ERIC Number: ED022159
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1968
Reference Count: N/A
Contrastive Analysis and Interference Theory.
Carroll, John B.
Two questions might be asked of psychologists by foreign language teachers: (1) What steps can be taken to maximize positive transfer and minimize negative transfer between native and target languages, and to what extent are those steps effective? (2) How can we predict the amount of facilitation or interference that will occur when a student tries to learn a particular aspect of a second language? Direct, simple answers to these questions cannot be given because: (a) few studies of interference in psychology have dealt with transfer from one very highly learned system of habits to another system; (b) psychological experiments on transfer often deal with situations where the new set of habits replaces rather than merely supplements the original set of habits; (c) interference theory has at least two meanings in psychology--one meaning arising in the explanation of forgetting, and the second meaning occurring when one learning task influences a subsequent learning task. Research results in this second area are difficult to apply to foreign language teaching, however. The author concludes that, although not very much psychological research is directly relevant to contrastive linguistics, there is inferential support for the use of contrastive analysis in predicting student difficulties and in explaining contrasts between native and foreign language structures to the student. (JD)
Descriptors: Contrastive Linguistics, Habit Formation, Interference (Language), Learning Processes, Second Language Learning
Publications Department, School of Languages and Linguistics, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. 20007 (Monograph Series No. 21, $2.95).
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Georgetown Univ., Washington, DC. School of Languages and Linguistics.
Note: Article in Report of the 19th Annual Round Table Meeting on Ling. and Lang. Studies, Contrastive Linguistics and Its Pedagogical Implications.