The manner in which a second language is learnt or acquired and how the first language might affect this process is accounted for by a theory which is called “The Competition Model”. In accordance with this model every language has particular ways of portraying meanings which are identified as patterns enabling interpreting of the perceived input (Lynne 2001:14).
It is at early childhood that these patterns of a native language gain significance which, in later development, are transferred to second language acquisition in an attempt to identify them in similar situations. Where the native language and the learned language differ in some aspects the transfer of patterns might not be very productive. Should such a situation occur, help of a teacher is of use. Evidence provided by methodologists supports that theory, in addition indicating that students learn a foreign language focusing on the whole of the language as well as on its parts (Lynne 2001:15).