My Research Raising The Issue English Language Essay

Recently many instructors in the field of learning have noticed the importance of the usage of L1in L2 schoolrooms. Research shows that complete omission of L1 in L2 state of affairs is non appropriate ( Schweers, 1999 ; Larsen-Freeman, 2000 ; Nation, 2003 ; Butzkamm, 2003 ) . In add-on, when used judiciously, L1 can be really good for the learning-teaching operation. Brown ( 2000 ) claims that “ first linguistic communication can be a facilitating factor to larn a foreign linguistic communication and non merely an meddlesome factor ” . Schweers ( 1999 ) encourages instructors to integrate the native linguistic communication into lessons to act upon the schoolroom moral force, and suggests that “ get downing with the L1 provides a sense of security and validates the scholars ‘ lived experiences, leting them to show themselves ” ( p.7 ) .

Most EFL instructors in Morocco choose to run their categories on the bases of a aˆzmonolingual attack ” __the merely medium that should be used in their schoolrooms is L2. The principle behind the execution of this attack is the thought that exposure to linguistic communication leads to larning. Some opposes oppose this sentiment and says if we exclude the pupils ‘ L1 for the interest of maximising the exposure to L2, it does n’t vouch an efficient instruction and acquisition operation. In this regard, some indulgent EFL instructors inquire this inquiry: “ Is it acceptable or helpful to utilize L1 in our English categories or non? ” Before supplying an reply, there is a group of variables that instructors should be cognizant of when they decide to utilize L1 in the model of their schoolrooms:

I. What is the scholar ‘s first linguistic communication?

two. What is the scholar ‘s age?

three. Are we learning novices or advanced degrees?

four. What is the ratio of students/teaching clip per one category?

v. How long is the scholar traveling to analyze the 2nd linguistic communication?

six. What are his/her larning intents?

seven. Is it a one nationality or assorted nationality group?

eight. What is the establishment ‘s pedagogical policy?

nine. What sort of educational background does the scholar hold?

ten. In what sort of societal context is the instruction of L2 taking topographic point?

( Susan Connick-Hirtz 2001 )

Another factor that contributes to the instructors ‘ determination whether the usage of L1 in their schoolrooms or non is the manner in which they were taught L2. Mattioli ( 2004 ) believes that “ most instructors tend to hold sentiments about native linguistic communication usage, depending mostly on the manner in which they have been trained and, in some instances, on their ain linguistic communication instruction ” ( p.21 ) . In this vena, Gabriellatos ( 2001 ) states “ I agree that instructors should non handle the usage of L1 by themselves or scholars as a wickedness, and that L1 does hold a topographic point in ELT methodological analysis. Still, I believe that scholars and instructors likewise need to be made cognizant of the restrictions and booby traps of L1 usage in the schoolroom, as principled usage of can hold long permanent negative effects on the scholars consciousness and production of the mark linguistic communication ( p 70 ) ” . Furthermore, instructors should non utilize L1 whenever they feel like utilizing it ; its usage should be systematic and wise. Otherwise, an unprincipled usage of the female parent lingua inside the L2 schoolrooms can hold long bad effects on the procedure of acquisition ( Butzcamm, 2003 ) .

After raising the issue of L1 usage in L2 schoolroom, we will see some instructors ‘ attitudes. Following, we will specify and clear up constructs such as: attacks to the usage of L1, L1 and learning methodological analysis, and L1 and linguistic communication accomplishments and activities.

Attitudes towards the usage of the female parent lingua in the foreign linguistic communication schoolroom

Many surveies have been conducted to look into the attitudes of the L1 usage in the schoolroom. These surveies have targeted the attitudes of both linguistic communication scholars and instructors. In this subdivision, there is besides a personal part: some attitudes of my exteachers that I asked while I was analyzing at the university.

Equally far as the attitudes towards the usage of female parent lingua in EFL/ESL schoolroom is concerned, Prodromou ( 2002 ) conducted a survey to look into the reactions and attitudes of 300 Grecian pupils with different degrees of linguistic communication proficiency. His research worker put the participants into three classs: Elementary, Intermediate, and advanced pupils. The latter has found that pupils with high degree of survey tend to hold a negative attitude toward the usage of L1 in their schoolroom whereas pupils with low degree tend to accept the usage of their female parent lingua in EFL schoolroom. In the same vena, Duimovic ( 2007 ) ; a Croatian instructor, conducted a survey with the purpose of acknowledging the attitudes of his 100 EFL pupils. He arrived at a decision that his pupils responses tend to favor the usage of L1 in L2 context.

