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Should teachers use students’ first language(s) in the English Language classroom?


Last Updated: 8 Sep 2021

LanguagePointTraining.com, 9th August 2021

Go into many language centre classrooms, and you will see a sign on the wall: ‘English only’, or ‘speak English in class’. Students are expected to survive in their classes without using their first language (L1). However, in the majority of primary and high-school English classrooms around the world, English is taught through the medium of the students’ (and the teacher’s) first language, with translation and L1 explanations used as common teaching methods.

These two examples represent two approaches to language learning: an immersion approach, and a plurilingual approach. There is much debate about the role of students’ L1 in the classroom, so which approach is most effective, and when? Read more...