Teaching and Learning English-as-a-Second / Foreign Language through Mother Tongue: A Field Study

  •  Basel Al-Sheikh Hussein    


The underlying study aims to investigate and analyze the actual reasons, attitudes, and purposes behind the use of the mother tongue (Arabic) in teaching English-as-a-second language to Arab students attending English courses as a university compulsory requirement for the study of English language and literature at Jordanian private and government-aided universities. To achieve this goal, the researcher analyzed data he collected from classroom observation at three different private universities. In addition, the writer analyzes results of responses to questionnaires distributed to 120 students and 12 teachers learning and teaching English at three universities – 40 students and 4 teachers from each university.The results obtained show that almost all the respondents expressed the need for the use of Arabic in the English classroom because, according to them, it helps students understand the meaning of new or difficult words, explain complex syntactic rules, and save time. The study also shows that not allowing students to use their mother tongue will result in prohibiting them to have some opportunities to learn English better.

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