An Overview of Cross-linguistic Influence in Language Learning

Azim Javadi Safa


This review paper begins with a short discussion on the relationship between first and second language. Subsequently, it presents a set of models and hypotheses as the main theoretical frameworks which are commonly drawn on to support, describe and give account of the related studies in this field. Then, it elaborates on the issue of cross-linguistic influence or language transfer by presenting its historical overview. It then continues by discussing its terminologies and classifications. It also gives a brief account of the reasons for the occurrence of language transfer. In addition, different approaches to transfer studies are concisely addressed. Moreover, it reports on the empirical transfer studies of different types including oral and written transfer and various levels such as syntactical, lexical, and conceptual. Finally, concluding the facilitative effect of the cross language transfer, it calls for more attention for further research and practical considerations in designing language learning materials.


cross-linguistic influence, language transfer, L1-L2 relationship

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