10 SES 10 A JS, Language and Teacher Education
Joint Paper Session NW 10 and NW 31
There are many studies examining the attitudes of teachers and students towards the language used in the classroom, though the studies conducted differ in design and methodology, results are more or less the same: native language (L1) cannot be ignored. One of the leading, and most cited researchers to criticize the English-only tendency in language teaching was Auerbach (1993) who argued that the use of native language should be respected (p.30). Investigating this English-only tendency, Şimşek (2010) draws two general conclusions from the state-of-the-art. First conclusion was that the use of native language in foreign or second language (L2) teaching cannot be ignored; and second, both the teachers and learners are aware of the strong need for the use of mother tongue especially in the fields that are difficult to teach and learn. Therefore, the exclusion of native language from language classrooms is not reflecting the reality of language teaching practices; but rather, it is an argument of the circles that advocate the superiority of native-teachers through direct methods (Şimşek 2010, p.12). These claims cited above is of great importance to teachers, for language education practices in EFL settings and for those who have or are international students in language classes.
This study aims to investigate how having an experience in teaching affects teachers’ attitudes towards native language (L1) use in English L2 classes, in specific classroom situations. It is obvious that with their previous experience as language learners, language teachers have some set of beliefs that shape their attitudes towards using L1. This has been a largely studied area. Following Auerbach (1993), Schweer (1999) conducted a questionnaire study on the beliefs of language learners and teachers towards use of their native language in the classroom. He reported a positive attitude towards the use of native language in language classrooms (p.6). This study had been a corner stone; since then, most studies conducted on teacher attitudes towards use of L1 dealt with the issue either by reporting in-service teacher beliefs or by contrasting student opinions to those of teachers. However, this study aims to investigate the attitudes of pre-service teachers towards the use of native language in classroom, and though they have very limited experience, to investigate any affect that is caused by their teaching experiences.
According to Cook (2001) there are specific areas where the language teachers may resort to native language use. Among these, such areas as vocabulary teaching, explanation of grammar rules, organization of class and testing are listed; which is in line with the results of more recent studies conducted in the discipline (cf. Al-Nofaie 2010, Levine 2003, Song 2009, Şen 2010, Şevik 2007). This was also in alignment with Kim and Elder’s (2005) findings who found a tendency of teachers towards the use of native language to avoid complex interactions in the language they are teaching. In line with these, the second aim of this study is to investigate whether preservice teachers’ opinions on L1 use to avoid these complex interactions differ across some specific classroom situations. In order to address these issues, following research questions were addressed though a detailed attitudes questionnaire and interviews with volunteers: 1) What are the attitudes of each group towards using L1 a) in specific classroom interactions, b) while teaching at different levels of proficiency and c) specific language areas?; and 2) Does having prior experience cause any difference among groups?
Al-Nofaie (2010) The Attitudes Of Teachers And Students Towards Using Arabic In Efl Classrooms In Saudi Public Schools- A Case Study. Novitas-ROYAL (Research on Youth and Language), 4 (1), 64-95. Auerbach, E. (1993). Reexaming English only in the ESL classroom. TESOL Quarterly 27(1), 9-32 [online] retrieved on 27.10.2011 from http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdfplus/3586949.pdf?acceptTC=true Cook, V. (2001) Using the first language in the classroom. The Canadian Modern Language Review, 57, (3), 402-423. Kim, S. and Elder, C. (2005) Language choices and pedagogic functions in the foreign language classroom: a cross-linguistic functional analysis of teacher talk. Language Teaching Research 9,4 (2005); pp. 355–380 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: 343–364. doi: 10.1111/1540-4781.00194 Schweer, C. W. (1999). Using L1 in the L2 Classroom. English Teaching Forum, 37, 2, pp. 6–9. Şen, Y. (2010) L1 Use In Englısh As A Foreıgn Language Classrooms In Turkey. Abant İzzet Baysal Üniversitesi Dergisi Vol.10:2, pp.161-171 Şevik, M. (2007) The Place of Mother Tongue in Foreign Language Classes. Ankara University, Journal of Faculty of Educational Sciences, year: 2007, vol: 40, no: 1, 99-119 Şimşek, M. R. (2010) Yabancı Dil Öğretiminde Anadil Kullanımı, Mersin University Journal of the Faculty of Education, Vol. 6, Issue 1, June 2010, pp. 1-14. Song, Y. (2009) An investigation into L2 teacher beliefs about L1 in China Prospect Volume 24 No 1 pp.30-39 retrieved from http://trove.nla.gov.au/goto?i=x&w=153054097&d=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ameprc.mq.edu.au%2Fdocs%2Fprospect_journal%2Fvolume_24_no_1%2FYananSong.pdf
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