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Teachers attitudes towards use


of L1 in Kazakhstani University classroom.

BY

Pokhlebayeva Natalya Nickolayevna

THESIS

Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts
in Teaching English for Speakers of Other Languages from KIMEP Universitys Language
Center, 2016

Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Masters examining Committee:
Position Name, Thesis Co Supervisor: Maganat Shegebayev, DBA
Position Name, Thesis Co-Supervisor: Sara Osman
Position name, Examiner: Dr. Smagulova

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Dedicated in great gratefulness to


Memory of my grandmother
Lubov Tretyakova
For
Educating all four grandaughters
n the wonderful KIMEP University,
Being great grandmother,educator and one of the best teachers
She gave us a wonderful gift of being educated

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Acknowledgement

I acknowledge the colleagues and professors whose support and advice helped me
in the project: Dr. Smagulova and Dr Elise Ahn .I also especially thankful to my
supervisors who directed my project: Dr. Maganat Shegebayev and Sara Osman. I would
like to acknowledge the participation of 56 teachers of Almaty due to whom I could receive
data.
I am thankful to all professors and teachers of KIMEP University who taught me
during the last three years. Also I am extremely thankful and indebted to all managers and
administrators who managed the LC and KIMEP to create such a wonderful program. I
hope the program will receive further development in Kazakhstan.
I was able to do the program and write the thesis due to dear in my life people: my
mother, Pokhlebayeva Lyudmila . I am grateful to my grandmother, Tretyakova Lubov,
who I remember as a wonderful granny and teacher in my life and due to whom this project
financially could be done. My father, who is not with us either, Pokhlebayev Nickolay,
who taught me a great deal in this life. Because of his endeavors the project was possible.
Personally I am grateful to my dear relatives for their support, especially my aunt
Nadezhda.

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Abstract
The use of L1 in the classroom is debated all over the world in scholarly circles.
There is a question whether L1 should or should not be used and to what extent L1 should
be used to make communication easier. Many schools still support the notion that teaching
English should be through L1 while some schools support the concept that English should
be taught through the immersion method using English exclusively. The study is focused
on investigating attitudes of university teachers towards the use of L1 in foreign classes.
The research question is the following: What attitudes University teachers have in
Kazakhstan in foreign language classroom? The project has been conducted in several
universities in Almaty, Kazakhstan, to understand the attitudes of the Kazakhstani
University teachers of foreign languages towards the use of L1. Two universities were
investigated, APU and APLU in which APU has an American thought towards the use of
L1 and APLU follows the Post Soviet model. The finding of the thesis that the attitudes
towards the first language in the classroom depends on the school and its philosophical
thought where APU have a negative trend towards the use of L1 and APLU have a positive
trend to the use of L1.

Definition of terms
L1

First language

L2

Second language

FL

Foreign language

NEST

Native English-speaking teachers

NNEST Non-native English speaking teachers


APU

Almaty Private University

APLU

Almaty Public University

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Acknowledgement. III
Abstract.. IV
Definition of terms. .V
Introduction...1
I. Literature review 2
1. Historical view of the problem 3
A. Berilitz method. 5
B. Monolingual approach...5
C. Support to bilingual approach5
2. The role of L1 in teaching methodology..5
A. Suggestopedia..6
B. Direct and Audio-Lingual method. .6
C. Community Language Learning..6
D. Total Physical Response..6
E. CLT..6
F. Grammar-Translation Method.6
G. Silent way7
3. Instances of L1 use..8
4. L1 as a tool.10
5. Potential conditions for the First Language Use.10
6. L1 is psychological tool10
7. L1 application in language sub-skills and activities...10
8. Overuse of L1.11
9. Functions of L1 use in the classroom.12
10. NEST and NNEST12
11. The current case of L1 use in ELT...12

VII

12. L1 from sociocultural perspective12


13. Chinese study.14
II. Methods and Research Instrument..16
1. Theoretical framework..18
2. Project design18
3. Participants20
4. Limitations20
III. Results and analysis21
1. The age..21
2. The gender21
3. The position of respondents..22
4. The language of the teaching22
5. L1 in class management23
6. L1 helps in explanation of words..23
7. The L1 helps in explanation of the grammar24
8. Asking questions in L1.24
9. Organizing students in L1.25
10. Explaining aspects of FL using L125
11. L1 supports in translating words and expressions.25
12. L1 use in checking comprehension...25
13. L1 is helping in praising the students26
14. L1 is a good source of establishing rapport in L1.27
15. How many percent of the first language do you use in the lesson27
16. Data shows that the more use of FL the more efficient is acquisition of the
FL..27
17. There are two approaches in a practice of teaching using only FL or support

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with the L1. What other alternatives would you suggest28


IV. Results (Part 2)
1. L1 use in management of the class in APU and APLU30
2. L1 helps in explanation of words and expression meaning in APU and
APLU31
3. L 1helps in explanation of grammar in APU and APLU..32
4. L1 use in asking questions in APU and APLU.33
5. L1 use in organizing activities of the students in APU and APLU..34
6. L1 use in explaining aspects of FL in APU and APLU35
7. L1 use in translating words and expressions in APU and APLU.36
8. L1 use in checking comprehension of the students in APU and APLU42
9. L1 use for learning strategy in APU and APLU39
10. L1 use is a good source of the rapport in APU and APLU41
V. Analysis...45
VI. Conclusion..47
VII. Implications...47

Teachers Attitudes towards the Use of L1 in Kazakhstani Classroom


Introduction.
The issue of how a language should to be taught brought a vast number of scholars
to see it from different perspectives: psycholinguistics, pedagogy, education, and politics.
Beginning from the nineteenth century, the scholars proposed that the language has to be
taught monolingually without student and a teachers mother tongue. There is the notion
that everything that happens in the class should be spoken in the language that is taught,
and students should be prohibited from using the language they know. Because the idea
became prevalent in the late nineteenth century, it became popular in the 20th century.
Taking into account that learning the language is an activity on the international level it is
important to mention that literature doesn't show what happens in different nooks of the
world. In some places where the theories are not being accepted, the fashion is just not
reaching the place. Though the main literature is on the side of the monolingual teaching in
some educational contexts, teachers and students use of their own language stays the norm
(Cook, 2012). It is interesting to examine how Kazakhstani teachers of foreign language
refer to the question of the use of L1 in the classroom.

