Unpacking the impacts of Chinese Language Transfer in “English Numbers”: How do L2 English students from China identify “English numbers”?

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsAbstract


This research discusses to what extent L2 English learners from China have positive or negative language transfers to their big English number learning and fills the gap on language transfer effects of L2 English learners on their big English numbers acquisition. The qualitative research method is adopted in this research, and six in-depth face-to-face interviews as a data collection method. It is argued that the negative and positive transfer of L2 English learners in big English number learning are sometimes alternated. This alternation is mainly due to the similarity of the units and the asymmetry of the units. Especially in the asymmetry, there are three patterns: 1) the change of number measurement unit in Chinese, while the English unit is unchanged, may produce negative transfers; 2) the English unit change, but the Chinese unit is unchanged may produce positive transfer; 3) Chinese and English units changes in sequence and negative transfer appears. In addition, the negative transfer in reading comes from the difficulty of comprehension. They have to calculate big numbers first and accurately understand the expression of large numbers in English. The main difficulty in spoken English comes from L2 English learners' native language measurement units first appearing in the brain, which causes more delays if they want to quickly express large numbers in English. This article not only updates knowledge on extant language transfer theory but also provides strong evidence for the future reform of English L2 teaching in big numbers.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2022


  • Language transfer
  • Positive transfer
  • Negative transfer
  • L2 English learners
  • Big number
  • Number measurement unit


Dive into the research topics of 'Unpacking the impacts of Chinese Language Transfer in “English Numbers”: How do L2 English students from China identify “English numbers”?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this