3395. Communication in the Classroom

Yesterday or a couple days ago I read something interesting on the British Council-BBC website for English-language teachers. May we foreign or second language teachers use our students’ and our own mother language in the classroom, Spanish in my case?

Sometimes, even often, using the mother tongue is demonized, the post said. And the answer – the article was much richer anyway – is that we may use it when the benefits are heavier than the counterproductive reasons.

The first premise, however, is that our students should be exposed to English – the target language in my case – massively.

That is the only way for those students to learn and ALSO acquire the target tongue.

Actually there are occasions when using the mother tongue is more than necessary. You know, sometimes we teachers may feel kind of guilty, for using that L1 (the mother language).

The authoress of the article was Loli Iglesias, a teacher from the Basque Country, north of Spain.

Summing up: let us expose our students to the target language for quite massively, and we may use L1 not randomly but when really it is necessary. And let’s be careful, for sometimes we believe it is simpler and less hard to use the mother tongue (Spanish, L1), while we should try to communicate with our students in English (L2)! / Photo from: birds-of-paradise The Bukit Brown Experience


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