Exploring the Negative Transfer on English Learning

Xiaoru Wang


According to the language transfer theory, it is assumed that the learner’s mother tongue (MT) will positively or negatively affect his learning a foreign language in second language acquisition (SLA). When there are differences between his (MT) and target language (TL), the learner’s mother tongue and target language are similar, the native language will actively aid foreign language in learning that is in case of similarities between the native language and target language, the transfer functions positively, while in case of differences, it functions negatively.
The mother negative language transfer in acquiring a foreign language is seemingly inevitable. Since the differences between the learners’ MT and TL will interfere with the target language learning. On the basis of the theories of contrastive analysis, transfer analysis and translation theories, this paper is an attempt to find out the phenomena of mother language’s negative transfer in English learning by means of Chinese-English translation, with the purpose of showing how the Chinese learners of English are negatively influenced by their mother tongue knowledge in learning English. The author will collect the data of Chinese-English translation from the fresh men and analyze the reasons. At last, the author will make suggestions for teachers and learners according to the mistakes the subjects made.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/ass.v5n7p138

Asian Social Science   ISSN 1911-2017 (Print)   ISSN 1911-2025 (Online)

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