L1 in the ESL Classroom

Taylor Language

Thoughts on the use of L1 (students’ native language) in the ESL classroom

There are different schools of thought here, I personally use some L1 with French and Spanish speaking students. However, I think that the majority of interactions should take place in English. If you have to draw or act out the phrase so students can understand, so be it. The key here is promoting COMPREHENSION not PERFECTION. As long as the student understands the gist of what you want (for example, “compare your answers with a partner”), then the purpose of your sentence was communicated. It does not matter if the student understands every word. It is important that you teach this concept to students! It will take some time at first, but getting them on board with this concept will be worth it.

I began thinking about this when I saw a teacher constantly greeting, explaining, and…

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