Atkinson faster; as the only way for students

Atkinson
(1987) declares that lessons in many countries are to be planned as monolingual
as possible. According to Atkinson (1987),
the considerable attention must be given
to L1 as  L1 is the greatest resource
that learners could bring into EFL classrooms.
Krashen(1981) states that learners obtain the language in the same way they
obtain L1. Krashen (1981) asserts that L1 use in the classroom should be minimized. In fact, also other researchers
suggest that L1 use in EFL classrooms should be diminished because of many
reasons;

1)      Use
of L1 may build a negative habit that whenever learners or teachers encounter
with difficulty, they tempt to using L1.

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2)      Creating
a bridge among languages lead negative consequences as languages differ more or less.

3)      The
over-use of L1 in EFL classrooms hinders enough comprehensible input to obtain
language.

4)      When using L1 to teach EFL students, errors may emerge due to
the L1 transfer.

It
is maintained that if students are exposed to English more, they will learn it
faster; as the only way for students to internalize the English is that force
them to use it (Aurebach, 1993).  Furthermore,
Sipra (2007) makes suggestions to promote English use. It is stated that the teachers should bring appropriate materials
for learners according to their proficiency
levels and warm-up activities should be prepared
for learners (Sipra, 2007).  In
addition, Sipra (2007) asserts that teachers
should motivate students to speak more in English. However, using only English in the classroom can lead some problems. Harbord  (1992) 
emphasizes that teachers who try
to create monolingual classrooms are inadequate
in significant communication as it causes students’ incomprehension and resentment. In addition, only English
classrooms can be a  harmful factor to student-teacher interaction as
students prefer being silent and afraid
of speaking in English through the lesson time. For these reasons, the L1 should
be limited and used when it is necessary for giving instructions, correcting or
explaining the unknown word.

It
is suggested that teachers should maximize the use of English in EFL
classrooms. Obviously maximizing English use doesn’t
mean any L1 at all. It is just that too much dependancy on the L1 of the learners
could hinder the learning process. Translation of the concepts also might lead
problems is that learners are going to wait for he
translation of the new concepts. So while deciding on the uses of L1 teachers
should be very careful. It is acceptable that to check concepts understand
clearly, to give a meaning of the unknown word
in L1 not to consume too much time. But heavily relies on L1 could demotivate
students to speak or perform in English. If all the inputs are given in the learning process translated to the
L1, learners will always wait for the translation. Also, as cultural and
linguistic phrases cannot be translated to the L1 correctly (Harbord, 1992).

As
an English teacher; while deciding if we are going to use L1 in English
classes, there are factors that we need to consider: age, proficiency level,
motivating, readiness. In a class with very young learners, L1 usage is
inevitable to motivate young children to speak or perform in English for a
whole lesson. Definitely, differences
between students will occur that some may be more confident than the others.
Thus, teachers should create a classroom that young learners feel comfortable.
To feel motivated, young learners might need to be exposed to their L1 (Banos,
2009). In my classrooms, I always try to use English as much as possible. But
most of the time, students become completely passive in the classes as they
feel that they are absolutely stranger to the English. So, I use L1 when it is
necessary but my main objective is that to encourage them to use English at
least for the basic needs.

In
a research by Prodromou (2002) has shown that proficiency levels of learners are a really
effective factor on L1 use. The research has been done among 300 Greek students about L1 use at three
levels – beginner, intermediate and advanced. A nearly
big part of beginner and intermediate students (between 53% and 66%) replied
that both the teacher and the students ‘should use the L1’, while only a small
part of advanced learners supported that ‘L1 should be used’ view. It is
concluded that the more English students learn, the less they will use L1. Less
advanced students tempt to use L1 more,
more advanced students tempts to use L1 less. (Banos, 2009).  It is seen that proficiency level of the
learners has a dramatic effect on the L1 use. The learners know more English,
they appeal to use English more. Motivation is one of the key factors of
language learning. When the teachers’ readiness for the lesson is not
satisfying, he or she can’t make learners to involve lesson more.

CONCLUSION

On
the subject of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), the role of L1
cannot be ignored. But, how much and when it is going to be used in the classroom
is the real issue of the subject. Also, in TEFL, as the motivation of the
learners to perform in the English language is one of the most crucial concepts
that facilitate learning and teaching
process; L1 should be used to improve the process. Forcing the students to speak English for a whole lesson in the classroom may prevent them from
participating in the conversation. It is essential to learning that the students volunteer to speak. But it must be
remembered that in the regions where English has been taught as a foreign
language; as the most of the learners will not get any input out of the
classroom, in the classroom, English language use should be maximized. So,
deciding how much L1 is going to be used in classrooms, teachers should
consider some factors. However, it should be remembered that over-use of L1
hinders the teaching and learning process so English use in classrooms should
be maximized step by step.