Teacher and Student First Language and Target Language Use in the Foreign Language Classroom: A Qualitative and Quantitative Study of Language Choice
AuthorThompson, Gregory Lynn
AdvisorSchulz, Renate A.
Committee ChairSchulz, Renate A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe importance of using the target language (TL) in the FL classroom is ingrained in the minds of most language teachers e.g., the Direct Method, Audiolingualism, and the Communicative Method. However, few studies have examined how TL and first language (L1) are being used in the FL classroom (Duff & Polio, 1990, 1994; Macaro, 2001; Levine, 2003). Even less research has been done regarding the purpose(s) for which the L1 and TL are being used in the classroom and the types of discourse for which the L1 and TL are being employed by teachers and students. There is, however, a growing number of researchers who have begun to question the exclusion of the L1 from the classroom (Guthrie, 1984; Cook, 2001; Macaro, 2001; Turnbull, 2001).This study was carried out at the University of Arizona. Sixteen first- and second-year Spanish classes were video- and audio-recorded over the course of three observations. Additionally, over 500 students participated in a pre- and post-listening test as well as a survey regarding perceptions of L1 and TL use in the classroom and beliefs about language use. This study also investigated in what types of discourse the L1 and TL are being employed and some of the motivations behind this usage. Also, explored are the differences between native and non-native instructors of the TL.The results showed that while there was a strong positive correlation between the instructors' use of the L1 and the students' use of the L1, this did not adversely affect the listening gains in the classroom. Also, it was found that both the students and the instructors were able with a high degree of accuracy to predict the L1 and TL of the instructors in the classroom. Finally, there were no significant differences between the classes with native speaking instructors of the TL and those who were non-native speaking instructors of the TL. This study contributes to a better understanding of actual classroom language usage, the motivations behind L1 and TL use, and the students' and teachers' perceptions of the role of the L1 and TL in the classroom.
Degree ProgramSecond Language Acquisition & Teaching
Degree GrantorUniversity of Arizona
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