Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Language, Education, Humanities and Innovation 2016

Does Mother Tongue Affect the English Pronunciation?

Bobby Pramjit Singh Dhillon

Nommensen HKBP University, Indonesia


This study is conducted to find out whether mother tongue affects the English Pronunciation. The problems of this research are formatted in the form of questions, as follows: “What problems do the students have in pronouncing English words?” and “What are the causes of their mispronunciation?”. To solve the problems, the researcher uses some theories such as: Roach (2000), Jones (1979), Gimson (1962), and Skandera & Burleigh (2005). The main theory in this research is about English pronunciation which is aimed to English vowels, diphthongs, and consonants. This research is a qualitative study. The subjects are the second semester students at Teacher Training and Education Faculty Pematangsiantar. The data are analyzed by first transcribing the students_ voice into phonetic transcription, and then comparing them to the Standard English Pronunciation, after that identifying the students_ problems. The researcher finds out that the interference of students_ mother tongue, namely: Batak Toba language, makes the students difficult to pronounce some English phonemes, such as (1) vowels /_/, and /_: /; (2) diphthongs /e_/, /__/, /e_/, /__/, and /__/; (3) consonants /_/, /_/, /_/, /t_/, /_/, /f/, /v/, and /z/; and (4) suffix –s /z/ or /s/, and suffix–ed /d/ or /t/ or /id/. In conclusion, this study shows the cause of the interference of mother tongue in the students_ pronunciation is the absence of such phonemes in Aksara Batak (Batak_s Script). The researcher suggests English teachers to introduce English phonemes (consonants, vowels, and diphthongs) and stress to class of beginner, and to be a good model in teaching pronunciation.


Pronunciation, mispronunciation, vowels, diphthongs, consonants

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