Teachers’ Attitudes Towards Using First Language in English Classrooms: A Case Study of Kurdish Intermediate Teachers
Keywords:English-Only Policy, First Language (L1), Foreign Language (FL), Second Language (L2), Teachers’ Attitudes
This study aims to shed light on the teachers’ attitudes and insights towards using first language (L1) in intermediate English (L2) classrooms. It looks into the justifications and perceptions that teachers have regarding the use of Kurdish in English classrooms. More specifically, this study tries to find the major challenges that teachers face if the use of Kurdish language is ignored at intermediate schools. The analysis of this paper was based on a case study which was conducted on (10) intermediate English language teachers from (7) public and private schools in Sulaymaniyah. Qualitative methodology was applied by interviewing the participants virtually and asking the same open-ended questions. The results revealed that the majority of the teachers support the bilingual approach and the use of Kurdish language in intermediate English classrooms. Furthermore, the results showed that the teachers, to some extent, support the use of the Kurdish language to serve certain pedagogical functions, such as decreasing classroom anxiety, increasing students’ participation, explaining difficult idiomatic expressions, giving test instructions, and facilitating classroom management. The findings of this study will help the intermediate English language teachers and learners to overcome the challenges they may face and, ultimately, improve the teaching and learning process.
Al-Nofaie, H. (2010). The attitudes of teachers and students towards using Arabic in EFL classrooms in Saudi public schools. Novitas-ROYAL, 4 (1), 64-95.
Atkinson, D. (1987). The mother tongue in the classroom: A neglected resource? ELT Journal, 41(4), 241–247. https://doi.org/10.1093/elt/41.4.241
Atkinson, D. (1993). Teaching in the target language: A problem in the current orthodoxy. Language Learning Journal, 8(1),2-5.
Auerbach, E. (1993). Reexamining English only in the ESL classroom. TESOL Quarterly, 27, 9–32.
Auerbach, E., Barahona, B., Midy, J., Vaquerano, F., & Zambrano, A. (1996). Adult ESL/Literacy From the Community to the Community: A Guidebook for Participatory Literacy Training. Routledge & CRC Press.
Azrien, M., Mohamad, S., Mohd, Y. & Ghazali, Z. (2014). Teachers' Attitudes Towards The Use Of First Language In Arabic Classroom. Journal of Arts, Science & Commerce. (5).22-30.
Baker, C. (2011). Foundations of bilingual education and bilingualism. (3rd ed.). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Bozorgian, H. Fallahpour, S. (2015). Teachers’ and students’ amount and purpose of L1 use: English as foreign language (EFL) classrooms in Iran. Iranian Journal of Language Teaching Research. 3(2), 67-81.
Brown, D. (2000). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching. New York: Longman.
Buckmaster R. (2002). Using L1: What Kind of Sin? “IATEFL Poland Newsletter” (online) No 18. Retrieved from: http://www.iatefl.org.pl/nletter/nletter18/nlet18_2.html
Burden, P. (2000). The use of the students’ mother tongue in monolingual English ‘conversation’ classes at Japanese universities, The Language Teacher Online, 24(6).
Burden, P. (2001). When do native English-speaking teachers and Japanese college students disagree about the use of Japanese in the English conversation classroom? The Language Teacher, 25(4), 5-9.
Butzkamm, W. (2003). We only learn language once. The role of the mother tongue in FL classrooms: death of a dogma. Language Learning Journal, 28,29-39.
Carless, D. (2008). Student Use of the Mother Tongue in the Task-Based Classroom. ELT Journal 62 (4), 331-338.
Cole, S. (1998). The Use of L1 in Communicative English Classrooms. The Language Teacher. JALT Journal.
Cook, G. (2007). Unmarked Improvement: Values, Facts, and First Languages. IATEFL Conference, Aberdeen, 18–20 April.
Cook, V. (2001). Using the first language in the classroom. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 57(3), 402-423.
Cook, V. (2013). Second Language Learning and Language Teaching (4th ed.). New York: Routledge.
De la Campa, J. & Nassaji, H. (2009). The Amount, Purpose,and Reasons for Using L1 in L2 Classrooms. Foreign Language Annals. 42(4). 742-759.
Deller, S. & Rinvolucri, M. (2002). Using the mother tongue: making the most of the learner’s language. London: Delta Publishing.
