Native language inclination of students and teachers at a public secondary school: native language (Turkish) usage in English language lessons
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KünyeZabitgil Gülseren, Ö., & Sarıca, T. (2020). Native Language Inclination of Students and Teachers at a Public Secondary School Native Language (Turkish) Usage in English Language Lessons. In Advances in Social Science Research (pp. 181–203). St. Kliment Ohridski University Press. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.4603614
INTRODUCTION There are different opinions about the use of L1 (mother language) in the English language classrooms. Some are positively oriented towards L1 use in the classroom, while others argue for avoiding L1 in the language classes. In the process of teaching a foreign language, the role, necessity or obligation of the first language (L1) are issues for debate. Different kinds of methodologies and approaches have been referred to in order to inquire the role of the native language in second language teaching and learning. This research inquiry re-visits an ongoing controversy of the native language use in hopes to evaluate the changing position of L1 in English language class, and give more informed and conscious decisions about L1 (native language) use in the English language classroom. The study aims to get a closer understanding of this topic by consulting students and teachers in an English language class at a public secondary school. Views of secondary school students and English language instructors were sought and their views on mother tongue use have been evaluated. Several researchers such as (Spada and Lightbown, 1999; White and Ranta, 2002; Spada, Lightbown and White, 2005; Forman, 2012) have examined the use of native language as a methodological device to assist foreign language learning. They assert that L1 can have an indispensable role in foreign language learning but excessive use may cause some problems and thus, prevent learners from getting adequate exposure to the second language and consequently may decelerate the language learning process. This view cautions against excessive use of the native language which can result in negative effects of L1 such as syntactic, phonetic, and morphological confusions due to the different structures of L1(first language/Turkish) and L2 (second language/English). If the foreign language is similar to the native language of the learner, then the use of L1 may have a positive effect through the use of cognates which resemble the learners’ L1. This is a ‘de facto’ explanation with contrastive approach that includes both the positive and negative effects of L1 when learning a foreign language. Researchers (Hammerly, 1991; Atkinson, 1987; Krashen, 1982, Nunan and Lamb, 1996; Stanley, 2002; Chambers, 1991; James and Bourke, 1996) contend that the use of L1 should not have any place in the foreign language learning experience (cited in Erdogan, 2015:18). The primary focus of the study is inquiring whether L1 supports the foreign language learning process and helps learners to acquire language more effectively or not. Views of learners and instructors will provide valuable insights. There are few studies which examine both learners’ and teachers’ views on the issue. Studying their views will help us learn more about the tendency to use L1 in English language classes and its consequences for learners and teachers.