Addressing one of the long-standing controversies in foreign language teaching: Young learners’ perceptions on the use of the mother tongue in EFL classrooms
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Original versioneduc@tional circle. 2018, 6 (3), 37-52.
Throughout the years, many studies grappled with the perennially pressing question about the integration of the mother tongue (MT) in the English as a foreign language (EFL) classroom. Few studies, however, ventured into identifying the student voice, as most investigated it from the teachers’ perspective. Analysing data from eight classes from four private language schools in Cyprus, this article attempts to close this gap by focusing on the way students feel about their own and their teachers’ use of the MT in the classroom.Participants acknowledged that they could not extricate themselves from its use with the majority highlighting the benefits derived from such practice. Despite the general favourable consensus prevailing, the participants also underlined the need for increasing their input in English without, however, bypassing MT use. The article concludes by strengthening the importance of conducting further studies, which would focus on the student perspective to optimize the learning experience.