TEACHERS’ PERCEPTIONS ON USING FIRST LANGUAGE IN NORTHERN CYPRUS EFL CLASSROOMS
The use of the first language (L1) in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classes has been a controversial topic in the field. There are several approaches towards using L1 in EFL classrooms; While some teachers claim that L1 should not be used, others think that it has an important role in facilitating EFL learning. The present study aimed at investigating EFL teachers’ perceptions about using L1 and the cases in which they do so in the context of state schools in northern Cyprus. In addition, possible differences in their perceptions and practices based on age, gender, first language, level of education, place of graduation, faculty of graduation, years of teaching experience and grade level taught were analyzed. In total, 170 EFL teachers participated in the study, where a researcher-made questionnaire was employed to collect data about their perceptions. Data were analyzed quantitatively through descriptive statistics and parametric inferential tests were also run to identify possible differences based on the given categories. The results showed that the majority of the teachers had a neutral approach towards using L1 in EFL classrooms; they preferred to use L1 when there was a need. The results also revealed that while there is no difference in their perceptions regarding using L1 in the classroom based on gender, several differences were identified in terms of years of teaching experience, year group taught, level of education, school of graduation and first language.
Keywords: use of first language, L1, English as a foreign language, teachers’ perceptions, mother tongue use in EFL
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