The Use and Functions of Mother Tongue in EFL Classes

Turan Paker, Özlem Karaağaç
2015 Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences  
The use of mother tongue (L1) in foreign language classrooms is inevitable. In this paper, the use and functions of it in various classes have been analyzed and discussed. The purpose of the present study was to find out to what extent the instructors in the School of Foreign Languages at Pamukkale University use mother tongue in their classes. We attempted to find out whether their mother tongue use changes according to different variables, for which functions they use it, whether they are
more » ... hether they are aware of the amount and the functions, whether the instructors are satisfied with the amount of L1 they use, and whether their students are satisfied with it, and whether this satisfaction differs according to the amount used by their instructors. The study was conducted in the School of Foreign Languages at Pamukkale University, and it was based on both qualitative and quantitative research designs. The participants were 20 English instructors working in the School of Foreign Languages and their 286 students. The data were collected through classroom recordings, questionnaires that were administered both to the instructors and the students, and interviews were conducted with all of the instructors and randomly chosen 39 students. Our data have revealed that mother tongue is an inseparable part of language teaching, and it actually has different functions like "rapport building purposes", "making the topic/meaning clear (by giving examples, explaining, making extra explanations, etc.)", "explaining difficult concepts or ideas", etc. It was also found out that both the instructors and the students were aware of the importance of using the target language as much as possible in the classes, however, they could not deny the need of mother tongue from time to time.
doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2015.07.494 fatcat:scay3bvih5cj7b432drl5cd2ey