User:Yuri Lane/review

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First Article

Review of Mouhamad Mouhanna "Re-examining the role of L1 in the EFL classroom"

This article is about the study of the role of L1 in the L2, and the perception that its students have about the use of their native language (Arabic). Firstly, in the literature review, it talks about Avoid this phrase.several opinions of some experts about the use of the native language in the second language learning. For instance, Cook (2001) argues that L1 can be useful in EFL learning, especially in collaborative learning. However, some other researchers say that the use of L1 in the classroom is considered as a hindrance for the learning process. The article includes several examples of why the use of L1 is helpful for the target language (L2) learning process. One example is the point of view of Phillipson about the fallacy “English is best taught monolingually” which mentions that in the learning process of a second language, it is important to involve the L1 in order to make it meaningful and easy (Mouhanna, M., 2009). Thus, the article establishes three categories for the research questions. The first part is to know how students from the institute perceive the role of their native language in the classroom. The second part is based on the students’ experiences with the L1 in the L2 school. Finally, the last category is to get information about the policy and rationale from the administration of the school regarding the use of L1 in the classroom. 

In addition, the method that the article applies is a survey with opened and closed questions that 124 students from the UAE secondary school answer, involving basic and intermediate level, it includes questions based on asking the students about their opinions and experiences with the L1 in the school. On the other hand, the article mentions about one more instrument which is a semi-structured interview Use this as the subject of your sentence. with the principal of the school, Merge these two sentences.  its purpose it is to gather information about the policy and administration’s rational for the English in the EFL classroom. Consequently, the results that this studythrows Avoid slang. that there are some students that agree with the use of the L1 (Arabic) in the classroom because they think it is easier to learn and understand the L2. However, there are other students who disagree with the use of L1 in the classroom because they consider that they are not learning English by using too much their mother tongue (Mouhanna, M., 2009). However, some other says that it is appropriate to use L1 in the classroom when it is a basic level because students could feel stressed and anxious. Additionally, the survey indicates that there are more non-native teachers than native teachers in the secondary school, which also affects the use of L1 in the EFL classroom. In contrast, the interview with the principal of the institute says that unfortunately teachers speak too much in their native language (Arabic).

It is interesting how this article mentions the role of the L1 in the classroom, and how its use is positive when the L2 is taught and learnt. Furthermore, it is significant for the field of education because it shows how the fallacies of the use of L1 in the L2 classroom are mistaken. On the other hand, it also shows the important opinions from the students which are relevant in order to verify if the use of L1 in the classroom is acceptable or not for them. You need a citation in the third paragraph.

Moreover, this article is interesting, even that there are missing the instruments that were applied. So, this is the only aspect that it would be modified in this article. It is necessary to include the instrument that were used in order for everyone else could know the exact tool used. Nevertheless, it is remarkable how the article involves aspects that are helpful and meaningful for teaching a second language. Discuss more specifically how this research applies to your interests and context; make sure you stay in the third person.

Reference Say, References.

Cook, V. (2001). Using the first language in the classroom. Canadian Modern Languages Review. 57, 402-423.

Mouhanna, M. (2009) Re-examining the role of L1 in the EFL classroom. UGRU Journal, 8, pp. 1- 19

Phillipson, R. (1992). Linguistic Imperialism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Check your references for APA.

Second Article Review

Review of Kenenisa Beressa "Using L1 in the EFL classroom: the case of the Oromo language with particular reference to Adama teachers college"

The use of the mother tongue in the EFL classroom is considered as a negative aspect for the second language learning, there are arguments against the use of the L1 inside the L2 classroom, for instance, Heltai (1989) argues that the main problem that the led translating have is the fear of interference errors (as cited in Beressa, 2003, p. 24). On the other hand, contrary to the argument that the role of the mother tongue affects the learning process of the second language; the use of L1 has its pedagogical importance when students are learning a target language. For example, Stern (1992) says students use always their mother tongue as a reference when they are learning the L2 (as cited in Beressa, 2003, p. 25). Additionally, seven research questions are based on the use of L1 in the ESL classroom. These questions are: What is the attitude of teachers and students towards using the Oromo language in the English classroom? to what extent do TEFL instructors and students believe in the role of the Oromo language?, how frequently do instructors and students use the Oromo language in the EFL classroom?, how often do students want their teachers to use the Oromo language in the English class, how often do students want to use Oromo Language themselves?, when do students and instructors employ the Oromo language?, and what is the L1-L2 proportion during the English lessons?. Moreover, these questions are based on how many students and teachers use the L1 inside the EFL classroom, and their attitudes when using their mother tongue (Oromo).

Furthermore, the participants for this study are 50 from the English Language Department at Adama Teachers College, as well as two teachers from that institute. In addition, the tools applied for the method in this study are tape recording lessons, questionnaires and interview. Two classes with English major students from the “College English” are the participants for the tape recording lessons; each recording lesson has duration of 50 minutes. Also, the questionnaires are used to get information from students and teachers. Finally, the seven interview questions are applied to get information from the two teachers that are observed. Thus, the questionnaires show that the majority (86%) from the students agree that their English teachers use their native language (Oromo) to explain difficult concepts and instructions. Moreover, the interviews with the two English teachers establish that they use the native language only when it is necessary; they also mention that during the class teachers use the L1 just to check comprehension does not have to be with lack of exposure to the second language. Lastly, the analyses of the two recording tape lessons show that during the class teachers most of the times speak English more than Oromo (native language). Oromo language was used in the two teachers' classes to check difficult concepts, explain the meanings of new word and to compare cultures.

Language teachers can use the finding from this article and be aware of the importance of the use of the mother tongue in the EFL classroom. For instance, the use of the mother tongue can be helpful for pedagogical purpose in order to explain difficult aspects of the second language. Nevertheless, L1 has to be used carefully and conscious, only when it is a necessary and as a last option. In addition, Beressa (2003), language teaching methodology researchers might conduct further research in the area which may open the way to the development of a new English language teaching method and techniques that work to incorporate L1 use in the EFL classroom.

Finally, this article is helpful for studies that are based on teaching a second language and using the native language in the EFL classroom. However, applying the mother tongue in the EFL classroom has to be used moderate, controlled and used only when necessary, for example: when students need to understand difficult concepts, vocabulary or instructions, in order to have a relaxing and meaningful class.


Beressa, K. (2003). Using L1 in the EFL classroom: the case of the Oromo language with particular reference to Adama Teachers College. Retrieved from

Heltai, P. (1989). Teaching Vocabulary by Oral Translation, ELT Journal, 43(4), 288-293.

Stern, H. (1992). Issues and Options in Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.