Linguistics and Second Language Teaching

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There are a lot of well known studies nowadays that exultantly shows using English in the ESL classroom might be one of the best ways to provide constant and steady English environment for the students. However, despite of its plentiful supporting main ideas, this statement also has its own pros and cons whereby it implicitly ignored some of the other major important factors that could affect the availability of second language learners in acquiring the L2. I only partially agree with the statement that L1 should not be allowed in the ESL classroom due to a certain factors. Factors such as the schools’ locations, the learners’ cognitive and affective factors and the exposure towards the English-based multimedia play a very huge and crucial role in helping the second language learners to immerse themselves fully in the English language environment.

First and foremost, most of the researchers who did the research on ‘English-Only Classroom’ ideology prone to do the research only on a smaller group of subjects which majority of them comes from the same location and involved in the same level of discipline. In my humble opinion, this way, the result cannot be considered as good enough to prove that all Second Language Learners can practically be good in their English only by abandoning their mother tongue in an ESL classroom. This is just similarly extinguishing the idea of learners as social beings. With all due respects of the learners who are living in very rural places that are most likely never being exposed to English surrounding in their society at all, they might probably recognize English only as their 4th or even 5th language, let aside Malay language that might have been totally tangle with their own dialects or accents. For instance, according to The Borneo Post 2012, majority of students who are living and studying in the rural areas of Sabah such as Pitas and Kota Belut categorized English as one of the killer subjects. Besides, regarding to a...
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