Issues in English Language Teaching : The Use of L1 in Teaching and Learning

Elzahraa Hassane


The paper discusses the issue of using the first language (L1) in the second language (L2) classroom and states the debate that has been aroused long time ago. The author also reflects her opinion on using Arabic language (L1) in English language (L2) context, and the influence of Grammar Translation Method negatively on the learners. It also discusses the advocates reasons for using L1 in L2 classrooms and the reasons for those who contradict with this method. Thus, it states the difference between the monolingual approach and the bilingual approach, explaining each the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, focusing on the contradiction of the monolingual approach with the theories of second language acquisition (SLA), and discussing the arguments that had been aroused due to the use of the first language (L1). The paper also discusses the factors that influence the use of L1, including the function namely “medium-oriented goals” and “frame goals”. Overall, it sums up the arguments and the debate that were caused by the using of L1 in L2 classroom, and the difficulty of avoiding L1 in second language classes due to some of its benefits and facilitation of delivering the language to the learners.


L1 (First Language), L2 (Second Language), SLA (Second Language Acquisition)

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