say a group of students are studying for a test tommorow

how can language acculturation hinder or help their study session and subsequent testing experiences?

Thank you for using the Jiskha Homework Help Forum. By understanding the culture it will be easier to "translate" from language to language. Certain expressions used in one language do NOT translate literally. The study of synonyms is also very helpful.

If this does not answer your question, could you restate it?

It depends on the relationships between stimuli and responses on the various tasks.

This is illustrated by the concepts of positive transfer and negative transfer, which you may have already covered in your psychology class.

Positive transfer occurs when a new stimulus (S) is attached to a previously learned relationship between a stimulus and a response (R). For example, positive transfer occurs when you learn multiplication after you have learned addition. Suppose you learn that 2 + 2 = 4. The "2 + 2" is the S and the "4" is the R. Learning 2 * 2 = 4 is made easier, because you are just matching a previously learned R to a new S. Likewise, balancing on a motorcycle is learned more easily if you had already learned to ride a bicycle.

In contrast, negative transfer involves learning a new R to the same S. This would be like learning to drive on the opposite side of the road when visiting a different country. Another example would be with excellent typists, who have learned to type without looking at the keyboard. If we re-arranged the keys in alpabetical order, they would have a terrible time learning the new arrangement! The keyboard S is the same, but the expected Rs are different.

The can also be no transfer between two tasks whose Ss and Rs are both different, like spelling and riding a bicycle. Learning one task will have no effect on the other.

Later, positive transfer will lead to both proactive and retroactive facilitation, helping the memory of both tasks. In contrast, negative transfer will lead to proactive and retroactive inhibition — each task will interfere with remembering the other.

In terms of language, it can work either way. To demonstrate, I had my students respond to "hund" by saying "dog." Once they have that response down well, I asked them to respond to "perro" with "dog." They easily acquire the new relationship, because the Ss are different, but the R is the same.

After they got those Rs down well, I gave them the S, "dog." Their response time is greater and more varied, because now the one S leads to two competing Rs.

Thus the helping or hindering will vary, depending on whether the acculturation involves new Ss or new Rs.

I hope this helps you understand the process a little better. Thanks for asking.

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