Role of L1 in Foreign Language Learning Classrooms: A Case Study of Learners of French

Singh, Shambhavi (2013) Role of L1 in Foreign Language Learning Classrooms: A Case Study of Learners of French. Language and Language Teaching, 2 (1). pp. 12-15. ISSN 2277-307X

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Research into the role of using learners’ first language (L1) in a foreign language (FL) classroom has been a subject of much debate. On the one hand, there are researchers such as Prodromou (2000), who claim that a learner’s mother tongue is a ‘skeleton in the closet’; on the other hand, there are others such as Gabrielatos (2001), who find L1 to be a ‘bone of contention’ in the second language (L2) or FL learning. But in a country such as India, which has an unavoidably multilingual and multicultural societal set-up, use of the learners’ L1 in an FL classroom can help the teacher preserve learner identity, and simultaneously promote language learning. This is especially relevant given the strong support in favour of multilingualism by several researchers (Jessner, 2008; Agnihotri, 2009) in the last decade, and the emphasis on using learners’ L1 in L2 and FL classrooms in the national educational documents such as the National Curriculum Framework 2005 and its Position Papers on language (NCERT). Hence, although multilingualism has been accepted as an advantage, it is not yet a part of common FL teaching practice in India.

Item Type: Articles in APF Magazines
Authors: Singh, Shambhavi
Document Language:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Language, Multilinguality, Multilingual Education, Learning Classrooms
Subjects: Language
Divisions: Azim Premji University > University Publications > Language and Language Teaching
Full Text Status: Public
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Note: Published twice a year in January and July, Language and Language Teaching (LLT) reaches out to language teachers, researchers and teacher educators on issues and practices relevant to language teaching. The primary focus of the publication is language pedagogy in elementary schools. LLT proposes to establish a dialogue between theory and practice so that practice contributes to theory as much as theory informs practice. The purpose is to make new ideas and insights from research on language and its pedagogy accessible to practitioners while at the same time inform theorists about the constraints of implementation of new ideas.
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