First language and target language in the foreign language classroom

William LITTLEWOOD*, Baohua YU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

148 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For many decades, foreign language teaching has been dominated by the principle that teachers should use only the target language (TL) and avoid using the mother tongue (L1) except as a last resort. However, reports show that teachers make extensive use of the L1. This paper illustrates this discrepancy and considers some main reasons for it. It suggests a framework of principles for balancing L1 and TL use in the classroom. Finally, it reviews some strategies available to teachers who wish to make maximal use of the TL without denying the potential of the L1 to support foreign language learning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-77
Number of pages14
JournalLanguage Teaching
Volume44
Issue number1
Early online date8 Dec 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'First language and target language in the foreign language classroom'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this