Say whether you agree or disagree with each of the following statements. Justify your answers.
1. If you give instructions for activities in the mother tongue, you deprive students of an important opportunity to be exposed to natural L2 use.
I agree. It is necessary to recall that in the past the grammar translation method, focused in a translation technique, gave us a result of an artificial language, communicative skills were neglected and students learn just basic grammar structures. (Methodological approaches pages 20-21)
Giving instructions in L1 brings out many problems including a dependency of the mother tongue to understand without translating.
In Spanish the order of the words is not the same as it is in English, it is definitely confusing if we want to translate every single word.
However Alkitson (1987: 422) in his discussion of mother tongue in the EFL offers three reasons to consider L1 an important tool in our L2 classes including a humanistic approach.
Other important researchers such as Schweers (1999) investigated the use of L1 in his monolingual Spanish-speaking classes in Puerto Rico. He noted that a high percentage of students over 80% of his students found L1useful in the classroom: to explain difficult concepts; when they feel lost; to feel more comfortable and confident; to check comprehension; to define new vocabulary items.
According to Carol Rueckert, ESL writer of www.esl-lesson-plan.com,mention that the classroom might be the only place they have an opportunity to communicate in English in a meaningful way. He recommends is that if another language, L1, is used in the classroom, there must be a valid reason for it- each and every time it is used
It is extremely important to evaluate the students, their level, type of activity, and plan our lessons to avoid as much as possible the use of L1 without ignoring our students’ feelings.
Harbord, J. (1992): "The use of the mother tongue in the classroom" in ELT Journal,...