Literature Review
The question for the study is the following: What are attitudes to the use L1 in
Kazakhstani university classrooms?
The role of the L1 in foreign language classroom is a controversial issue, and there
are so many debates on the topic. Scholars raised the voice to use L1 as it can positively
affect L2 performance recently. However, some researchers tend to believe that only L2 use
in the foreign classroom can be a real asset towards enhancing the teaching of L2
classroom. The view of using L2 exclusively in the foreign classroom is supported by
Krashen hypothesis of comprehensive input.
In 1970, Krashen proposed The Comprehensible Input Hypothesis, which is based
on broad educational work with learners of English in schools of California. According to
Krashen's hypothesis, the language can be acquired with extensive input of the language
data. Linguistic data have to be above the learner's current level. It was termed by Krashen
i+1.Learners can intake comprehensible input only through listening to oral data or reading
written texts that they encounter outside in the form of the street signs, personal letters,
books, etc. When learners understand the messages for meaning, grammar learning will
occur in a natural way. One can notice that although input is necessary, it is not enough
(Ortega, 2009).
The scholars who propose that the use of L1 in foreign language classroom is very
important have their arguments. They think that the role of L1 use is of great importance in
teaching methodology (Nazify, 2008). Larsen -Freeman thought that using L1 is
advantageous in EFL contexts and showed that L1 has an important role in almost all
teaching methods (Larsen-Freeman,2000).
Other scholars that advocate for L1 in teaching determined that L1 serves the
important role in functions of SLA. Especially L1 can increase awareness about similar and
different features of the language (Shweers, 1999). Auerbach proposes the idea that L1

brings confidence to the students (Auerbach, 1999).


1. Historical view of the problem.
L1 and L2 use looking from the historical perspective reveals changes in the history
(Auerbach, 1999). Two hundred years ago bilingual education was normal as the students
learned with translation methods. The use of L1 in foreign class was ubiquitous and
accepted focusing only on writing rather than on speaking. In the 19th century, there was a
shift towards speaking lessons. The 20th century opened a door for Monolingual approach.
The migration from Europe to America made educators focus from a grammar- translation
method in small groups and bigger classes in which characteristics were mixed L1.
Teachers could not rely on old methods and the way to better teaching was using L2.
The only English classroom brought an exclusion of the student's L1. The idea of
using L1 and L2 together was seen as something improper (Philipson, 1992, as cited in
Miles, 2004). Further, the fact that L1 was not used was because teachers were
monolingual. They had no opportunity to speak in L1 to each student. On one hand, the
teacher using L2 only in the classroom could control the class and would be strong in his
position. On the other hand, using L1 in the classroom teachers would undermine the
teachers positions because the students are much better speakers than teachers are.
A. Berlitz method.
So to find an origin of monolingual use it is needed to look for the source for this
dogmatical use of one foreign language is the work of Berlitz. The Jewish immigrant
himself already spoke several languages, and it happened that he employed Nicholas Joly to
teach in French class instead of him. Berlitz always communicated in French and didn't
realize Nicholas did not speak any English. Nicholas didn't use usual teaching methods to
explain the French language to Americans. He made his meaning through gestures,
expression of face and pictures. Berlitz was astonished that students not only appreciated
the work of Nickolas but made a good progress. This made Berlitz develop Berlitzs

method that excludes the use of the native language of the students and tries to simulate the
situations that happen in the real life. Berlitz organized schools that became popular and
spread in the US and on the international level. Berlitz schools became a model for other
academic institutions, and the idea received wide acceptance. The goal of the method is not
to prepare translators and interpreters like in Grammar-translation method but to prepare
students to communicate in the monolingual environment (Cook, 2012). The latter was the
origin of monolingual approach. It is interesting to enlighten the rules that support only
English use.
There was a report of Makara in 1961 which made the idea of using only English
universal. There were five basic rules in the report:
1. English has to be taught in a monolingual classroom
2. The ideal teacher for English classroom should be a native speaker
3. The earlier the instruction begins, the better
4. If various languages are used during the class, English standards will be
diminished. (Phillipson, 1992, as cited in Miles, 2004).
5. The more English is used in the class the better the acquisition.
By 1970, these five rules were incorporated into the communicative approach that
became dominant in the language teaching
Communicative researchers thought that the use of L2 was the medium of teaching,
but many scholars believed that L1 use interfered with L2 learning and brought "error
transference"(Pacek, 2003, as cited in Miles, 2004) preventing the acquisition. The errors
would form new direction in SLA, which is known as Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis
(Brown, 1994, as cited in Miles, 2004).
It was believed that errors in L2 learning could be predetermined by contrasting and
comparing L2 with L1. Some researchers even thought that L2 was acquired in the same
way as the L1, which in turn approved the idea of using the target language to magnify

exposure to it and learning as a consequence.


Nowadays the English-only policy is changing, and some researchers and teachers
support bilingual approach to teaching which would integrate the student's L1 as a learning
tool. Other scholars insist on the use of L1 in the classroom as a necessary tool (Schweers,
1999). Many methods and techniques can be applied to teaching, but if teachers exclude L1
from instruction we lose number of methods available to teachers (Miles, 2004)
B. Monolingual approach support.
There are three statements that support the Monolingual Approach.
1.Through maximum of exposure to the L2, the learning of an L2 should be formed
by example of the learning of L1.
1.Successful learning includes the differentiation between L1 and L2
2.Students have to be shown the importance of the L2 continually using L2 (Cook,
2012, as cited in Miles). These are basic principles of monolingual approach
C. Support to bilingual approach.
There is a strong proof that L1 is popular and students have preferred teachers who
understand L1 well (Briggs, 2001, as cited in Miles,2004). A study by the scholar found
that 88.7% of Spanish students who study English wanted to use L1 because it makes easier
learning (Shweers, 1991).
However, Harbord (1992) proposed three reasons for using L1 in the classroom that
are easier communication, facilitating teacher-student relationships and the importance of
conveying the meaning and organizing the class. Also, Harbord concludes that L1 saves
time and efforts not to be confused during teaching (Harbord, 1992 as cited in Miles, 2004).
2. The role of L1 in teaching methodology.
A very brief description of the L1 role in EFL context is given in Larsen-Freeman
(2000). She advocates the role of the L1 in the classroom and summarizes the role of L1 in
different ELT methods

A. Suggestopedia.

L1 translation is used to make the


meaning of the dialogue clear. In the
beginning, the teacher uses a lot of L1 but
then it diminishes with time.

B. Direct and Audio-lingual


method.

The native language of learners is better


not to be used because it would obstruct
the students efforts to master the L2

C . Community Language
Learning.

The native language of learners is better


not to be used because it would obstruct
the students efforts to master the L2

D. Total Physical Response

This method is employed in the


L1.Meaning is made clear by various body
movements

E. CLT

(Communicative

Language Teaching).

CLT comes from the functional


approach" and employs high-level of
student participation in various activities.
The aim is to help the learner to produce
the target language as much as possible so
this method is based on the use of L2.
(Vyas, 2009)

F.

