Language Transfer: A Dead Issue? - Reflecting on ‘Reverse Transfer’ and ‘Multicompetence’


  • Hosni Mostafa El-dali United Arab Emirates University


L1 effect on L2; Reverse transfer; Multicompetence, Pedagogical aspects


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.



How to Cite

El-dali, H. M. (2021). Language Transfer: A Dead Issue? - Reflecting on ‘Reverse Transfer’ and ‘Multicompetence’. Journal of Child Language Acquisition and Development-JCLAD, 343–361. Retrieved from



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