Language Interference


Learning a new language is quite a fun process. It is one which involves many parts of your brain and encourages more creative thinking. However there is such a thing as language interference which can take place when you are trying to learn a new language. As the name would suggest it interferes with your learning abilities particularly if you have ever learned another language. It can interfere with recall and make it quite challenging to find the right word when you need it. But there are things you can do to improve your memory and limit language interference.

Language interference can take place when you have studied another language before. In this instance you might try and find the right word you need in French or form a French sentence in your head but your brain recalls the rudimentary Spanish you learned in high school instead. In this form of language interference you might want to ask for the restroom but in the blank space in your mind where the French word for “Restroom” should be inserted all your brain can think about is the Spanish word for “restroom”. You can try and brush it away and switch to French but the Spanish words will remain and thus interfere with your ability to find the right word in the right language at the right time.

Language interference can also take place when your brain cannot find the right word for the sentence you need. Instead it fills it with a variety of other words. Imagine that your brain visualizes a sentence with a blank space. In that space different words keep appearing and then disappearing after your brain recognizes that they are incorrect. The problem here is that your brain may not ever find the right word and instead allow incorrect words to fill the space over and over until you either stumble upon the right word or you give up.

In any case regular study and practice of any language you are learning can help you to overcome language interference and limit the likelihood of it happening. Improving your recall abilities so that recall happens faster will help you to improve your new language abilities and limit the extension of language interference. And once you begin to dream in a foreign language you can rest assured that your brain has successfully stored the new vocabulary you are learning.

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