Using Learners’ First Language in EFL Classrooms


Author: Eman Alshehri, King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia
Email: [email protected]
Published: April 28, 2017

Citation: Alsheri, E. (2017). Using Learners’ First Language in EFL Classrooms. IAFOR Journal of Language Learning, 3(1).


This study explores the attitudes of EFL teachers towards using learners’ first language (L1) in their classes. It also considers the frequency and functions of using L1 in EFL classes. A mixed-methods study using questionnaires and follow-up interviews was conducted to collect data from EFL teachers of the preparatory year at a state university in Saudi Arabia. Questionnaires were collected from 104 EFL teachers from countries such as the USA, India, and Pakistan. In addition, semi-structured interviews were carried out with five teachers to gain an in-depth understanding of their attitudes towards using L1 in EFL classes. The findings provide insight into teachers’ attitudes towards the use of L1. They also show that the EFL teachers use L1 to some extent to serve certain pedagogical functions, such as explaining vocabulary.


L1 use, EFL classrooms, teaching English