Using L1 to Teach L2

Topics: Language education, Communicative language teaching, Teaching English as a foreign language Pages: 16 (5317 words) Published: March 7, 2011

L1 to teach L2

Table of contents

Abstract __________________________________________________3 Introduction ______________________________________________ 4 Chapter 1. Theoretical Background ____________________________6 1.1 The communicative language teaching approach _______________6 1.2 Should we use L1 in the communicative language classroom?_____7 1.3 The existing mixed views of using L1 in CLT _________________9 1.31 When to use L1 in the foreign language classroom ____________11 1.32 When not to use L1 in the foreign language classroom _________15

Chapter 2. The Present Research ______________________________18 2.1 The Research Question __________________________________18 2.2 Method _______________________________________________19 2.3 Results _______________________________________________20 2.4 Analysis and discussion __________________________________27 Bibliography __________________________________________31

This paper deals with the use of L1 in teaching L2. A traditional method of teaching strongly discourages the use of L1 saying that it interferes with the communicative approach to teaching, as using L1 stops the flow of L2. On the other hand, not using L1 ignores the previous experience of pupils and wastes precious class time in explaining things that have already been taught in the students' native language. In the light of the contradictory results in the literature (some researchers encouraging the use of L1, and others discouraging) I decided to look into the subject. The subjects of my research were English teachers of various classes, from elementary school to high school. I asked them how much L1 they use in their teaching, and when they feel it is right to use L1. The results indicated that at a lower level the students were taught more in L1, and at a higher level the students were taught more in L2. The lower level students were both younger students and students in high school who had not succeeded in their study of English in previous years. INTRODUCTION

As EFL teachers, we often encounter the question of when and when not to use the pupils' native language in the classroom. Seeing that our ultimate goal is to enable our pupils to use English in as fluent and idiomatic a way as possible, it seems logical that we should use English in that way, without resorting to using L1. This is all well and good, but practically, when we set foot in the classroom we find that using L2 exclusively is fraught with problems. We "lose" some of our pupils who give up right at the beginning, when finding themselves totally overwhelmed by all these strange and incomprehensible sounds they hear coming from the teacher's mouth. Also, we find after several minutes of class work in oral activities that some of our pupils are engaged in a different task, because they have not understood their instructions. On the other hand, we have all seen unproductive EFL classes where the pupils and teachers alike use L1 almost exclusively as a means of communication, and the only hint we might have that an English lesson is in progress is that the text in front of the pupils is in English. The language heard in the classroom is L1. The goal of this paper is to assess the views of English teachers in Israel regarding L1 use in The EFL classroom. The paper is structured as follows. In the first chapter I discuss the theoretical rationale of the use of L1 in the classroom, both in situations where there is a homogeneous class as in most Israeli schools, and also in the situation where the class is heterogeneous. In the second chapter I present the current study on the views of a group of Israeli teachers regarding this question, and discuss them.

Chapter 1
Theoretical Background
1.1The communicative language teaching approach- Communicative language teaching (CLT) is an approach to the teaching of second and foreign languages that emphasizes interaction as both the means and the...
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