Grammar-translation method.

The essence of the method is that the target


language is made understood by translating

it into the native language of the students.


The language that is used in the classroom
is mostly student's native language
Silent way.

The directions could be given in L1


when it is necessary. The L1 is used to give
feedback.

As the examples show the students' L1 has a variety of functions in almost all
methods excluding the Direct Method and Audiolingualism, CLT.
3. Instances of L1 use
Students used the L1 in the foreign language classroom especially when the teacher
explained grammar, determined the vocabulary, explained reading and delivered
instructions. Students' answers in this study showed the importance of the L1 use in
teaching pronunciation, writing and interacting in the not formal way. Teachers were asked
when they use L1. They reported the use of L1 mainly to define vocabulary and advise
students about foreign language aspects, translate certain words, and cite difficulties in
exercises for students.
In the study, Tsagari presented factors that influence L1 use in the L2 classroom.
Teachers' interviews showed that their use of L1 greatly affects the students' L2 skills and
level of students. Students assessed the amount of L1 their teachers use. The most striking
observation was that amount of teachers' L1 use was around 81-100% of the time.81%100% of the time was used to communicate with students informally while 38.5% of
students say that teachers use the same amount of L1 to instruct for tests and
assignments.58.3% of the students reported that teachers use L1 about 81-100% for
disciplining measures. Correlation statistics showed that the use of L1 depends on student's
age. Teachers noticed that the younger students use L1 more than older students. Teachers

reduce the amount of L1 if they work with older students.


The only English exclusiveness was the result of the drastic decrease in popularity
of the Grammar-Translation Method, which allowed teachers to use L1. Another method
that became very popular is called Direct Method which employs the use of L2. Many
scholars tend to favor a certain amount of the L1 which can be a good pedagogical
instrument.
The study of Kayaoglu is aimed to explore teacher's perspectives and practices in
the use of L1 in FL classroom. The result was that 91% of the participants agreed on the
use of the Turkish and 68 % of the teachers reported to use Turkish only sometimes. All
teachers in the sample of the study think that the use of mother tongue facilitates foreign
language teaching. (Kayoglu, 2012).
4. L1 as a tool.
The L1 that is seen as a tool can be seen as an instrument to reduce affective filters.
It can be done through comprehension and also the processes that take place in the class.
Despite the fact that the subject is studied in the class, it can be a place where students
could feel uncomfortable. It certainly takes time to get used to new faces, classroom
surroundings, and educational approaches. The 5th hypothesis of Krashen's Monitor Model
(Lightbown and Spada, 1999, as cited in Meyers) which is called the affective filters
hypothesis states that students would filter or block the L2 if they are angry or not content
and the process of teaching is boring. Learning stops when it happens. This would not have
the immediate reaction but could have negative consequences in the future. To avoid this
situation, it is important that students understand what is going on in the class from two
points of view, administrative and pedagogical. Therefore, an understanding of the class
helps to lower affective filters (Meyers, 2008).
The use of L1 could help students in the learning. It is not a factor that interferes but
is a facilitating tool. Moreover, if the instructors know both L1 and L2 they can show the

difference between the languages and compare two languages (Nation, 2001).
Tasks that carry focused meaning have a great cognitive load. Not only should
students focus on what to say but to focus how to say it. Some scholars propose that
discussing a task in the first language has positive effects before they complete the task.
That is to say, students have an opportunity to comprehend fully the content of the task
through the L1. The discussion in the first language has some interesting features: learners
are very active in understanding and playing with the ideas, it includes quite a lot of L2
vocabulary that in turn would be used later in any task. Therefore, a discussion in L1
supported not only the learner in understanding the content but helped him or her to grip
necessary L2 vocabulary in this supportive L1 context. So as we can see there is a very
useful role using L1 to improve performance to higher levels. A small amount of L1 could
facilitate understanding of a complicated L2 context. There are different ways to express
the meaning of unknown vocabulary. This can include pictures, diagrams, and real objects.
But in fact, the most effective way is the L1 translation. The use of L1 translation and cards
bring a great effectiveness in learning vocabulary quickly (Nation, 2001).
L1 needs to be used as a useful tool but should not be overused. Certainly L1 can be
a harmful or useful tool that depends on the objectives, type of language, methods used in
the classroom (Wechsler, 1997).
Schweers investigated the use of L1, which was Spanish and L2 that was English in
the classroom. In the study, teachers felt that L1 should sometimes be used while some
student thought it should not be so. Schweers showed that students and teachers desired to
have more use of L1 to make lessons more comprehendible in the area of the vocabulary
and difficult aspects of the language. Schweers reported that students feel more
comfortable and far more confident with the use of L1 in the classrooms. However,
students and teachers think that L1 doesn't facilitate small group work activities. (Schweers,
1999)

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It is understandable that low-level students or students with lower age should be


taught with L1 as the primary language of the instruction. The important issue is that with
the decreasing proficiency should appear emotional support. Especially beginner students
should rely on L1 because of lack of knowledge of the L2. Carson and Kashihara studies
showed that the quickest way for students to improve L2 is to have a connection between
L1 and L2. In this way; teachers could help students to give a comparison of linguistic
rules between L1 and L2. The teachers can teach new vocabulary and check
comprehension presenting students comparative aspects of two languages. Teachers could
help students using L1 to prepare them to tests in the beginner and intermediate stage. The
L1 should not appear in the tests. To increase the production of the L2 teachers need to
increase L1 use among students especially working with old or new materials.
The situation would be perfect if the instructors who are proficient in Japanese as in
the study of Carson and Kashihara instruct lower-level students. Similarly, instructors who
are very proficient in English, for example, should work with students of the upperintermediate and advanced stage. Carson and Kashihara propose that students need to be
exposed to the L2 first and only then L1 can help when L2 examples cannot facilitate
confusion. L1 should not be punished in any way, but the use of L2 should be encouraged
as much as possible (Carson,2012)
The study of Gillian Wigglesworth investigates the role of the L1 in second
language acquisition. It is a very applicable issue in many Asian countries where most of all
teachers are non-natives who speak the L1 with the students. The use of L1 can contribute
to students learning using interactive language learning tasks and activities (Wigglesworth,
2002).
5. Potential conditions for the First Language Use.
It has been studied in Australia the use of that L1 can be a benefit for low-level
beginner learners. The first language is profitable to explain vocabulary, explain aims of the

