Learning & Teaching Foreign Languages



Transfer, or interference, refers to the process of using elements of the first language (phonemes, vocabulary, structures) in the second language.

Where two languages [are] similar, positive transfer [will] occur; where they [are] different, negative transfer, or interference, [will] result.

(Larsen-Freeman and Long, 1991)

The contrastive analysis hypothesis assumed a prevalence or quasi-ubiquity of transfer processes which teaching should aim to counteract.

Individuals tend to transfer the forms and meanings, and the distribution of forms and meanings of their native language and culture to the foreign language and culture.

(Lado, 1957)


  1. Read more: Lado
  2. Classroom illustration: The Audio-lingual Method
  3. Read about cognitive perspectives on transfer

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