Bidirectional Crosslinguistic Influence in Language Learning: Linguistic Aspects and Beyond

Aasa Moattarian


The term crosslinguistic influence is used to describe the cognitive process of applying the knowledge of one language to that of another. Dealing with transfer as a fact in the process of language learning, one should not only consider the linguistic differences but also many other factors such as social, cultural, pragmatic, conceptual, etc., which all play crucial roles in the process of language learning. This descriptive study was thus set to find out different kinds of transfer crosslingually. To this end, 70 Iranian junior EFL university students were randomly selected and assigned to two groups of 35 to do translation tasks; in one, they were required to translate a text from L1 to L2 (Persian to English) and in the other group, the participants were asked to translate the same text but this time from L2 to L1 (English to Persian). The data was then analyzed based on a ten-item taxonomy provided by Jarvis and Pavlenko (2008). Close analysis of the data along with relevant statistical analysis revealed that there was a significant difference between the use of transfer in these two tasks. Moreover, the participants not only transferred linguistically but also conceptually.

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International Journal of Linguistics  ISSN 1948-5425  Email:

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