When considering the use of EL1 (English Language Teacher) in L1 (the student's mother tongue) one of the first assumptions is that the teacher has enough commander for L1 students to be primarily valuable. Another assumption that may influence this scenario is that each student in a class or group has the same L1. Although these assumptions often occur in many EFL (English as a foreign language) teaching / learning settings, they often do not. For multicultural departments (eg USA, UK, Australia, Canada, India, etc.), where students have different L1s or if the teacher does not have L1 students in Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe it may be that the L1 application may be strictly limited or virtually impossible in the EFL classroom.

Using L1 in Classroom

In my case, I will talk about the cases where I actually use L1 students in the EFL classes. I learned about Spanish Spanish work experience and all my college and university students are Spanish, like the L1. Although I strongly oppose the significant use of ESOL (English language lessons for speakers in other languages), there are situations whose use is very valuable. In addition, early on, the ratio between about 5 percent mother tongue and 95 percent target language may be more profitable than using "English only". (Atkinson, 1987) On the first day of the class, I explain to a new group how to ask "How do you say ______ in Spanish?" where the Spanish (L1) word or phrase is filled in empty. This allows students to use their keyword dictionaries in their written or oral expressions while limiting the use of L1 in the classroom.

When students disturb the abstract, a word or phrase that can not be easily induced through a lesson, I simply "give" the word in Spanish to help keep the lesson flowing smoothly and not get "faded" when he tried to show the elusive lexical with other means. If the student gives the incomprehensible language, ie I (not the other students) can not understand what the student is trying to say in English, I say, "Tell me in Spanish." With this new agreement disciplined (or other students), this student is provided with corrected, understandable forms that can otherwise correct both (or even all).

In a written exam, students must include a word or phrase on the board in English and / or Spanish to avoid extensive disruption of the testing process. As I do not pass the exams, the new lexical reads into readings, instructions or exercises. When a student and as other students ask for the meaning or explanation of the word or words, I simply point to the lesson on the board without talking.

Communication, TPR (Asher, 1966 and Pasim) or "fast-paced" vocabulary games, such as STOP, are popular with new learners, and new lexical translations are developed for the purpose of developing students' vocabulary. These may include lexics, English or Spanish names, foods, animals or certain verbs, or use L1 in various code-related activities. (Clandfield – Foord, 2003) This is especially the case when I need to explain why a particular word is incorrect or can not be used.

L1 Use with LEP Students

Another example is when I switch to Spanish when LEP (Limited English Proficiency) students need to deal with important administrative issues or procedures that do not have the depth of the necessary vocabulary. The importance of the material and the need to understand it exceeds the "English only" integration, which is my "standard operating procedure" in the classroom. This is especially true for my group of students who have less than the There are 250 contact hours in English, equivalent to the third semester or less. Note: Atkinson (1987 and pasim) says 150 hours or less (second semester) at this stage, although I often found it for another semester.

Occasionally, students present a song or song, usually Rock or Pop music, and ask a word, phrase, phrase or sometimes the title of the title. The requested explanation (whenever possible) is used in the Spanish language comparisons and / or translations with the required frequency. The same can happen with the dialogue of popular movies, movies and videos for native speakers of English. In rare cases, for the same reasons, a tape recorder of a radio program or a bookcase was placed in the bedroom.

The last common example of using L1 in the classroom is the student's "repetitive" or "corrective" class of LEP students. As these students have already demonstrated that the "traditional" teaching methods prescribed in the textbooks are insufficient to teach the material. All these students have failed at least once, twice or more at this level. Then I apply a number of alternative methods, including translation and other types of input / feedback for L1 students to help in learning the process. These methods were indeed very successful. One reason for this may be that the use of targeted methods and changed classroom conditions will help reduce student Affected Filters (Krashen-Terrell, 1983) and guide new materials and leks to better match their Individual Intelligent Intelligence styles (Gardner, 1983).


In summary, I have found that the use of L1 in the EFL classroom is minimal and should not exceed the target language L1 to 95%. The most important EFL classroom situations in which L1 can be used:

o new lexical request

o explanation of abstract terms

o generating comprehensive input / production

o exams and other stress situations

o dynamic activities

o The explanation of the idiom and expressions of songs, films and videos o 1966/2006 o Information / Instructions for LEP Students

o Aligning Materials to Special Needs Students

While the use of L1 students should be strictly controlled, that the learning and acquisition activities are accurately used. Continuous language learning research and classical practice suggest that the use of L1 should not be banned for its own sake, but occasionally it is allowed in the repertoire of the teacher and in the pupils as an appropriate supplementary tool as a condition.

Note: Academic references to this article are available on request.

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