Using English in EFL Classes; Action Research

Problem Description and Analysis

The acquisition of a foreign language, mainly English, is one of the most significant concerns in the modern globalized world. In the recent past, English has become an international language. Today, knowledge of English is a necessity, and various countries such as Sweden, Indonesia, and China require their citizens to learn. English mastery is vital for multiple reasons; it can help people achieve their personal goals of passing exams, travelling abroad, getting international jobs, and learning overseas. Besides, as a globally acceptable language, it plays a critical role in economic and political affairs. Despite such benefits, choosing which language to use in EFL (English as Foreign Language) classes continues to attract heated debate among educationists, researchers, and policymakers. While some believe in using L1 or learners’ mother tongue in L2 classes, the other side considers using L2 (English) beneficial and necessary in facilitating language teaching and learning.

The conflict described above reflects in every EFL classroom. Previous studies have shown that target language use in the EFL classroom is an essential element (Klanrit and Sroinam 493). However, Cook argues that the exclusion of L1 in the classroom makes the environment appear less natural (11). Recently, employing L1 in L2 classrooms has gained considerable attention from researchers and teacher-practitioners. Such studies have sought to evaluate different aspects, especially the use of LI in acquiring a foreign or second language (Mohebbi and Alavi 57). Based on such findings, the writer intended to conduct classroom action research to enhance students learning outcomes. In particular, this study sought to evaluate pupils’ and instructors’ perceptions, opinions and attitudes on the usage of English in EFL classrooms.

Action Plan and Implementation

The researcher implemented a plan, which consisted of teachers and students reviewing current literature on the issue and monitoring the most frequent language used by teachers in EFL lessons. Other activities include evaluating EFL teachers’ perceptions, attitudes, and opinions about the exclusion of native language in teaching languages and investigating pupils’ attitudes about the aim of their instructor’s use of the target language in English classes. The project used a qualitative research design to collect data. The writer further used both structured interviews and observations in the study. The study evaluated the teacher frequency of using English in EFL classrooms with observational instruments. Besides, structured interviews helped determine the attitude of teachers and students toward using the target language in English classrooms.

Results Description and Evaluation. 

Both observations and interviews aimed to evaluate the language teachers used during the EFL lessons. The research further used a thematic approach. From the results, teachers were frequent users of LI, while they described the usage as rare in interviews. Regarding the purpose of mother tongues in English lessons, the majority reported the language helpful in explaining complex terms. The finding was in line with Cook; she believes that the application of L1 enables learners to create a link between the understanding of the language (18). However, teachers and students expressed a positive attitude toward using English in classrooms. Teachers avoiding native languages increase students’ motivation to learn English and eliminate barriers to effective learning.

Our analysis of the data collected indicates that the choice of language in EFL classes has a crucial impact on the learning process. The researcher emphasized the need to be careful when using native languages in L2 pedagogy. They should avoid excessive use of L1 and lower their expectations of the impacts of L1 in second language acquisition. Instructors should use their mother tongue when inevitable but use English where possible. This action research project equipped teachers and students with experience challenging to gain through peer learning or standards educational programs.

Kazik Huj

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