The use of the mother tongue in Saudi EFL classrooms

Contributed by Ms. Hanan Abu Zaid
BA English Language and ESP Diploma
ESL EFL Instructor – Prep Year
Taibah University, Yanbu Female Campus

Numerous studies have been conducted to investigate the topic of using L1 (mother tongue) in the EFL/ESL classes. Actually there are opposing views on using it. We find  many teachers and experts advocate using it. They believe it helps low level students to acquire and learn English in an easy way. They think that it is the most popular English language teaching method. It helps motivate students  and reduce their anxiety, too.

In contrast to this argument, other experts have opposing opinions. They say that  using the mother tongue will harm the progress of the L2 learner.  These experts assert that using L1 is a great obstacle on the students’ way to acquire the language correctly.  They indicate that teaching English should be monolingual and through native teachers.

In this article (see link below), the researcher conducted his study on Saudi students. He investigated the opposing attitudes depending on some teachers and students’ views.  By reading this study, I hope you can determine which trend you can follow to improve your students’ levels in learning English as a foreign language.

The Use Of The Mother Tongue In Saudi EFL Classrooms | Alshammari | Journal of International Education Research (JIER)