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lesson and assess the degrees to which student comprehends the class. Wechsler (1997)
suggests employing L1 for brainstorming (1997), to develop clarity in thinking.
The L1 is a cognitive bridge to the L2. Studies showed that in communication
between students first language would be used anyway. However, as Harbord (1992)
proposes, that L1 use would be more confident if students compare and discuss the work
they do. Especially, with students of low levels, it could help to show and let students
comprehend the aspects of the second language.
6. L1 is a psychological tool
Scholars propose that it is also a psychological tool that gives a social space in
which students provide themselves with help through the task. Swain and Lapin (2000)
found that the use of L1 in grammar-focused tasks in immersion classes have a great
importance in an acquisition of the language. L1 is also helpful with teacher-students
interaction and peer interaction. It is proved that students may use L1 to have scaffolded
assistance. Scaffolded assistance serves many functions such as maintaining interest in the
task and discussing specific problems that can be addressed by creating solutions through
the task. It can be said that particularly with difficult tasks the L1 use can contribute to the
ability to compete for the task and the L2 acquisition through activities. "The danger of
using the first language in the classroom is that it will take over the classroom, and
advantage of using English communicatively in the classroom context will be lost. The
danger of not using the first language in the classroom context is that it wastes a valuable
and useful resource." (Wigglesworth, 2002)
7. L1 application in language sub-skills and activities.
A student's L1 plays a significant role in teaching language skills and sub skills in
activities of the classroom. L1 has an enormous range of functions such as explaining
vocabulary, giving instructions, explaining language rules, reprimanding students and
having individual talks with students. In learning of the language, a proficient learner is

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that learner who is proficient in all four language skills and sub skills. For example, Nutgall
(1996) values the importance of L1 in training reading based skills to use the library,
discussing of the worksheets and reading summary tests. The scholars conclude that the
use of translation, when student take notes, is a good strategy if the purpose to comprehend
and keep material for future readings before the test. Scholars find significant improvement
in writing when students use L1 to brainstorm and generate ideas for the writing in L2.
Nazary stresses that when teacher discusses with students English knowledge subskills such
as pronunciation and vocabulary in L1, such a strategy is very effective. For instance,
learning new vocabulary by making word cards with the definition in L1 will boost the
student's vocabulary progress (Nazary, 2008).
8. Overuse of L1
Some scholars argue for the use of L1 while some researchers pay attention not to
overuse it. Teachers should create the atmosphere of learning without relying on L1,
because overuse of L1 can create laziness among students and lack of use of the L2 to focus
on the target language. (Atkinson,1987, as cited in Miles). A unique finding is that
principal users of L1 in the classroom are often teachers but not the students themselves
(Chaudron, 1988, as cited in Miles). In conclusion, scholars found the proof for the
practice of English is not conclusive and not good for pedagogical reasons (Auerbach,
1993). In fact, it can be even harmful to the students and the process of language
acquisition (Chaudron, 1994, as cited in Miles). The findings show that the use of L1 can
be efficient and necessary in certain situations (Auerbach, 1993, as cited in Miles, 2004).
9. Functions of L1 use in the classroom.
Many scholars see beneficial points of the presence of L1. Some of them will
surely agree that most advantageous use of L1 is critical to reaching higher proficiency.
Duff and Polio (1990) studied instructor's linguistic practice at the college level. The
factors that were determining different amounts of L1 and L2 were the origin of the

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language, content of the lesson, policy of the institution, and lack of pedagogical training.
Moreover, there is the fact that the number of years of teaching experience does not make
a difference in the amount of L1 and L2 use. Teacher's proficiency does not influence the
amount of L1 and L2 use in the lesson. For example, one non-native teacher used about
95.6% of the L2 while one native teacher used only 9.5% of the L2 (Grim, 2010).
10. NEST and NNEST.
This issue divides teachers and learners all over the world. The scholars suggest that
there are some tensions between teachers who are employed in curricula, Native English
Speaking Teachers (NESTs) and Non Native English Speaking Teachers (NNEST).
NEST tend to have a belief that using English helps to better instruction in L1. But Korean
teachers (NNESTs) have a tendency to use much Korean and depend on the grammartranslation method. The research of Yuri Kim has a target to investigate students and
teachers attitudes to the use of L1.
Some researchers, specifically Selinker, propose that too much reliance on the L1
results in fossilization of an interlanguage (1992, cited in Weschler 1997).
In the research study of ESP learners in Lithuania in 2002, it was found that 86% of
the teachers and 83 % of the students suppose that L1 helps to learn a foreign language. At
the same time, Tang reported 91% prefer the use of L1 in the class. Tang also propose of
that that L1 doesnt reduce students exposure to English, but rather facilitates teaching and
learning process
There is a division between two kinds of the teachers. NESTs avoiding L1 use in the
classroom and sometimes it influences classroom management. NNESTs realize the
importance of the use of both languages, L1 and L2. Although some teachers use
excessively L1 because of the lack of confidence in L2. Scholars see that L1 provides a
comfortable environment that emotionally supports beginners and intermediate students.
Students are more motivated to learn L2 when they are supported with facilitating L1

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Gardner and Lambert, (1972, 1989) showed that early motivation and support can bring
students to successful learning.
The other research examines the attitudes of L1 use in secondary minority school in
different proficiency levels and macro skills. It is found that L1 plays an important role in
the language classroom, and it is necessary in early stages. The research shows that
cooperation between NEST and NNESTs is needed. The research shows that L1 use can be
profitable for beginners level and for reading tasks. As the scholar proposes in her study,
English only policy is useful in the upper levels where English is more used by the
students. If NEST and NNEST work together, it will be effective for students teaching
(Kim, 2009).
11. The current case of L1 uses in ELT.
Although some linguists such as Chaudron, Krashen, McDonald strongly support
the use of target language in the classroom for comprehensible input, according to the study
of Cook (1979) the learning of target language is not merely the acquisition of syntax and
vocabulary; it is also connected to environment, linguistics and emotions. In this way not
exposing students to L1 will diminish their cognitive level.
Auerbach (1993) proposed the idea that forcing people to use an L2 violates human
rights stating that the use of L2 in the classroom is the main example of Furloughs notion
of ideological control. This point of view is of great interest because the idea is to use L2
implicitly forcing people to use the target language. The aim of this idea is to break ties
with his or her native language and its culture. The purpose of quoting this view is not to
attack L2 but to give an analysis the case in all aspects (Yavuz, 2012).
12. L1 from a sociocultural perspective
L1 gives a way for learners to work efficiently in the zone of proximal development
(ZPD). Scaffolding is important teaching strategy that has an origin in Vygotskys
sociocultural theory . In the study of Carless (2008) L1 has a scaffolding role to support

