Perceptions of Non-native EFL Teachers’ on L1 Use in L2 Classrooms: Implications for Language Program Development

  •  Emre Debreli    


The study of L1 (first language) use in L2 (second language) classrooms has long received attention in the literature. Despite the considerable amount of research that has been conducted on the phenomenon, the focus has often been on the advantages and disadvantages. Considerably, less research has been conducted regarding the non-native L2 teachers’ perceptions of when L1 use is required. More importantly, there has been little research on the limitations faced by non-native EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers because of the strong English-only policies they have to follow. The present study explored the perceptions of non-native EFL teachers’ towards the existing English-only policies in their institutions. The teachers’ perceptions of when L1 should or should not be used in L2 classrooms were also of interest. Fifty-four non-native teachers of EFL from English preparatory schools of four universities in Northern Cyprus participated in the study. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews. Analysis of the data indicated that all of the participating teachers were inclined to use L1 in their L2 classrooms for a variety of reasons. Further, it is found that teachers were affected negatively and were restricted in certain issues as a result of having to follow strict English-only policies at their institutions. Implications for program development are discussed here.

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