Thanks to the technological innovations and the rapid diversification in the demography of its speakers, English has emerged as a lingua franca for a multilingual community worldwide, while centennial myths like the use of the students’ native language (L1) in the EFL class have come under question with the increased interest in learner needs and learner autonomy. In this study, an exit survey consisting of three open-ended questions were given to 24 Turkish learners of English studying at the preparatory class (Dokuz Eylul University), after receiving contrastive grammar instruction for five weeks. During the form-focused instruction, the students were enabled to capitalize on the L1 concepts of modality as a resource for the restructuring of the target items with the help of the bilingual grammar activities. When their responses to the exit survey were subjected to descriptive analysis, the following results were obtained: the majority of the participants approved the use of the mother tongue during grammar instruction, as it not only facilitates and accelerates the learning process, but also results in a more meaningful, comprehensible and memorable kind of learning. They also indicated that native language use reduces their anxiety as well as promoting interest and confidence in their learning process.

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Learner autonomy, L1 use, crosslingual strategy.

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Number of pages: 120-132
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18033/ijla.126
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International Journal of Language Academy
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