What Is the Role of L1 in L2 Acquisition?

Bingjun MA


Based on the longitudinal studies on the second language acquisition, the role of L1 in L2 acquisition consists of 6 different areas: (1) with the behavioral theory to explain the SLA, focusing on the role of conditions; (2) to explain the interaction of SLA, emphasizing communication and social needs; (3) to explain the SLA with the cognitive theory, emphasizing the logic and thinking processes; (4) with the nativist theory or biological theory to explain SLA, stressing the inherent genetic capacity; (5) to emphasize the learner and learning strategies. (6) L1 transfer in L2 acquisition of phonetics, lexicology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. In this article, the longitudinal studies of language transfer will be summarized and the observations will be listed to support the role of L1 transfer in L2 acquisition. Variety of findings indicates that the role of L1 transfer in L2 acquisition can never be neglected.


SLA; language transfer; Phonetic transfer; Lexical transfer; Pragmatic transfer; The role of L1 in L2 acquisition

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968%2F3769


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