STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS TOWARDS THE USE OF FIRST LANGUAGE IN THE FOREIGN LANGUAGE CLASSROOM

Zeynep Çolakoğlu Saburlu

Abstract


International and domestic research makes it evident that there is an ongoing debate on the use of the first language in language teaching and it is one of the most problematic issues in foreign language classrooms. Most of the studies have been done on teachers’ attitudes and the reasons behind teachers’ L1 use. Yet there has been little research which has focused on students’ perceptions about the use of L1. The aim of this study is to reveal students’ perceptions towards the use of L1. The sample of this research consisted of ten students receiving English preparatory education at Gebze Technical University, in Turkey. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten students at the beginning of the term. The interview was repeated again to reveal the students’ views about whether the use of the first language is welcomed or avoided and if it is welcomed, when to use and what extent to use of L1 is helpful at the end of the term. It was found out that a great majority of the preparatory students had negative perceptions of the use of the first language, Turkish in foreign language learning and highlighted minimum use of L1. Although in their previous foreign education, they used L1 a lot, they claimed that it did not benefit. They asserted that they can learn the foreign language more quickly and easily, the more they are exposed to the foreign language, in which case they begin to internalize L2. They supported this view that they do not have any chance to be exposed to the foreign language outside the classroom. Comparing their pre and post-interview, it was concluded that students’ in the foreign languages department at Gebze Technical University are in favour of using the foreign language in foreign language classrooms.

 

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English as a foreign language, use of the first language in foreign language education, student perceptions

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References


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