Using L1 in Teaching Vocabulary to Low Proficiency Level Students: A Case of First Year Students, Department English, Faculty of Letters, National University

Latsanyphone Soulignavong, Bouangeune Souvannasy


Many English professionals do not seem to pay much attention to the use of L1 in English language classrooms, based on the tenets that English should be taught in English to expose the learners to English which would enhance their knowledge of English and accelerate their learning. While research findings have been inconsistent in relation to this position, the results of the present study found evidence to the contrary. Using 169 students of a low proficiency level, it was found that using learners’ mother tongue (L1) to teach English as a foreign language in Laos enhanced their retention of new vocabulary items both in isolation and in context. This is possibly due to clear definitions and explanations in L1, dictation quiz and translation exercises in the classroom. This would have implications for English professionals.

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Copyright (c) 2009 Latsanyphone Soulignavong, Bouangeune Souvannasy

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English Language Teaching       ISSN 1916-4742 (Print)   ISSN  1916-4750 (Online)

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