Dixon, Q. L., Zhao, J., Shin, J. Y., Su, J. H., Burgess-Birgham, R., Gezer, M. U. & Snow, C. (2012). What we know about second language acquisition: a synthesis from four perspectives. Review of Educational Research, 82(5), 5-60.
Ellis, R. (1984). Classroom Second Language Development. Oxford: Pergamon.
Glazer, M., Harris, K., Ost, D., & Gower, M. (2017). Creating Bilingual Books to Facilitate Second Language Learning. Journal of Inquiry and Action in Education, 8 (2).
Graddol, D. (2006). English Next: Why global English may mean the end of ‘English as a foreign language’. London: British Council, 81–83.
Guest, G., MacQueen, K. M., & Namey, E. E. (2014). Introduction to applied thematic analysis. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Hall, G. & Cook, G. (2013). Own-language Use in ELT: Exploring global practices and attitudes. London: British Council.
Harbord, J. (1992). The use of the mother tongue in the classroom. ELT Journal, 46, 350-355.
Hasman, M. A. (2000). The Role of English in the 21st Century. FORUM, 38(1).
Hawks, P. (2001). Making Distinctions: A Discussion of the Mother Tongue in the Foreign Language Classroom. Hwa Kang Journal of TEFL, 7, 47-55.
Hiroko, M., Miho, F. & Mahoney, S. (2004). The Officialization of English and ELT in Japan: 2000. World Englishes. 23(3). 471-487.
Hsieh, L. T. (2000). The effects of translation on English vocabulary and reading learning. Selected papers from the Proceedings of the Ninth International Symposium on English Teaching in the Republic of China. Taipei: The Crane Publishing Co.
Huang, Y. P. (2009). English-only instruction in post- secondary education in Taiwan: Voices from students. Hwa Kang Journal of English Language & Literature,15, 145-157.
Husain, K. (1995). Assessing the role of translation as a learning strategy in ESL. International Journal of Translation, 1(2): 59-84.
Johansson, S. (1998). Loving and hating in English and Norwegian: a corpus-based contrastive study. In D. Albrechtsen, B. Henrikson, I.M. Mees & E. Poulsen (eds.) Perspectives on Foreign and Second Language Pedagogy (93-106). Odense University Press.
Johnson, R. K., & Lee, P. M. (1987). Modes of instruction: Teaching strategies and student responses. In R. Lord and H. N. L. Cheng (Eds.), Language education in Hong Kong (pp. 99-121). Hong Kong: The Chinese University Press.
Kang, D. M. (2008). The classroom language use of a Korean elementary school EFL teaching: Another look at TETE. System, 36, 214-226.
Kern, R. G. (1989). Second language reading strategy instruction: Its effect on comprehension and word inference ability. Modern Language Journal, 73(2), 135-149.
Kerr, P. (2019). The use of L1 in English language teaching. Part of the Cambridge Papers in ELT series.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Kim Anh, K. H. (2010). Use of Vietnamese in English language teaching in Vietnam: Attitudes of Vietnamese university teachers. ELT Journal, 3(2).
Krashen, S. (1981). Second language acquisition and second language learning. Oxford: Pergamon.
Krashen, S. (1982). Principles and practice in second language acquisition. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
Krashen, S. (1986). Second Language Acquisition Theo¬ry. Principles and Practice in Second Language Acquisition, 9–32.
Krashen, S. (1988). Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning. London: Prentice Hall International.
Levine, G. S. (2003). Student and instructor beliefs and attitudes about target language use, first language use, and anxiety:Report of a questionnaire study. The Modern Language Journal, 87(3), 343-364.
Liao, P. (2006). EFL learners’ beliefs about and strategy use of translation in English learning. RELC, 37(2), 191-215.
Lin, A. M. Y. (2013). Classroom code-switching: Three decades of research. Applied Linguistics Review, 4(1), 195-218.
Littlewood, W. (1981). Communicative language teaching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Littlewood, W. & Yu, B. (2009). First language and target language in the foreign language classroom. Language Teaching, 44(1), 64-77.
Macaro, E. (2001). Analysing Students Teachers’ Codeswitching in Foreign Language Classrooms: Theories and Decision Making. The Modern Language Journal, 85, 531-548. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/0026-7902.00124
Macaro, E. (2005). Codeswitching in the L2 classroom: a communication and learning strategy’. In Llurda, E. (Ed.) Non-Native Language Teachers: Perceptions, Challenges and Contributions to the Profession. New York: Springer, pp. 63–84.
