Recently, two different opinions have been discussed about L1 use in EFL classes. On the one side, it is believed that L1 should be used in EFL classrooms with the opinion of that L1 use reduces anxiety which helps students learn better.
The potential advantages of L1 use are discussed in terms of grammar, classroom management, vocabulary and methodological issues in EFL classrooms.
Using English only, in EFL classrooms is possible but it fails to take accounts of a number of factors. Many EFL teachers try to use English as much as possible as they can in the classroom. They give instructions in English, they require students to ask any kind of questions in English and they say students should use English while working in groups and pairs. These are all probable and positive things in an EFL classroom. However the mother tongue can be used to provide a quick and accurate translation of an English word that might take several minutes for the teacher to explain.
Using English only, in EFL classrooms can lead to some problems because there would be no guarantee that the instructions and explanations are understood. Also, an English teacher can have difficulties in general classroom management if he/she insists on using English only. Depending on English only makes students feel uncomfortable if they have some problems with speaking skills. In addition students cannot combine the two languages if they are restricted to use English in classroom.
Hopkins (1988:18) claims that ‘’if the learner of a foreign language is encouraged to ignore his/her native language, he/she might well feel identity threatened.’’
Because of these problems caused by using English only, in EFL classroom, teachers should use mother tongue while teaching English as a foreign language. But EFL teachers should know to what extend they should use mother tongue. By taking the advantage of using mother tongue in EFL classrooms teachers should create the best teaching environment for their students.
Which of the two opinions do you share?