Role of mother tongue use in foreign language classroom

Proceedings of The 4th International Conference on Modern Research in Education, Teaching and Learning

Year: 2022



Role of mother tongue use in foreign language classroom

Radu Burdujan, PhD, associate professor



There is not the unanimity among EFL teachers about total mother tongue (L1) removal form the language classroom. While some researchers claim that the mother tongue should be banned in foreign language classrooms, others consider that it makes a valuable contribution to the learning process. The purpose of this study was to examine teachers’ perceptions of L1 use in EFL classroom and the advisable situations when to use it in the classroom. Sixty-three English teachers working in different schools in the Republic of Moldova participated in the study. The perceptions on L1 use were measured through a questionnaire given to teachers. The data revealed that L1 has a mediating role in the language teaching and learning process and there were no inflexible opinions that L1 must not be used in EFL classrooms. That means that EFL teachers don’t oppose to L1 use of mother tongue at their classes. Moreover, they believe that it can be effective in several advised situations at the right time. There are much more advantages than disadvantages to L1 use. Despite the advantages, the overusing of L1 in EFL classrooms should be avoided because it causes less L2 use and the dependence of their mother tongue.

keywords: use of the mother tongue (L1), English as a Foreign Language (EFL), teachers’ perceptions, EFL classroom.