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Using the Mother tongue in Foreign Language Teaching

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#1
Apocalypse

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salam,

Like most EFLs in the forum already know, there are varying methods of teaching English as a foreign language. 8 methods are the most prominent, 4 of them do encourage the use of the mother tongue in foreign language teaching, and focus on reading and writing skills over listening and speaking (more like Traditional approach). Regarding the use of the mother tongue in class, some theories argued that the use of L1 (the mother tongue) is essential in few cases, namely some the hopeless cases, when the teacher is out of inspiration and ideas. Some argued that the use of the mother tongue allows teachers to gain time and go quickly as opposed to foreign teachers who do not speak the mother tongue of the learners, they obviously will have difficulty in making the learners understand correctly, and very often, the meaning is not grasped by the students.

Yet, many teachers in our country and many other countries, like France do use the mother tongue while teaching the foreign language when they don't need to do so. At my former University teachers never spoke Arabic, they did it very rarely in particular cases not related to the course, while in Tunis I was shocked to see that the teachers, in Master classes, speak Arabic more than English in order to make the idea clear.

So what do you think of the non-essential use of the mother tongue in class?

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#2
Lilia

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salam
Throughout the years of my learning experience and the different teachers I got for both French and English the ones that made the most impression were the ones who didn't speak any other language than the target language. They were competent teachers who knew how to convey the meaning of what they're explaining without having to switch to others languages. And sometimes, when they got stuck with some words, they drew shapes on the boards or used other words less complex until we got the idea. One teacher asked us all to have a little notebook to write down the difficult words we encountered in every class and even their explanation was in English!
I think this way is better for the learners to master a foreign language. Because as long as they keep thinking in their mother tongue they won't be able to fully grasp the other language. They have to make a cut. However, this doesn't mean they can't encourage learners to refer back to their personal and social experiences.
I hated when my teacher of British literature in my 4th year used French for the whole lecture smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':S' />
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#3
Fatony

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well what is bothering me is not the speaking... I am having trouble to establish whether I think in English or Arabic (Mother tongue). How do I find out?
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#4
Omeymaa

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I interviewed a KG co-ordinator for our yearbook back in my days at school ;) she's American, I had to put up with the whiney accent for half-an-hour!!
I asked her whether the non-English speaking students are placed in a separate classroom and dealt with in a different way. her answer was straight no, they are mingled with the rest of students, and the teachers are not allowed to use Arabic when talking to kids. To be honest the only way I learnt English was when I was thrown into a primary school full of blondes and blue-eyed people :P


well what is bothering me is not the speaking... I am having trouble to establish whether I think in English or Arabic (Mother tongue). How do I find out?



Smart question. I love answering questions like these. Netfelsef chwiya.
You know like when you're thinking you sort of 'speak to your self' no? I would say when you're thinking write down your thought on a piece of paper, what ever language you write in I would say is the language you think in.
Furthermore, when speaking to people and you try to think what to reply to them, if you find that you're taking too long to respond or using loads of brain power (you can tell this by yourself) this could be due to the fact you are trying to translate your thoughts and ideas into the language you are communicating in.

I think better in English, I have trouble the first week in Algeria translating everything, 1 word Arabic 10 in English and 2 in French, my grandma hates me for it.

Hmm, then the 'Arab way of thinking' and 'western way of thinking' could have a place here too..cool.

Dr. Omeymaa :D (I wish)

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#5
Fatony

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ok thats a good answer Omeyma. I guess from your formula, I think in English. Weird, because when it comes to money, or spending it... All of a sudden I think in Algerians.. lmao!

#6
Londonhbb

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Fatony, The language u'r thinking by is the language u DREAM by. So ask ur self whether in ur dreams u feel ur self English speaker or Arabic speaker !

Concerning using the mother tongue to teach a foreign lge, Algerian ministry of education established a new syllabus to engage L1 in teaching. But not in all the lessons, only in one lesson in each chapter. Like translating some sentences in Arabic.

N.B: Using mother tongue to teach foreign lges in Algeria was not officially permitted. The current applied method (Competency-based Approach) advice teachers to use only the target lge. However, Algerian inspectors noticed that teachers r using mother tongue even it's not allowed. So, to limit using the mother tongue in class, they introduce some translated lessons. But, they insist on using mother tongue only on those permitted lessons. (This explanation was given to me in a conference held in Djelfa, where I was teaching!)

Download the official document:


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