Frequency and Purpose of Teachers’ L1 Use in EFL Classroom: A Case of Boditti Preparatory Schoolwith Particular Reference to Wolaitigna (Wolaita Language)



The question whether or not the mother tongue (L1) should be used in the EFL classroom has been an important issue for a long time. However, there seems to be no consensus on the issue as yet. Supporters of the Monolingual Approach claim that L2 can be learnt only through L2, where as the proponents of the Bilingual Approach believe that L1 has a facilitating role in many aspects of language instruction. Thus, a revival of interest to use a mother tongue frequently in EFL classroom is stipulated by the necessity to improve learners’ understanding of certain issues, teacher-students classroom interactions and minimizing the communication barrier occurred between teacher and students. This study aims at examining frequency and purpose of teachers’ L1 use in EFL classrooms. The researcher employed both qualitative and quantitative data in order to enrich the objective of the study. 75 students and 12 teachers of the preparatory school involved in the study to gather the appropriate data. Data were gathered through classroom observations, questionnaires, and interview. The data gathered through the questionnaire and the observations were analyzed using frequency and percentage, while those collected through interview and open-ended questions were analyzed in integration with others. The study showed that majority of both the teachers and students reflected positively on the judicious use of mother tongue in EFL classrooms. It also indicated that 6 teachers (50%) and 25 students (33.3%) chose to use wolaitigna (“Sometimes). At the end, it was recommended limited use of L1 to explain vocabularies, grammar items, and difficult concepts when necessary in EFL classrooms.

Keywords:frequency,purpose, L1

DOI: 10.7176/JLLL/61-04

Publication date:October 31st 2019

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ISSN 2422-8435

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