Using the Mother Tongue in the Language Classroom: Hindrance or Help?
This chapter presents an exploratory practice case study which investigates the use by students of their mother tongue in a university French as a foreign language classroom. The research, integrated into the teacher’s normal classroom activities, includes questionnaires, interviews, language use journals and classroom discussion. The analysis shows that although learners ideally want to be exposed to as much of the target language as possible, the use of the mother tongue in some classroom situations can be beneficial and that, given that the needs of individual learners vary greatly, the teacher should not be too dogmatic concerning the use of the mother tongue.
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