Interference of L1 (Urdu) in L2 (English) in Pakistan: Teaching English as a Second Language

Muhammad Hamzah Masood, Shahzeb Shafi, Muhammad Yousaf Rahim, Maqsood Ali Darwesh


Under the shadow of the inescapable fact that learning L2 (Second or Foreign Language) especially English in this global village is mandatory for academia in developing countries, thereupon, Pakistan faces akin conditions where learners are exposed to Urdu as National Language and English as Academic and Official Language besides L1 (First Language, Mother Tongue, Primary Language or Native Language). Within this confused sequential multilingualism, few achieve native-like accuracy or fluency or both, while others fall a prey to influence of L1 in L2. The current study extends to explore the different types of interferences Pakistani Urdu (L1) speakers face while learning English as Second Language (ESL) (L2). A random sample of thirty students of first semester BS (Hons.) program students with Urdu as L1 from eleven Pakistani universities were interviewed online and were examined utilizing qualitative approach for the investigation of syntactic interferences which were theoretically evaluated employing the Contrastive Analysis technique proposed by Ellis (1985). Findings unfolded four types of syntactic errors owing to interferences of L1 (Urdu) in the usage of L2 (English): Articles, prepositions, subject-verb agreement and direct implications of Urdu (L1) words which were posing hurdles for Urdu as L1 speakers of Pakistan in learning ESL as L2.


Interferences, English as Second Language (ESL) learners, Syntactic Errors, Articles, Prepositions, Subject-Verb Agreement, Urdu (First Language)

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