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students' language learning. So the L1 has a role to supply scaffolding to lower affective
filters creating a comprehensible environment for learners (Meyer, 2008 as cited in Sali,
2012).
The study of Pinar Sali tried to encourage the use of L1 in the classroom in Turkish
EFL. Sali investigated EFL teacher's attitudes on the use of L1. The study showed that in
Turkish EFL classes the Turkish language has multiple functions making easier classroom
interaction. For example, teachers transit from L2 to L1 for academic and class
management purposes or interaction in the class with learners. The most prominent
function is to explain English grammar to provide comprehension. This is due to the way
of teaching foreign language in Turkey which is done through the grammar. When learner
had difficulty to say a sentence in L2 teacher and learners switched to Turkish. Giving
instruction was also one of the primary functions in Turkish classrooms (Sali, 2012).
Manara reports the teacher's and student's opinions on the use of L1 in the
classroom. The results show that both teachers and students desire the maximum use of the
English. The majority of the teachers understand it in a way that communication in class
should be in English. About 88% of teachers agreed with the statement that students should
use English all the time. 88% agreed that students should use English with peers all the
time. 58% of the teachers agreed that English should be the means of instruction in the
classroom. The answers showed that teachers tend to accept monolingual teaching
approach, but there is still desire for the use of L1 in activities. Students were different in
answers: the majority of the students 80% agreed or strongly agreed that they should use
English most of the time. The students understand that it is necessary for teachers to use
English all the time in spite of knowledge of the students of the mother tongue. Students
wish to have more exposure to target language by listening to English and speaking to
teachers. Seemingly students are of the opinion that it is the teacher's job to support
students with a large amount of English in class. Some teachers, about 51 %, agreed that

16

the mother tongue inhibits the process of learning of the second language. Although the
rest of the teachers believed that use of mother tongue is important. Students showed
contrastive results. They agreed that L1 prevents the improving of L2. 82 % of the teacher
and students agreed that comparison of L1 and L2 helps to learn. This study indicates that
the Indonesian sample avoids dependency on the mother tongue. 61% of the students
agreed that if the teacher uses the L1, the students would expect the teachers to explain
something in the mother tongue. It concludes that in this Indonesian study both teachers
and students agree to use English as much as possible, but it doesn't mean that L1 should be
excluded from the classroom (Makara, 2007).
As mentioned by the teacher, an only English policy could serve as a tool for
recruitment initially made to attract more highly proficient students (White, 2001, as cited
in McMillan). However, program policy should have an objective to serve all students
enrolled in the programs (McMillan, 2011).
Lai Ping Florence found in her study that group of adults had preferred bilingual
class in spite of their relative proficiency level in class. Using L1 in English instruction is
considered of great importance for the participants. The reason to study in this class was
both pedagogical and cognitive with a stress on pedagogy. The learners were adults but at
a lower level. Certainly they had problems to tackle with only English class. With a
bilingual teacher who could deliver instructions in both languages, they could comprehend
the lessons with ease. They could communicate with the teacher, ask when it is necessary
for L1, and give responses in L1 when there was a difficulty in answering the question.
This shows that L1 is a linguistic "scaffold" which helps to accomplish activities. Using L1
supports students with cognitive benefits of learning abstract vocabulary. The bilingual
class can contribute a lot to the students learning (La Ping Florence, 2015).
13. Chinese study.
The study of Song enlightens understanding of teacher beliefs in Chinese context

17

about a use of L1 from several aspects. In his study, there was a slight tendency of teachers
to disagree with a use of L1. However, most teachers had almost neutral attitudes. This fact
shows that the group of teachers does not see the influence of L2 as negative in their
teaching. They could recognize the positive and negative influence of L1. There was a
diversity of attitudes: from pro L1 to anti-L1, which differed in rationales among
individual teachers (Song, 2009). There are many debates for the use of L1 and against as
it could be seen from a review of the literature. In conclusion, it is necessary to write that
all articles that were used for review are mostly from ESL context but the purpose of the
study is to investigate the use of L1 in Kazakhstani Universities in any foreign class. It is
necessary to mention that by L1 are meant two main languages in Kazakhstan, Kazakh and
Russian, though the population in Kazakhstan is growing and there are more and more
diverse first languages in our country. Therefore, the study has limitations in the sense that
L1 for the students in our country could be different from Kazakh and Russian.

18

Methods and Research instrument.


1.Theoretical framework.
The debates whether foreign language classroom should include or exclude the learners
L1 has been a controversial issue for a quite a long time (Miles, 2004).
If we take example English as Foreign Language, those people who support Englishonly policy have founded their claims in a theory of comprehensible input of Krashen, whose
idea is that learning is defined by the quantity of language to which are students exposed.
There is another side of scholars who think that it is better to use L1 for linguistic, cognitive,
emotional, and pedagogical benefits. In the study, I would like to make an attempt at
investigating attitudes of Kazakhstani teachers to the use of L1 in foreign language classes.
2. Project design.
The purpose of the study is to conduct research in finding out attitudes of teachers in
the use of L1 in the foreign classroom. The objectives of the Methodology section are
following: first I will describe research methodology of the study, then explain the choice of
the sample and finally describe the instrument.
I decided to use a survey for my study. In employing the research, I have taken certain
steps like defining purposes, identifying target population, defining the sample, creating survey
instruments, designing procedures that are needed to take to do a survey and identifying how
the data would be collected. Research with qualitative and quantitative elements was used. The
questions items of the survey were both closed and open-ended.
Questionnaire items can be closed or open-ended. A closed question is an item in which
the range of possible answers can be defined by the researcher. An open -ended question is the
item in which the people who answer questionnaire could choose what to say and the way
something is said. My questionnaire items consist of closed questions and open- ended
questions. The survey was conducted in Russian as some teachers of foreign languages don't
know English well enough to understand the content. I used positive sentences measured by

19

Likert scale. It is important not to reveal the attitude of the researcher in the questionnaire
(Nunan, 1992).
Due to open-ended questions, I could receive qualitative data for my study. Qualitative
research is suitable in the field of language teaching and understanding patterns and purpose
in our behavior (Richards, 2003). The quantative research was also needed for the study. There
is no way to directly measure attitudes to L1 in foreign classes but so I divided my survey into
two parts quantitative and qualitative. I created categories to be able to quantitatively measure
the attitude of teachers whether L1 is comfortable in a management of the group, whether L1
helps to explain the meaning of words, whether L1 is comfortable to use in teaching grammar,
etc. used the Likert scale to show a percentage of agreement or disagreement to each
category.
A population is a group of people and a sample is a part of that population that will
answer survey questions. Survey designs are good at producing statements that can be
generalized based on large databases (Greffe, 2012).
The problem of sample size was investigated by Fowler (1988). He proposed that a
sample of 150 people would describe a population of 150.000 or 15 million with actual
accuracy, taking into consideration all other features of the design of the sample and only in the
case that sampling procedures are the same (Fowler, 1988, as cited in Nunan, 1992).
I attempted to have about 80 samples of the survey but received 54 samples. I chose
particular schools such as two Almaty Private Universities (APU), Almaty public Universities
(APLU). Although survey was conducted in Russian almost all my respondents are English
teachers.
The data collection was employed through random l sampling. The surveys were given
out to teachers of the universities, and the data were received with a good outcome. The
concern was whether the sample is big enough to represent a population of the foreign
language university teachers who work currently in Almaty city.

