The importance of contrastive analysis in foreign language learning with specific reference to Zulu-speaking learners of German
Teaching German to learners from a non- Germanic language background has its pitfalls and challenges. In the South African context, knowledge of English plays a significant part, but can also be counter-productive, especially if the lexical similarities are overemphasised and transferred into structural characteristics such as syntax. Creating an awareness of the similarities between German and Zulu specifically in the areas of noun classification and congruence, early on in the learning process should result in positive transfer of Zulu while curbing overuse of English as a crutch.
Keywords: Transfer, contrastive analysis, perceived language similarity and language distance