A Spanish research worker called Schweers ( 1999 ) conducted a survey with EFL pupils and their 19 instructors in an effort to examine their attitudes toward utilizing L1 in the L2 schoolroom. In this survey, 88.7 % of Spanish pupils analyzing English wanted L1 to be used in the EFL category seeing that it does lend positively to the larning procedure of English. Schweers ( 1999, p. 7 ) remarked that pupils wanted up to 39 % of category clip to be spent in L1. Burden ( 2001 ) looked into the attitudes of 290 pupils and 73 instructors at five universities. The consequences showed that both pupils and instructors claimed that the usage of L1 in explicating new vocabulary, giving direction, speaking about trials, grammar direction, look intoing for understanding and loosen uping the pupils is of paramount importance. Another similar research conducted by Tang ( 2002 ) in a Chinese context with 100 pupils and 20 instructors confirms the consequences of the old research. Simply put, the usage of the female parent lingua in the English schoolroom does non cut down pupils ‘ exposure to English, but instead can extremely lend to the instruction and acquisition procedures. In conformity with the consequences of all the old surveies that were conducted in EFL context, Levine ( 2003 ) conducted a big graduated table survey in an ESL context revealed the same consequence. The latter concludes that “ despite the predominating monolingual rule in U.S EFL categories, both the mark linguistic communication and the L1 appear to function of import maps ” ( p. 356 ) .

Schweers ( 1999 ) conducted a survey in which she asked instructors to react to this inquiry “ If you use Spanish in your schoolroom, why do you believe this may be more effectual than utilizing English entirely? ”

Here are some of their responses:

aˆ? Sometimes it is more of import for pupils to understand a construct than it is

for that construct to be explained entirely in English.

aˆ? In my authorship classs, I use some Spanish because it helps pupils write better studies. It besides serves as an extra input to guarantee that they achieve the

chief aim of the class, which is the production of higher quality written

work in English.

aˆ? First of all, I use Spanish to set up resonance with my pupils, and secondly,

to function as a theoretical account individual who speaks both linguistic communications and uses each one whenever necessary or convenient.

aˆ? I think pupils can place better with a instructor who speaks to them in their

ain linguistic communication, thereby allowing them know that you respect and value their

native linguistic communication. This is particularly of import in the English category because

of the politico-socio-cultural deductions of learning a linguistic communication that is fundamentally

imposed on them. In any instance, I like to jest around in the category, and one

truly can non make that in English when non all pupils understand it. ( P, 9 )

I have been interested in this field for ages, precisely when I foremost decided to hold excess classs in English outside the school boundary lines. The manner my instructor, in private lessons, used Arabic to learn English, and the simpleness he made English expression like have made me inquire this inquiry “ why do instructors non utilize Arabic to do it easier for us to larn? When I asked Mr ZAKHMOUN, the instructor who taught me English and the individual to whom I owe my English, he said in order to larn fast, pupils should be introduced to much comprehendible input at the beginning, and the easiest manner to make so is via utilizing the pupil ‘s female parent lingua.He added that the sum of pupil ‘s female parent lingua should be reduced bit by bit every bit long as the pupil is acquiring adequate linguistic communication that allows him to pass on English. Another instructor in Sidi Kacem said “ what they told us when we were teacher trainees about non utilizing any linguistic communication but English while learning is something that can non be implemented unless you have a category in which most of its pupils are extremely motivated ” . He adds there are some categories that will non understand anything if the instructor speaks entirely in English ; Arabic in this instance serves much better.

These are two positions that seem to be for the bilingual attack, here is another instructor ‘s point of position but this clip she seems to be highly against the usage of L1 in the L2 schoolroom. Mrs JMILA, my antique instructor of linguistics, said if you use L1 to explicate vocabulary or other bomber accomplishments, pupils will ever wait for you to spoon feed them.She continued a instructor should allow his/her pupils make attempts to get the 2nd linguistic communication.

