About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3935-3941
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.1875

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

FACILITATING SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING USING FIRST LANGUAGE

J. Wu, M. Myers

Queen's University (CANADA)
Second language learning is a growing industry around the world nowadays thanks to the context of globalization. Though English continues to be one of the most frequently studied second language in the world, more languages like Chinese, Urdu and Arabic are also become subjects that are frequently studied. This increasing demand of second language learning should make us review our perceptions of second language learning in order to better support both the teachers and students who are trying to teach and learn any second language. In particular, the debate between a monolingual approach and a bilingual approach is a long-standing argument between second language educators.

The widely-used monolingual approach increases the input in the target language for the students. Based on studies conducted on French immersion schools, the monolingual approach can effectively develop students’ speaking and comprehension skills (Swain, & Lapkin, 1982; Genesee, 1978). The monolingual approach regards students' first language as something to be avoided for reasons like error transfer and reduced input (Lado, 1957; Krashen, 1981). Krashen's (1981) Input Hypothesis to increase input from i to i+1 remains a useable approach that allows the input in the target language be increased and mastered by students one level following another. Overall, the monolingual approach of second language learning is still a popular approach in language learning seeing all the immersion programs and second-language-only policies in international schools.

While the monolingual approach in English language learning continues being a valid approach, a lot of questions arose in the last three decades regarding second language acquisition trying to challenge this monolingual approach. First of all, Chomsky suggested that, contrary to the belief of behaviourism, language is not a mere set of rules (Chomsky, 1957). Second of all, transfers between first language and second language may not be all negative (Ma, 2013). Cook (2001) stated that it is impossible to achieve success in second language learning by ignoring the role of the first language. In particular, Cook suggested that students' first and second language essentially go through a phase of integration to achieve multi-competence (Cook, 2004). Along this line of thinking, using or even actively using students’ first language can be beneficial to help with language transfer and integration. Many studies investigating students’ opinions on using their first language in English language learning classrooms yielded to positive results (see Schweers Jr., 1999; Tang, 2002 and Dujmović, 2014).

Recognizing that both of the approaches are valid, I would like to see how teachers utilize students' first language in second language teaching by interviewing 15 classrooms teachers in international schools to see which side of the spectrum they lean toward. Results from interviews with teachers in the field will be presented as a starting point for second language teachers, especially those that teach beginners to decide which approach to implement and how to implement their preferred approach.
@InProceedings{WU2018FAC,
author = {Wu, J. and Myers, M.},
title = {FACILITATING SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING USING FIRST LANGUAGE},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.1875},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.1875},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {3935-3941}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Wu AU - M. Myers
TI - FACILITATING SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING USING FIRST LANGUAGE
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.1875
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 3935
EP - 3941
ER -
J. Wu, M. Myers (2018) FACILITATING SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING USING FIRST LANGUAGE, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 3935-3941.
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