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ERIC Number: ED442312
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Pages: 6
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Native Language in the Beginning Adult ESL Classroom: To Use or Not To Use.
Florez, MaryAnn Cunningham
This very brief paper discusses whether and how to use the learners' native language in the English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) classroom in the event that the instructor and all the students share the same language (Spanish in this case). The pedagogic disadvantages for ESL learners of being allowed to fall back on the native language are discussed. Several decisions regarding the uses of the learners' native language in class are highlighted. First, it was decided that use of Spanish by the instructor should be limited to classroom community building (exchanges that helped establish trust, congeniality, comfort in taking risks); affective support (discussions of difficulties, fears, confusion, victories); and discussion of fine or abstract points related to language and culture. These are areas that are very important to the language learning process and that beginning level learners often have great interest in or need but have limited linguistic ability to address. On the issue of translating words or phrases, Spanish use was limited to providing context, clues, or prompts rather than direct translations. Next, regular observation and evaluation of Spanish use in the classroom was undertaken, leading to regular revision as the learners' English knowledge increased. Finally, the instructor talked directly to the learners about the use of Spanish in the class. It is concluded that this policy resulted in mostly positive experiences for the learners and the instructor. (Adjunct ERIC Clearinghouse for ESL Literacy Education) (KFT)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A