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The Use of Mother Tongue in Foreign Language Teaching from Teachers’ Practice and Perspective
There has been a longstanding debate over whether the use of mother tongue in EFL classes should be avoided or welcomed. To what extent the use of L1 facilitates L2 learning or poses a debilitating effect on learners has been a perennial issue in second language learning. In spite of a lack of substantial empirical evidence favoring or hindering the use of mother tongue, some avoid using L1(mother tongue) in foreign language classes due to the popular belief that the role of L1 in SLA gets in the way of or interferes with the learning of L2, while others take a different position for various reasons. The aim of this study was to explore the theoretical and practical positions of English teachers in the use of first language in their classroom instruction. A total of 44 teachers of English at Karadeniz Technical University were involved in the study. The data were collected by administering a questionnaire containing 35 items and analyzed in SPSS 16.00. An in-depth interview with 12 participants was also used to gain more insight into the teachers’ current classroom practices. Overall analysis indicates that a great majority of the teachers were found to take a practical and pragmatic position in the use of L1 instead of adhering to popular beliefs on this topic.

Mother tongue, L1, foreign language teaching, language teachers

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