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Philosophy of Language

Language is a set of symbols which used by mankind in order to communicate with one another. Language aids a person to express his or her thought or feelings. According to Aristotle, the distinguishing component of human dialect is its semantic scope. He considers that the mankind has the potential to use the language to show the goodness and harm while other species like animals can only produce a voice to show painful and pleasant things.

Each social group has their own language which knows as the Native language. It is the language that a person learned from their childhood or from their home environment. According to Professor Jim Cummin, from the University of Toronto, mother tongue plays a major role in a child’s development.

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Youngsters, who have a strong establishment in their first language, will have better proficiency skills in different dialects that they learn especially English language.

English is a universal language that speaks by millions of people all around the world. It derived from West Germanic Language that was first spoke by early medieval England. After the British Empires spread their influence through worldwide, Modern English starts to grow .It has become the leading language and the most important language in different fields such as in education and professional fields. Nowadays, academic institutions give more attention to this particular language because they believe it helps to produce a better student for future.

In terms of education, students are expected to be well qualified in four major proficiency skills, namely reading, writing, speaking and listening. These four language skills are very much connected to each other by two factors, namely, the mode and the direction of communication. Somehow, learning English as second language become a challenging part among Malaysian students due to their native language interference because it is influencing the way the mind forms sound-related words in a second language. Native language makes students to perform poorly in the four language skills. Speaking skill is one of the language skills which highly influence by the native language.

Speaking skill is considered the most productive skill then the other skills to enhance learners. According to Aungwatanakun (1994), ability to speak is considered as the vital skill in language teaching and learning since it is the basis of communication. At first, it might seem so complicated but it involves more than just pronouncing words.

Adult learners whose native language is not English assume themselves as good speakers of English because they always use the language as the medium of communication in the university environment. However, learners who sit for their speaking tests at University, their spoken English not as good as the appropriate English. The main cause is their mother tongue interference to their spoken English.

Spoken English is one of the terms in speaking skills. According to Turk (2013), speaking is the straightway from one personality to another, and generally, we choose this route to ask a question, or to provide an explanation. Therefore, students’ poor spoken English became a problematic issue in their everyday oral communication due to the native language interference.