The attitudes mentioned above are some of many attitudes I have encountered during my university surveies. I may hold with some and differ with others, but my sentiment should be justified by grounds. I partly agree with Mr ZAKHMOUN and the instructor from Sidi Kacem. Possibly they drew these decisions because they teach pupils who have the first contact with English. Therefore, they advocate the usage of L1 in L2 schoolroom. They believe that when they use the pupil ‘s female parent lingua during the lesson, pupils benefits a batch. However, since I was one of ZAKHMOUN ‘s pupils, I know his manner of instruction. He overused the pupil ‘s female parent lingua in that he sometimes does non express a word in English but the words written either in the text edition or the chalkboard. Personally I do non see it as an efficient manner. A instructor should maintain the ambiance of L2 schoolroom. Everything should be taught In English, but when it is needed L1 can be sagely used. For JMILA ‘s attitude, I think pupils, particularly novices, should have some sort of invitation to larn English ; they should non be left behind. This is what we call “ pupil centred attack ” . I remember when I was at high school, the instructor kept speaking merely in English. I found it difficult to follow her because I could non decode what she was stating. There is another thing that I did non like in that instructor.She spent a batch of clip explicating some vocabulary which might be understood at the terminal. If she had explained the vocabulary in Moroccan Arabic, first she would hold saved clip and made sure that all the pupils understood, 2nd she would hold invited those who stopped following her by interrupting the modus operandi of a address dominated entirely by English.


Normally there are two attacks that instructors adopt when learning a foreign linguistic communication. Some adopt a “ monolingual attack ” . This attack states that the lone linguistic communication that could be used within the frame of the schoolroom is the mark linguistic communication. Others who advocate the usage of L1 or utilize it judiciously in their categories are the advocates of aˆzBilingual approachaˆY or a aˆzBalanced ApproachaˆY . In this respect, Nation ( 2003 ) says:

instructors need to demo regard for scholars ‘ L1 and need to avoid making things that make the L1 seem inferior to English, at the same clip. It is

the English instructor ‘s occupation to assist scholars develop their proficiency in English. Here is that a balanced attack is needed which sees a function

for the L1 but besides recognizes the importance of maximising L2 usage in the schoolroom. ( Put figure of page between parenthesis ) ( I have n’t found the page )

Harmonizing to Cook ( 2001 ) “ There is a strong support for the Monolingual Approach to learning in the literature and advocators normally organize their support around three claims:

1- The acquisition of an L2 should pattern the acquisition of an L1 through maximal exposure to the L2.

2- Successful acquisition involves the separation and differentiation of L1 and L2.

3- Students should be shown the importance of L2 through its continual usage ( P, 412 ) .

The footing on which the monolingual attack stands receives much unfavorable judgment. First, maximizing exposure to L2 means that L2 will be acquired in every bit much as the same manner the female parent lingua is acquired. This is non a plausible thought. The natural environment within which the L1 is acquired is wholly different from the unreal scene in which L2 is taught. Second, that successful larning involves the separation and the differentiation of L1 and L2 is non true.

L2 scholars already have a lingual background of L1. And harmonizing to incompatible analysis theory, any two different linguistic communications have similarities and differences. Therefore, while larning a 2nd linguistic communication, any scholar does a mental comparing of his bing lingual cognition of his female parent lingua and the new lingual input of L2. So by dividing L1 and L2 in the foreign linguistic communication schoolrooms, we do non esteem the scholar ‘s cognitive capacity to tie in between the two linguistic communications and draw decisions about their constructions. Miles ( 2004 ) criticizes the monolingual attack and gives three grounds: 1- it ‘s impractical, 2- native instructors are non needfully the best instructors, 3- exposure entirely is non sufficient for larning.

On the other manus, bilingual attack has gained support and proof from many bookmans. Auebrach ( 1993 ) advocates the usage of L1 in the model of the L2 schoolroom and said If L1 is used by instructors and scholars, consequences are ever positive ( P, 18 ) .Moreover, Akinston suggests a theory called “ Judicious usage theory ” . This theory states that L1 is a critical beginning and besides a communicative tool both for pupils and instructors if it is judiciously used ( p, 21 ) ( as cited in Mattioli 2004 ) . In add-on to this, Butzcamm ( 2003 ) states that “ successful scholars capitalize on the huge sum of lingual accomplishments and universe cognition they have accumulated via the female parent lingua ” ( P, 31 ) .


