USING THE MOTHER TONGUE IN ENGLISH LESSONS 2
Using the target language in the class is important when we try to make the students feel the language.
By Nevin Ulusoy
Using the target language in the class is important when we try to make the students feel the language. This is just like going to the country in which this language is spoken. You are suddenly in the middle of the language and as you do not understand anything and the beginning, you are shocked. When you are sure that nobody will give you explanations in your mother tongue, you try to understand what is being spoken as hard as you can. As you try, you see that you understand bits and pieces and it is enough for a beginning. You do not think of your mother tongue, you learn the language as it is.
“In the following stages, when students learn more, some comparisons may be made between the two languages to make them comprehend it better or just for fun,seeing how different or how similar they are.”
In the class, the language is given in an order, so the students can follow it, even if they do not understand it much at the beginning. They see that they can use it when they do pair-works and group works. If we give them some real situations, they will see it better. They may imagine that they are in London and try to meet somebody in a cafe. This will be enjoyable and even if they talk about very simple things, they will trust themselves. Our using English all the time make them do the same thing and they are more motivated. This happened to me when I went to a French course a few years ago. Nobody was able to speak French in the class and the teacher spoke French all the time. We did not understand anything at the beginning, but at the end of the lesson, we were able to ask and say what our names are and some simple things. It was not like a lesson at all and we liked it very much.
In the following stages, when students learn more, some comparisons may be made between the two languages to make them comprehend it better or just for fun,seeing how different or how similar they are. But we must do it very rarely. We may allow students to use their mother tongue while they are preparing themselves for a pair-work or group work, but we must tell them not to do it much and we believe that they can prepare themselves better without speaking their mother tongue.