20

I administered the survey to a selected sample used in this study from a specific
population of local teachers in Almaty, Kazakhstan. This study utilizes elicitation.
I received 54 samples of the survey. I chose teachers for the study from three
universities. I explain the sample as to survey teachers from leading universities with different
approaches in the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
4. Limitations.
There are some limitations to this study. I conducted the survey implying that L1 for
teachers is Russian or Kazakh but, in fact, university students can have different first
languages. There is a diverse population in Kazakhstan.

21

Results and analysis.


1.Age.
The age of respondents varied from 21 to 60 years old. 24% of the group included
people aged from 21 to 25 years old.14% of the group involved people from 26 years old until
30 years old.7% of the group included age 31- 35 years old. 13% respondents of the sample
were aged from 36 to 40 years old. 22% of respondents were in the group of the age from 40 to
50. 20% of the people in the sample were aged from 51- to 60.
,

Age of the respondents


51-60
20%

21-25
24%

40-50
22%

26-30
14%

36-40
13%

31-35
7%

Figure 1. The age of the respondents


2.Gender

Gender
male
17%

female
83%

Figure 2. The gender


There were more female than male. There were 83% of the female teachers and 17% of the

male teachers.

22

3.Education
other
candidate of doctor 0%
science 7
4%
13%

Education
diploma
holder
18%

bachelor
9%
bachelor
diploma holder
master degree holder
candidate of science 7

master
degree
holder
56%

doctor
other

Figure 3. The position in the University.


The position that teachers had been different. Diploma holders consisted of 18% of the
group. Whereas master degree holders consisted of 56% of all respondents, bachelors were
about 9 %. Candidates of Science that were involved in the study are 13% of the group while
doctors were just 4%.
4.The language of the teaching.

The language of the teaching

French
2% German
10%

chinese
2%

English
German
English
86%

French
chinese

Figure 4. The language of the teaching.


When the study began it was oriented on different language teachers including from
English, but results that were received were following: English teachers are 86 % of the group,
German teachers 10 %, French language teachers that were involved consist 2 % of the
sample and Chinese is 2 % too.

23

5. L1 in class management.

L1 in class management
completely disagree

disagree
22%

neutral

agree

0% 4%

25%

completely agree

22%

27%

Figure 5 .L1 aids to teachers in class management


For the question whether L1 helps to teachers in class management respondents
disagreed 26% of the group, 27% was neutral while 47% agreed with the statement.
6. L1 helps in explanation of words and expressions meaning.

L1 helps in explanation of words'


meaning
completely disagree

disagree
35%

neutral
5%

agree

completely agree

13%
14%

33%

Figure 6. L1 helps in explaining of words and expressions meaning.


To the statement whether the first language helps to explain the meaning of words and
expression teachers had specific feedback: 18% of the group disagreed with the statement, 14%
gave a neutral answer, and 68 % had agreed with the statement. Most teachers think that L1
helps in explaining words and expressions.
7. The L1 helps in explanation of grammar.
To the statement whether L1 is useful in explanation of grammar I received following
results:

24

The L1 helps in explanation of


grammar
7%

13%

completely disagree

20%
28%

disagree

neutral

32%

agree
completely agree

Figure 7. The L1 helps in explanation of grammar.


With the statement "L1 helps in explanation of the grammar ":27 % of the teachers
disagreed while 32 % placed themselves in a neutral position to the question, 41 % of the
group supposed that L1 helps in explanation of grammar
8. Asking questions in L1.
To the question whether it is comfortable to ask questions in L1, I received certain data.
The statement was "It is comfortable to use L1 to ask questions".42% of the teachers
disagreed with the statement, 15 % of the respondents gave the neutral answer and 43% of the
teachers agreed with the statement. Those who agreed and disagreed were almost equal in
answers.

It s comfortable to use L1 to ask


questons
13%

13%

completely dsagree
dsagree

30%

29%
15%

neutral
agree

completely agree

Figure 8. It is comfortable to use L1 to ask questions.

25

9. Organizing students in L1.


Whether the first language helps in organizing student activity the data are interesting:
32 % of the respondents disagreed with the statement while 42% gave neutral answers. The
agreed group that agreed with the statements consisted of 36% of the sample.

L1 is useful in organizing student's


activity of the students
completely disagree

disagree

neutral

16%

7%

20%

agree

completely agree

15%

42%

Figure 9. L1 is useful in organizing students activity of the students.


10. Explaining aspects of Foreign Language using L1.

It is comfortable to explain aspects


of FL using L1
completely disagree

disagree
13%
30%

neutral

agree

completely agree

7%
22%
28%

Figure 10. It is comfortable to explain aspects of FL using L1.


The statement whether it is comfortable to use L1 in a foreign language class to explain
aspects of foreign language received specific feedback: 29 % disagreed with the statement,
28% of the teachers answers were neutral, and 43 % agreed with the statement supposing that
it is comfortable to explain aspects of FL using L1.

26

11. L1 supports in translating words and expressions.

L1 supports in translating words and


expressions
7%

11%

completely disagree

13%

disagree

36%

neutral

33%

agree
completely agree

Figure 11. L1 supports in translating words and expressions


12. L1 use in checking comprehension.
Seemingly with the statement that L1 supports in translating words and expressions
agreed 43%, neutral answered gave 33% and disagreed 26 % of the teachers.
To the question whether L1 is useful in checking comprehension the following data
were received: teachers who disagreed were 31%, neutral answer gave 33% and 36% agreed
with the notion that L1 use helps in checking comprehension.

L1 use in checking comprehension


completely disagreed

disagreed

agreed

completely agreed
14%

netral answer
9%
22%

22%
33%

Figure 12. L1 use in checking comprehension.

27

13 .L1 is helpful in praising the students.


The responses to the statement whether it is helpful praising students in L1 were
different. 56% of the teachers disagreed with the statement.17% desired to stay neutral and
27% agreed with the statement.

L1 is helpful in praising the students


completely disagree

disagree

neutral

16%

agree

completely agree

18%

11%
17%

38%

Figure 13. L1 is helping in praising the students.


