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Students' Native Languages

Posted: Sat Jun 18, 2016 11:31 pm
by linguisticslife
Hi all!

I am an ESL teacher in training and I'm curious as to how much you incorporate/make connections to the students' native languages. It seems to me that this would be particularly effective because the student already has a knowledge based in their native language and if you're teaching English specifically as a SECOND language, would help them feel as though their native and second languages are competing with each other. There is the question of having enough time to do everything though...
Anyway, I would love to hear from some teachers in the field what your practices are!

Re: Students' Native Languages

Posted: Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:14 pm
by Susan
Hi,

Interesting question!

I use it mostly to highlight students' regular mistakes; false friends, etc.

Susan

Re: Students' Native Languages

Posted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 2:57 pm
by cerealkillah
It depends. Referring to students' native language is very useful when it comes to mistakes which result from interference between L1 and L2. It is the same case as with false friends that Susan mentioned. On the other hand, sometimes I refer to L1, when grammatical structure of English langueage is (more or less) the same as in L1.
My students learn two languages as a part of the national curriculum, so I sometimes use their knowledge of L3 (German, in my case) to show similarities and boost students' confidence by saying: You already know that. It is the same in German. :)

Re: Students' Native Languages

Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 6:48 pm
by jfernjfern
Any opportunity we have to make connections to a ELLs L1 is beneficial. It has been shown that incorporating L1 with ELLs really helps to motivate L2 acquisition and more effectively process content area learning. Within an article by William Shweers that addresses L1 in the L2 classroom (which I will link below) it states: “Starting with the L1 provides
a sense of security and validates the learners’ lived experiences, allowing them to express themselves. The learner is then willing to experiment and take risks with English.” From what I gather use of L1 has very little negatives when being used to support language acquisition. Students have already built a pattern for language and the new language will be learned in relation to what they already know and what language patterns they have from their l1. I do not feel that they will feel as though their native and second languages are competing with each other but rather it can be used to help clarify or elaborate when L2 is not sufficient.
Here is a link for the article I mentioned. It is really interesting and directly answers your question with scholarly evidence.
http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/usia/E-USIA/f ... bat/P6.pdf
Hope this helps!
Jess

Re: Students' Native Languages

Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:59 pm
by natnicmo
I would like to re-open this topic for discussion, as I recently had a conversation about this with a colleague at work. I am a ESOL instructor at a community college. Our program is an intensive English program, where we encourage speaking English as much as possible, and speak ONLY English in the classroom.

Outside the classroom, I have sometimes used a student's first language as others have mentioned, to explain a concept more clearly or relate it to their L1 grammar. I have also engaged in casual/friendly conversation using students' L1 outside the classroom. A colleague (who also speaks a 2nd language) recently approached me asking about this. She expressed that she has always refrained from engaging with students in their L1 until after they have left her class (i.e. moved up to the next level, where she is no longer their teacher). Her reasoning - which has crossed my mind in the past - is that it might be unfair to students of a different L1 who do not have that same opportunity, as it is impossible for us to have a teacher who speaks every single foreign language. My colleague was also pondering this question herself - questioning whether she might be losing an opportunity to engage/connect with students on a more personal level (in their L1).

Thoughts on this?

Re: Students' Native Languages

Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:28 pm
by Susan
That's interesting, especially your comment about engaging with students in L1.

Re: Students' Native Languages

Posted: Fri May 05, 2017 5:26 pm
by Emmaverbraeken
Hello,
My name is Emma from Belgium. I am a student and I have a really important task for my last year of school. We have to do a research on the influence of social media on English. So I want to ask you if some teachers could fill in this survey about the influence if social media on the English language. I hope you can help us!
Have a lovely day,
Emma.
Survey: https://www.survio.com/survey/d/C4G7I5G7G7C9U3A3H

Re: Students' Native Languages

Posted: Wed May 24, 2017 8:46 am
by MilaSolaris
Hello,
I'm also a teacher of English but also teach methodology of teaching English. And I'm sure it greatly depends on L1 (sometimes using it can really misslead) and your students' general knowledge on the subject and their accuracy in L1 as well.