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On the State of L1 and L2 Knowledge in FL Learners: A Review of Issues

Hosni Mostafa El-Dali


There  has  been  extensive  research  into  how  L1   affects  L2,  commonly  known  as ‘negative influence’, but a lot less about the opposite direction, commonly known as ‘Reverse or  Backward’  transfer.  As  well  as  the  first  language  influences  the  second,  the  second language influences the first.  The present study, therefore, attempts to examine and critically review  pertinent  research  into  the  question  of bidirectional  influence  between  languages. First, it traces the conceptual framework of the notion L1→L2  effect.  Second, it attempts to demonstrate how an emerging new language (L2) affects the existing L1.  Third, it examines the pedagogical aspects of both directions, as manifested in L2 classroom.  Special focus will be given to how the concept of “multicompetence”  sees the goal of L2  learning and how language teaching should reflect such a goal.  In addition, the advantages and disadvantages of using   learners’   first   language   in  L2    classroom   will   be   highlighted   and   specific methodological recommendations will be made.


L1 effect on L2; Reverse transfer; Pedagogical aspects

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