14. L1 is a good source of establishing the rapport in L1.

L1 is a good source of establishing


the rapport
comletely disagree

disagree
16%
11%

neutral

agree

completely agree

16%
13%

44%

Figure 14. L1 is a good source of establishing the rapport.


To the statement whether L1 is a good source of establishing rapport 29%
disagreed,44% decided to give neutral answers and 27% of the teachers agreed with the
answers. Neutral answered gave 33% and disagreed 26 % of the teachers.

28

What percentage of L1 do you use in the lesson?


The percentage of the foreign language use in foreign language class showed that 27%
of the teachers think that they use from 0 to 5 % of the first language, 30 % of the teachers use
5-10% of the first language, 23% of the teachers use 20% of the first language.11% of the
respondents use 30 -40 % of the language, 5% of the teachers use 50% of the first language.4%
of the teachers use 75% of the language.

The percentage of the use of L1


0-5%

5-10%

20%

30-40%

50%

75%

5% 4%

11%

27%
23%
30%

Figure 15. The percentage of the use of L1.


16. Data shows that the use of FL is effective.

Teaching in L2 is more effective


effective

2%2% 2%

rather not effective


only with the help of the
first language
94%

not effective

Figure 16. Teaching in L2 is more effective.


The 94 % of the teachers think that teaching in L2 is effective.2% of the teachers think
that teaching in L2 is rather not effective.2% that only with the help of FL can be effective.
2 % believe that teaching in L2 is not effective.

29

17. There are two approaches in a practice of teaching using the only FL or support
with the L1. What other alternatives would you suggest?

Approaches to L1 and L2
other
alternatives
27%

two
approaches
no answer
9%
2%

L2 only use
40%

FL classes with
L1 support
22%

Figure17. Approaches to L1 and L2


40 % of the teachers are for L2 only use. 22% teachers suppose that FL should be with
the support. 9% think that two approaches should be involved. 27% teachers think that other
alternatives are good for use in the classroom.

30

Results (Part 2).


APU: One of Almaty private universities where education is implemented only in
English. It has series of foundation English classes to prepare the students towards proficient
language to for students to be able to go through academic programs. The university has
mostly business and social studies directions of teaching. It follows the requirement of
Ministry of Education. The policy of the University is English only in English classes to use
English as much as possible.
APLU: One of Almaty public universities. It also follows the requirements of Ministry
of Education. It teaches like all public Universities foreign language with the support of
native language. Comparing to APU has a longer history of education based on experience of
linguists of USSR. It has a long history of teaching various foreign languages s in Kazakhstan.
I would like to compare two Universities and analyze the results; one University is
APU (Almaty Private University) and APLU (Almaty Public University)
1. L1 use in management of the class in APU and APLU.
36% of the group agreed with the statement whether L1 is useful to use in the
management of the class.35% of the teachers disagreed and 29% of the group gave a neutral
answer. Two groups those who disagreed and who agreed in APU are almost equal in
percentage.

31

In APLU the picture is drastically different 53% agreed, 22% of the teachers disagreed,
25 % remained neutral.
29%

28%

30%

29%

28%

25%

25%

25%
19%

20%
15%

APU
10%

7%

APLU

3%

5%

0%

7%

disagree

neutral

agree

APU

completely
disagree
7%

28%

29%

29%

completely
agree
7%

APLU

3%

19%

25%

28%

25%

Figure 18. Use of L1 in a management of the class in APU and APLU comparatively.
It is evident from the graph that APU group from the sample completely disagrees that
L1 helps in the management of the class 4% more comparing to APLU group.
The APU group disagrees in comparison to APLU group 9 % more. APU groups
answers is neutral 4% than APLU group. The APU group agrees with APLU with the
difference 1%. APLU group completely agrees in comparison with APU group 8% more.
APLU completely agrees in comparison with APU about 18%.
2. L1 helps in explanation of words and expressions meaning.
43% disagreed with the statement that L1 helps to explain the meaning of the words
and expressions, 21% remained neutral, and 36% agreed with the statement. The majority of
the words and expression.66% of the respondents in APLU agreed with the statement while
12% disagreed, 22% remained neutral. The majority of the respondents in APLU agreed with
the fact L1 helps in the explanation of meaning of words and expressions

32

Explanation of the words and expressions


50%
50%
45%
40%
35%
30%
25%
20%
15%
10%
5%
0%

35%

33%
22%
13%12%

16%

14%

APU
APLU

5%
0%

disagree

neutral

agree

APU

completely
agree
5%

13%

14%

33%

Completely
agree
35%

APLU

0%

12%

22%

16%

50%

Figure 19 . L1 helps in explanation of words and expressions meaning.


The APU group completely disagrees that L1 helps in explanation 5% more than
APLU. APU disagrees 1 % more than APLU. The quantity of the APLU answers which are
neutral 8% more than APU.
APU group agrees that L1 helps in explanation of words and expressions meaning 7 %
more than APLU group. The APLU group completely agrees 15 % more comparing to APU
group.
3.L1 helps in explanation of grammar in APU and APLU.
36% of the respondents in APU disagreed that L1 helps in explanation of the grammar.
26 % of the respondents agreed with the fact. The majority that consists of the 43% of the
group in APU have neutral position towards the question
55% of the group (APLU) agreed with the statement, 26 % were neutral, and 19% of
the APLU group disagreed with the statement. Therefore, a majority of the teachers in APLU
agreed with the fact that L1 helps in explanation of the grammar.

33

45%
40%
35%
30%
25%
20%
15%
10%
5%
0%

43%

29%

26%

26%

22%
14%
9%

14%
10%

disagree

APU

Complete
ly agree
14%

APLU

9%

APU
7%

agree

22%

neutral
answer
43%

14%

Complete
ly agree
7%

10%

26%

29%

26%

APLU

Figure 20. L1 helps in explanation of the grammar in APU and APLU


The APU group completely agrees 5 % more than APLU group. The APU group
disagrees 12 % more than APLU. APU gives neutral answers 17 % more than APLU. The
APLU group agrees 15% more than APLU. The APLU group completely agrees 19% more
comparing to APU group.
4. L1 use in asking questions in APU and APLU.
50% of the group disagreed with the statement, 29% were neutral, and 21% agreed with
the statement that asking questions is comfortable in L1. The majority of the group in APU
disagreed that asking questions is comfortable. 66% of the respondents agreed with the
statement, 21 % disagreed and 13% remained neutral.
The majority of the respondents in APLU agreed with the statement that asking
questions in L1 is comfortable in L1.