The treatment of the function of L1 in the L2 schoolroom leads us to undertake the issue of the function of L1 in learning methodological analysis. One of the cardinal rules is the method by which EFL instructors conduct lessons in their schoolrooms. First, I will name some instruction methods and so see the topographic point of the female parent lingua in each of these methods. They can be classified as:

Traditional methods which are Grammar interlingual rendition method, Audiolingual method and direct method.

Alternative methods which are Suggestopedia, Total physical response and Community linguistic communication instruction.

Current communicative methods which are Communicative linguistic communication instruction and natural attack.

Larsen-Freeman ( 2002 ) gives a description of the usage of the female parent lingua in each of these learning methods:

Grammar Translation Method: The significance of the mark linguistic communication is made clear by interpreting it into the studentsaˆY native linguistic communication. The linguistic communication that is used in the category is largely the pupils ‘ native linguistic communication ( p.18 )

Direct Method and Audiolingual Method: The pupils ‘ native linguistic communication should non be used in the schoolroom because it is thought that it will interfere with the pupils ‘ efforts to get the hang the mark linguistic communication ( p.30 and 47 ) .

Silent manner: The pupils ‘ native linguistic communication can, nevertheless, be used to give instructions when necessary, and to assist a pupil better his or her pronunciation. The native linguistic communication is besides used ( at least at get downing degrees of proficiency ) during feed back Sessionss ( p.67 ) .

Suggestopedia: Native-language interlingual rendition is used to do the significance of the duologue clear. The instructor besides uses the native linguistic communication in category when necessary. As the class returns, the instructor uses the native linguistic communication less and less ( p.83 ) .

Community Language Learning: Students ‘ security is ab initio enhanced by utilizing their native linguistic communication. The intent of L1 is to supply a span from the familiar to the unfamiliar. Besides, waies in category and Sessionss during which pupils express their feelings and are understood are conducted in their L1 ( pp.101-102 ) .

Entire Physical Response: this method is normally introduced ab initio in the pupils ‘ native linguistic communication. After the lesson debut, seldom would the native linguistic communication be used. Meaning is made clear through organic structure motions ( p.115 ) .

Communicative Language Teaching: Judicious usage of the pupils ‘ native linguistic communication is permitted in communicative linguistic communication instruction ( p.132 ) .

We have noticed that the female parent lingua does hold a topographic point in linguistic communication instruction methods, particularly in GTM ( Grammar Translation Method ) . All its lesson processs are conducted chiefly in the female parent lingua. On the contrary, the Audiolingual and Direct methods are the lone instruction methods that deny the usage of L1 in foreign linguistic communication instruction. Those methods are traced back to “ Structuralism ” . The school of Structuralism believes that larning is a affair of wont formation and denies the scholar ‘s cognitive ability to utilize their lingual background of L1 in larning a 2nd linguistic communication.


We have seen the topographic point of the female parent lingua in assorted learning methodological analysiss. Now we will hold a expression at the function of L1 in EFL schoolroom lesson phases. This portion will present some of bookmans ‘ suggestions about the usage of L1 in the frame of the schoolroom. L1 can be exploited in several ways. Four ways that Akinston ( 2004 ) suggests are: eliciting linguistic communication, look intoing comprehension, giving instructions and advancing cooperation among scholars. Besides, Lieu et Al ( 2004 ) suggest some countries when a instructor can utilize L1 inside the schoolroom. They are explicating hard vocabulary and grammar, giving background information, get the better ofing communicative troubles and salvaging clip. Furthermore, Auerbach ( 1993 ) suggests some state of affairss in which the usage of L1 can be good for both instructors and scholars. These state of affairss are the undermentioned: dialogue of the course of study and the lesson ; record maintaining ; schoolroom direction ; scene scene ; linguistic communication analysis ; presentation of regulations regulating grammar, phonemics, morphology, and spelling ; treatment of cross-cultural issues ; instructions or prompts ; account of mistakes ; and appraisal of comprehension. In add-on to this, Mattilo ( 2004 ) introduces five utilizations of the female parent lingua in EFL schoolroom: explaining vocabulary, giving instructions, explicating linguistic communication regulations, censuring pupils, and speaking to single pupils. In this vena, Cook ( 2001 ) proposes three occasions where a instructor can utilize L1 in his L2 schoolroom:

1. Teachers can utilize l1 to convey significance, for illustration, look intoing the significance of words or sentences or explicating grammar.

