First language and target language in the foreign language classroom

William Thomas LITTLEWOOD, Baohua YU

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

67 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. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2009.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-77
JournalLanguage Teaching
Volume44
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2011

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Foreign Language Classroom
Language
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Foreign Language Learning
Language Use
Mother Tongue
Foreign Language Teaching

Citation

Littlewood, W., & Yu, B. (2011). First language and target language in the foreign language classroom. Language Teaching, 44(1), 64-77.