associations);
- the principle of matching (this principle mainly works as a simulator, since when repeatedly referring to a lexical unit that can interfere, the student, trying to find the equivalent among the proposed options for matching, will repeatedly refer to a dictionary or other source that semantics lexical units correctly, which will allow faster memorization of the meaning of a word subject to interference);
- the principle of using a semanticizing context (this principle of word semanticization is based on a correct guess about the lexical meaning of the word, which appears based on the meaning of the sentence / phrase where a false association about the meaning of a lexical unit caused by interference will not make sense);
- the principle of clarity (the meaning of exercises implementing this principle in the development of an association of a word (graphics or phonetics) with an image. This principle is especially well suited for words denoting real objects, as it helps students to correctly semanticize the studied word without resorting to translation).
In modern socio-cultural conditions, at this stage of the development of society, the study of foreign languages becomes a necessity for the full self-realization of the individual. Interference is one of the most common causes of errors when learning a foreign language. In the course of this work, the types of interlanguage interference at the lexical level were identified, to overcome which the lexical units of the Russian and English languages were compared and analyzed, the types of lexical interference were described and analyzed, under the influence of which difficulties arise in mastering the vocabulary of the English language and, as a result, errors at the lexical level.
The analysis of lexical units of the compared languages revealed differences in the perception and semantics of words leading to interference, identified the main types of lexical interference. Based on the analysis of these types, conclusions were drawn about the main causes of manifestation and possible ways of manifestation of interlanguage interference. In the course of the work, the main goal of the study was achieved — to identify the causes leading to interference at the lexical level and to compile methodological principles for overcoming interference of the Russian language as a native language when learning English as a foreign language at the lexical level. Several tasks were also solved, including consideration of interlanguage interference as a phenomenon in general, a comparative description of the language systems of English and Russian to identify differences between their lexical systems, identifying the main causes and ways of occurrence of lexical interference, compiling a list of lexical phenomena of the English language that cause difficulties in their study; predicting the most likely manifestations of interference at the lexical level; compiling exercises that prevent interference and prevent its occurrence.
The main emphasis was placed on the differentiation of types of lexical interference. After all, before trying to deal with the phenomenon of interference, it is necessary to understand the mechanisms of influence of one language on another, in this case, the Russian language — on the English language. Although a lot of works have been written on this issue, various manuals have been created, students of English as a foreign language still have mistakes when studying the vocabulary of a foreign language, which is revealed most often when students translate English-language texts. Although enough attention is paid to the study of vocabulary when teaching a foreign language, the problem of interference remains open, since this is a psychological process that is not always controllable. Based on the analysis of the lexical interference of the Russian language in the study of English, the principles of anticipating and overcoming interlanguage interference were identified.
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