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Difference Between First Language And Mother Tongue Pdf

difference between first language and mother tongue pdf

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The term "mother tongue" refers to a person's native language — that is, a language learned from birth. Contemporary linguists and educators commonly use the term L1 to refer to a first or native language the mother tongue and the term L2 to refer to a second language or a foreign language that's being studied. For example, if a language school advertises that all its teachers are native speakers of English, we would most likely complain if we later learned that although the teachers do have some vague childhood memories of the time when they talked to their mothers in English, they, however, grew up in some non-English-speaking country and are fluent in a second language only.

Difference Between Mother Tongue and First Language

Most people think that all of them mean the same thing, and in most common cases, they do. However, in certain cases, especially where someone speaks more than one language, the terms have different connotations that may mean different things. As children grow up they pick up words, phrases, and eventually entire languages. These languages are typically the ones that are spoken at home. In the most basic situations, this language would be native language, their mother tongue, and their first language.

A ccording to linguists, there is an important distinction between language acquisition and language learning. As you may well have noticed, children acquire their mother tongue through interaction with their parents and the environment that surrounds them. Their need to communicate paves the way for language acquisition to take place. As experts suggest, there is an innate capacity in every human being to acquire language. This suggests that it is through exposure to the language and meaningful communication that a first language is acquired, without the need of systematic studies of any kind. When it comes to second language learning in children, you will notice that this happens almost identically to their first language acquisition.

What Is The Difference Between “Mother Tongue” And “First Language”?

Have you ever wondered what is the difference between mother tongue , first language L1 , dominant language etc. In one sense, we all have a mother tongue as we all have only one biological mother. And what does this even mean? This scenario is not very accurate, surely not in today's world where fathers and other care givers are involved in providing input in the home language too. A problem also arises for children who are adopted.

Mother tongue or first language is the language a person has been exposed to from the birth. It is usually the language one first learns. It is also the language a person is most fluent in. Mother tongue is the language a person learns to speak first. Although some people assume that the mother tongue is the language spoken by the mother, this is always not correct. For example, an Indian mother living in the USA may only speak in English with the child even though her native language is Hindi. However, a person usually learns the mother tongue as a child at home.

difference between first language and mother tongue pdf

Mother tongue, first language, native language or dominant language?

In some countries, the term native language or mother tongue refers to the language of one's ethnic group rather than one's first language.

importance of mother tongue pdf

Talking about language is confusing. Mother tongue, first language, native language and so on, we all define these phrases differently. The other weekend I thought about this as I walked through the shopping centre near my place. Walking briskly, I passed by the stall selling organic beauty products, passed right in front of a middle-aged-looking Caucasian female stall attendant.

Language is the most significant aspect which makes us different from all other species. Accordingly, language acquisition is the most impressive aspect of human development both in psychological and cognitive perspective. However, all the normal human beings acquire the language they first encounter as children. Then they might learn multiple languages but those languages will always be different from the first language they acquired by being exposed to. So, it is evident that there are a lot of differences between the first language and the second language of a person. It is the most important factor that makes a second language totally different from the first language. Children of the age of 6 who have already acquired full proficiency in their first language are most capable of learning a second language.


Mother tongue is the in-born language, which a baby has already familiarized even in the gestation of mother before it was born. The first language is the language which a child acquires either through schooling or socialization, such as family.


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3 Comments

  1. Vincent B.

    17.04.2021 at 00:14
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  2. Jade B.

    21.04.2021 at 21:10
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  3. Nurit A.

    22.04.2021 at 09:55
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    Parents can support their children's second and foreign language learning by using mother tongue diversely, reading and telling stories.

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