2. Teachers can utilize l1 for schoolroom administration intents such as organizing undertakings, keeping subject or pass oning with single pupils.

3. Students can utilize l1 in their group work or brace work larning activities to supply scaffolding for each other. ( as cited in Yanyan, 2008 )

Gabrielatos ( 2001 ) suggests helpful models in which ELT instructors can utilize the pupil ‘s female parent lingua:

A semantic comparing of the native and mark linguistic communication can uncover a figure of differences in which the two civilizations encode intending in footings of vocabulary ( e.g. different collocation ) and grammar ( e.g. different looks of clip ) . A matter-of-fact comparing can uncover differences in countries such as communicating conventions, the explicitness and consciousness or the ways in which attitudes are expressed in the two civilizations ( e.g. niceness, ironyaˆ¦ ) .Furthermore comparing at the discourse degree can uncover differences in countries such as information construction ( p7 ) .

However, a instructor should non utilize the female parent lingua in his schoolroom blindly and uncritically. An unwise usage of L1can lead to bad effects. In this respect, Gabrielatos ( 2001 ) warns instructors about the unprincipled manner of utilizing the female parent lingua and says:

But effectual can non be achieved automatically by instructors and scholars merely exchanging to the female parent lingua whenever they feel it is appropriate. Teachers should be knowing about the differences and the similarities between the scholar ‘s female parent lingua and the mark linguistic communication at the semantic, matter-of-fact and discourse degree, every bit good as be cognizant of the chances and booby traps of L1 usage in ELT and continue harmonizing to principled models ( p,8 ) .

Ellis ( 1985 ) says that scholars tend to trust on their existing linguistic communication cognition ( L1and any other linguistic communications they can utilize ) to assist them understand the logic and the administration rules behind the mark linguistic communication. Uncritical usage of L1 in the schoolroom ( interlingual rendition in peculiar ) will reenforce this tendency.L1 usage in the schoolroom needs to be handled with attention precisely because it exerts a powerful influence on the acquisition procedure, as it seems that scholars tend to handle it as the obvious get downing point when larning a new linguistic communication ( p,180-189 ) .


The Role of the female parent lingua is important non merely in the cognitive side but the metacognitive 1 every bit good. One facet of the metacognitive side that plays a deciding function in linguistic communication acquisition is the affectional side. Auebrach ( 1993 ; 13 ) says that the usage of L1 reduces anxiousness and enhances the affectional environment for larning. She concludes that ” Get downing with the L1 provides a sense of security and validates the scholars ‘ lived experiences, leting them to show themselves. The scholar is so willing to experiment and take hazards with English ” . Piasecka supports this ides and provinces “ ” One ‘s sense of individuality as an person is inextricably bound up within one ‘s native languageaˆ¦ . If the scholar of a 2nd linguistic communication is encouraged to disregard their native linguistic communication, they might good experience that their individuality threatened ” ( in Hopkins, 1988:18 ) .

While I was roll uping the information of this monograph, I recalled the yearss when I foremost entered high school and wanted to larn English. I was ready and extremely motivated to acquire to cognize this new linguistic communication. This motive bit by bit faded off as I did n’t acquire a support from the instructor. She spoke in a linguistic communication that I tried difficult to acquire some significances of it, but I could non. The consequence was that I gave up the motive to larn English. The following twelvemonth, I decided to make excess hours in English to acquire some support. The instructor there believes in the utility of the female parent lingua in larning a 2nd linguistic communication. Until now I have ne’er experienced a acquisition undertaking easier than larning English. That teacher knew that with novices, get downing with the female parent lingua will do the topic a peace of bar and can be an invitation to those pupils who are less motivated to larn L2. In this vena Krashen ( as outlined by Lightbown and Spada, 1999:39 ) , implies that:

pupils or more accurately ‘acquirers ‘ of a linguistic communication will filtrate or barricade out the mark linguistic communication if they become tense, angry, or bored.. Students who are confused will go defeated, disquieted, angry, and resentful at the environment of the linguistic communication schoolroom. When this happens, larning Michigans. This non merely has immediate deductions, but may besides hold negative effects far into the hereafter, as it may convey some pupils to see larning the linguistic communication or even other linguistic communications as a hopeless undertaking.

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