Nation, P. (2003). The role of the first language in foreign language learning. Asian EFL Journal, 5(2), 1-8.
Ortego, P. (1973). Preparation in the Art of Teaching English. Improving College and University Teaching, 21(2), 117-120. Retrieved August 1, 2021, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/27564510
Ovando, C. J., Collier, V. P, & Combs, M. C. (2006). Bilingual and ESL classrooms: Teaching in multicultural contexts (4th Ed.). New York: McGraw- Hill.
Pachler, N.; Field, K. (2001). From Mentor To Co-Tutor: Reconceptualising Secondary Modern Foreign Languages Initial Teacher Education. Language Learning Journal (23). Rugby: Association for Language Learning, 15-25.
Pan, Yi-chun & Pan, Yi-ching. (2010). The Use of L1 in the Foreign Language Classroom. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal. 12. 87-96. https://doi.org/10.14483/22487085.85
Phillips, E.M. (1992). The effects of language anxiety on student’s oral test performances and attitudes. The Modern Language Journal, 76(1), pp. 14-25.
Phillipson, R. (1992). Linguistic imperialism. Oxford: Ox¬ford University Press.
Polio, C. (1994). Comment on Else Roberts Auerbach’s “Reexamining English Only in the ESL Classroom”. TESOL Quarterly, 28 (2):153-161.
Prodromou, L. (2002). From mother tongue to other tongue. Teaching English.
Ramachandran, S. D., & Rahim, H. A. (2004). Meaning recall and retention: The impact of the translation method on elementary level learners’ vocabulary learning. RELC Journal, 35(2), 161-178.
Richards, J., & Rodgers, T. (2001). Approaches and Methods in Language Teaching (p. 204). New York: Cambridge University Press.
Rolin-Ianziti, J., & Varshney, R. (2008). Students' views regarding the use of the first language: An exploratory study in a tertiary context maximizing target language use. Canadian Modern Language Review, 65(2), 249-273.
Scheffler, P. & Domińska, A. (2018). Own-language use in teaching English to preschool children. ELT Journal 72(4): pp.374–383.
Schweers, C.W., Jr. (1999). Using L1 in the L2 Classroom. English Teaching Forum 37 (2), 6-9. Survey “The Use of Mother Tongue”.
Scott, V. M., & de la Fuente, M. J., (2008). What's the problem? L2 learners' use of the L1 during consciousness‐raising, form‐focused tasks. The Modern language Journal, 92(1), 100-113.
Seng, G. H., & Hashim F. (2006). Use of L1 in L2 reading comprehension among tertiary ESL learners. Reading in a Foreign Language, 18(1).
Storch, N., & Wigglesworth, G. (2003). Is there a role for the use of the L1 in an L2 setting? TESOL Quarterly, 37(4), 760-770.
Swain, M., & Lapkin, S. (2000). Task-based second lan¬guage learning: the uses of the first language. Language Teaching Research, 4(3), 251–274.
Thornbury, S. (2010). T is for translation. Retrieved from: http://scottthornbury.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/t-is-for-translation/
Tsao, J.X. & Lin, H.X. (2004). The impact of the language used in the English classes on the psychological and learning aspects of the students in the technical andvocational system of education in Taiwan. Proceedings of 2004 International Conference and Workshop, Taiwan. 482-494.
Turnbull, M. (2001). There is a role for the L1 in second and foreign language teaching. Canadian Modern Language Review, 57(4), 531.
Turnbull, M., & Arnett, K. (2002). Teachers’ uses of the target and first languages in second and foreign language classroom. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 22, 204–218.
Vanderheijden, V. (2010). Is that English I hear over there? Rethinking the prohibition on L1 use in foreign language learning. TPFLE, 14 (1), 3-17.
Villamil, O., & de Guerrero, M. (1996). Peer revision in the L2 classroom: Socio-cognitive activities, mediating strategies, and aspects of social behavior. Journal of Second Language Writing,5, 51-75.
Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Weschler, R. (1997). Uses of Japanese in the English Classroom: Introducing the Functional-Translation Meth¬od. Kyoritsu Women’s University Department of Inter¬national Studies Journal, 12, 27.
Willis, D. and Willis, J., (2007). Doing task-based teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Yphantides, J. (2009). Student use of Japanese in the EFL classroom. Accents Asia, 3(2), 1-26.
Copyright (c) 2021 Haval Abdulaziz Latif
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.