Positive transfer

Positive transfer occurs when a person is learning a second language which is very similar to his or her own. In this case, the closeness of the languages can assist learning and usage in the areas of pronunciation, intonation, sentence structure and lexicon. For example, an Italian learning a very “close” language such as Spanish will likely experience lots of positive transfer, simply because the way one forms sentences in the two languages is very similar in terms of  structure and the form of words. Because of this similarity, an Italian speaker can often guess the meanings of Spanish words he has never explicitly learned (and vice versa).