AWEJ Volume.4 Number.4, 2013                                                                    Pp. 461-484

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Bidirectional Influence between Languages: Theoretical Foundations and Pedagogical Implications

Hosni Mostafa El-Dali
Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences
United Arab Emirates University

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.The present study 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.  Although there are several ways of conceptualizing L2 influence on L1, the focus, in the present study, is on the concept of “Multi-Competence” introduced by Cook (1991) and how it shifts the evaluation angle of the interlanguage system.  Third, it examines the pedagogical aspects of both directions, as manifested in L2 classroom.
Keywords:  L1 effect on L2; Reverse transfer; Pedagogical aspects


Dr. Hosni Mostafa El-dali is an Associate Professor of Linguistics at the College of Humanities
and Social Science, United Arab Emirates University. He holds a Ph.D. degree in Linguistics
from the University of Pittsburgh, United States of America in 1991. He has authored and
published over 40 scientific papers in national and international journals, and he authored six