Language Transfer and Language Interference in SLA

Language Transfer and Language Interference

Language transfer is the effect of one language on the learning of another. Two types of language transfer may occur. Negative transfer, also known as interference, is the use of a native-language pattern or rule which leads to an ERROR or inappropriate form in the TARGET LANGUAGE. For example, a French learner of English may produce the incorrect sentence I am here since Monday instead of I have been here since Monday, because of the transfer of the French pattern Je suis ici depuis lundi (“I am here since Monday”). Positive transfer is transfer which makes learning easier, and may occur when both the native language and the target language have the same form. For example, both French and English have the word table, which can have the same meaning in both languages.