Assignment on Language Learning: Role of L1

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THE ROLE OF L1 IN THE FOREIGN CONTEXT OF TEACHING AND LEARNING WITHA FOCUS ON THE SAUDI CONTEXT.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARYFirst language (L1) is the language that is learnt and used by an individual person from the verybeginning of his or her life. Second language (L2) is the language learnt as a foreign language. Inthe following paragraphs the use of L1 in learning L2, advantages and disadvantages of theprocess, will be discussed and analysed. The discussion will also lead to a better understandingof the second language and learning in Saudi Arabia. As conclusion it will be found that overdependability of first language hampers the L2 acquisition, and it should be used only whennecessary.1
ContentsIntroduction....................................................................................................................................4Background....................................................................................................................................5Introduction of L1 In Second Language Acquisition..................................................................5Grammar-Translation Method.....................................................................................................7The Direct Method.......................................................................................................................8Communicative Language Teaching (CLT)................................................................................9Krashen’s Natural Approach.....................................................................................................10Assignment Structure..................................................................................................................11Discussion.....................................................................................................................................12Arguments against using L1 in L2 Acquisition.........................................................................12Teachers may not share the same L1 with students...............................................................12L1 may impede L2 learning...................................................................................................12To maximise student’s exposure to the target language........................................................13For classroom organisation and giving instructions..............................................................13Encouraging students to express themselves freely in the target language...........................13Arguments for using L1 in L2 Acquisition................................................................................14L1 can develop student’s confidence.....................................................................................14L1 strategies is easier and more natural.................................................................................15L1 functions as scaffolding....................................................................................................152
The use of L1 can be less-time consuming............................................................................16Ways of using L1 in a Saudi teaching context..........................................................................16Introduction of using L1 in the Saudi context.......................................................................16Status of L1/L2 in King Saud University..............................................................................17When L1 can be used inside the classroom...........................................................................17Saving time by quick translation...........................................................................................17Giving quick and clear instructions on tasks.........................................................................18L1 breaks where students can discuss areas of difficulty......................................................18Establishing code of conduct.................................................................................................18Developing useful teaching/learning strategies.........................................................................19Conclusion....................................................................................................................................19Bibliography.................................................................................................................................213
IntroductionFirst language is the language which is learnt by an individual before learning any otherlanguage (Owens, 2016). This language is also often termed as the L1 or the “arterial language”.This is the language to which an individual has been introduced at an early age or from the birthitself. The birth of an individual person is followed by the parents and relatives speaking to thatperson and inducting them to the native language in which they themselves speak (Menyuk,Liebergott & Schultz, 2014). This is the starting of L1 induction in that person. The secondlanguage (L2) is the language spoken by the individual as the second most used language otherthan the first language spoken (Larsen-Freeman & Long, 2014).There is a deep impact of the first language on process of learning a second language(Wang, 2014). Because a person develops the thinking in their first language, hence, whenlearning further languages, be it the second language or other consecutive foreign languages, firstlanguage will always play a vital role. The complexities of the new language are comprehendedand solved in the first language by the learner. In the case of teaching as well the teachers oftentake the help of the L1 in order to induct the students with the new language and its finer details.In most of the classes where English is taught as a foreign language it is suggested thatthe use of L1 must be avoided. Krashen in his monolingual theory has argued that the process oflearning the second language follows the same pattern as the acquisition of 1stlanguage.Languages follow a distinct system of development and the process should be kept independent(Krashen, 1981). However other studies have shown that there is a positive impact of L1 use inL2 learning and L1 can actually assist in the process (Copland & Yonetsugi, 2016).4
Saudi Arabia is one of the richest countries in the Middle East due to its oil resources(Dickson, 2015). The primary language spoken in the country is Arabic which is also the officiallanguage “mother tongue” for most of the people living here(Saudi Arabia Official Language,2018). Often there are problems faced by the English teachers or foreign language trainers forinducting and training candidates aspiring to learn new languages. This is because from earlychild hood, Saudis are accustomed in speaking in their L1 in all spheres of life and littleencouragement of learning foreign languages. Nonetheless, from observations and informal talkswith my students this is changing quite quickly, the Saudi government are introducing EFL moreand from as early as primary schools. The following paragraphs will delve deep into the role ofL1, in learning and acquiring foreign languages, this will be done with a focus of my context, apreparatory year programme (PYP) in Saudi Arabia.BackgroundIntroduction of L1 In Second Language AcquisitionThere are many ways how L1 affects the acquisition and learning of the second language.Behavioural theory is one of them which states that an individual shows natural behaviour andtendency in expressing in first language, this also focuses on the conditional roles. Anotherperspective is the cognitive theory that analyses how cognition, thinking and comprehending inthe first language shapes the way a person perceives and learns the second language (Ma, 2013).The existing habits of the L1 naturally and behaviorally conflicts or synchronizes with thelearning and acquisition of a new language. There are similarities in two languages and thesimilarities facilitate learning whereas the dissimilarities pose as a hurdle.The “nativist theory”5
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