34

45%
40%
35%
30%
25%
20%
15%
10%
5%
0%

44%
L1 use in asking questions
36%
29%
22%
14%
9%

12%

13%

14%

APU
7%

disagree

APU

completel
y disagree
14%

agree

36%

neutral
answer
29%

14%

completel
y agree
7%

APLU

9%

12%

13%

44%

22%

APLU

Figure 21. L1 in use asking questions in APU and APLU comparatively.


The APU group of respondents completely disagrees that asking questions is
comfortable in L1 5% more comparing to APLU.APU disagrees 24 % more than APLU. APU
gives neutral answers 6 % more than APLU. APLU agrees 30% more than APU.APU
completely agrees 15% more than APU.
5.L1 use in organizing activities of the students in APU and APLU.
8% of the respondents disagreed with the statement that L1 is comfortable in organizing
activities in APU, 21 % agreed with the statement and 21% remained neutral. The majority of
the teachers in APU disagreed with the statement that L1 is comfortable in organizing activities
of the students.
44% of the group agreed with the statement that L1 is comfortable to use in organizing
activity in APLU.47% of the teachers desired to stay neutral and 9% disagreed. The majority of
the respondents gave neutral answers.

35

50%
45%
40%
35%
30%
25%
20%
15%
10%
5%
0%

47%

29%

19%
14%

14%
3%

completely
disagree
APU
14%

APLU

25%

21%

3%

disagree

APLU

7%

6%

APU

agree

29%

neutral
answer
21%

7%

completely
agree
14%

6%

47%

25%

19%

Figure 22. L1 is comfortable to use in organizing activity in APU and APLU


The APU group completely disagrees with the statement that the use of L1 is
comfortable 11% more than the APLU group. APU disagrees on 13 % more than APLU group.
The APLU group gives neutral answer 26% more than APU. The respondents of APLU agree
18 % more than APU respondents. APLU completely agrees 5 % more than APU with the
statement that the use of L1 is comfortable.
6. L1 use in explaining aspects of FL in APU and APLU.
38% of the group disagreed with the statement, 31% remained neutral, and 31 % of the
teachers agreed. The majority of the teachers disagreed with the statement in
35% of the teachers disagreed with the statement that it is comfortable to explain
aspects of foreign language in L1 in APLU.42% of the teachers agreed, and 23 % of the
respondents gave neutral answers. The most APLU teachers agreed with the statement that it is
comfortable to explain aspects of foreign language in L1.

36

35%

31%

31%

30%

26%

25%

22%

23%

20%

16%
13%

15%
10%

23%

APU
8%

7%

APLU

5%

0%

disagree

APU

completel
y disagree
7%

agree

31%

neutral
answer
31%

23%

completel
y agree
8%

APLU

13%

22%

23%

16%

26%

Figure 23. L1 use in explaining aspects of FL in L1 in APU and APLU.


The graph clearly shows that APLU completely disagrees on 6 % more that L1 use is
comfortable in explaining aspects of FL. The APU group disagrees on 9% more comparing to
APLU.APU gives neutral answers on 8% more comparing to APLU. The APU agrees on 7%
more in comparison with the APLU group. APLU group completely agrees on 18% than
APLU group.
6. L1 use in translating words and expressions in APU and APLU
Here most teachers agreed with the statement: 64% of the teachers think that L1 is good
to use in translation in APU group.8% of the teachers gave a neutral answer, and 30%
disagreed with the statement
48% of the teachers agreed with the statement that L1 is good to use for translation in
APLU group.38% remained neutral and 14 % disagreed with the statement.

37

44%
45%
40%
35%
30%
25%
20%
15%
10%
5%
0%

38%
33%

36%

13%

11%
7%

APU
7%

4%

7%

disagree

neutral

agree

APU

Completel
y disagree
11%

13%

33%

36%

Completel
y agree
7%

APLU

7%

7%

38%

4%

44%

APLU

Figure 24. L1 supports in translating words and expressions in APU and APLU.
APU completely disagrees that L1 use supports in translating words and expressions
4 % more than APLU. The APU group disagrees 6% more than APLU.APLU gives more
neutral answers with the difference 5%. The group APU agrees with the statement that L1
supports in translating words and expressions 32% more than APLU group. The APLU group
completely agrees 37% more than APU.
8. L1 use in checking comprehension of the students in APU and APLU.
46% of APU teachers disagreed, 31 % gave a neutral answer and 23% of the
respondents agreed with the statement. The majority of the teachers disagreed that L1 is useful
for checking comprehension. APLU teachers answered differently: 44% agreed with the
statement, 37% of the teachers remained neutral, and 19 % of the teachers disagreed that L1 is
useful in checking comprehension.

38

40%
35%
30%
25%
20%
15%
10%
5%
0%

37%
31%

31%

16%

28%
16%

15%

8%

8%

APU
APLU

3%
disagree

neutral

agree

APU

Completel
y disagree
8%

31%

31%

15%

completely
agree
8%

APLU

3%

16%

37%

28%

16%

Figure 40. L1 use in checking comprehension in APU and APLU comparatively.


The APU group completely disagrees 5 % in comparison with the APLU group. The
APU group disagrees 15% more comparing to APLU. The APLU group quantity respondents
who answered neutrally are higher 6% than the APU group. The APLU group quantity of
respondents who agree is higher 13% than the APU groups respondents. The APLU group
completely agrees that L1 use helps in checking comprehension 8% more than APU group.
9. L1 use for learning strategy in APU and APLU
43% of APU teachers disagreed with the statement that L1 is useful for learning strategy,
36% gave the neutral answer. There was no completely agreeing answer.42% of APLU
teachers agreed with the statement that it is good to use L1 in learning strategy.28 %of
respondents remained neutral, and 28% disagreed with the statement.

39

40%

36%

35%
29%

30%

28%

25%

21%

20%
15%

28%

14%
12%

16%

16%

APU
APLU

10%
5%
0%

0%
disagree

APU

Completely
agree
14%

agree

29%

Neutral
answer
36%

21%

Completely
agree
0%

APLU

12%

16%

28%

28%

16%

Figure 25. L1 is useful for learning strategy in APU and APLU.


The graph shows that the APU group completely disagrees 2 % more comparing to
APLU group. The APU group disagrees 13% more in comparison with the APLU. The APU
gives neutral answers 8 % more than APLU group. The APLU group agrees 7 % than APU
group. The APU group completely agrees 16% more comparing to APLU group.
79% of APU teachers disagreed with the statement that L1 is useful for praising.14% of
respondents gave the majority answers and 7% of the teachers agree entirely. The majority of
the teachers disagreed with the statement and very small quantity of the respondents agreed.
31% of the respondents agreed with the statement in APLU, 16% remained
neutral .53% of the APLU respondents disagreed that L1 is useful for praising. The majority of
the teachers adhered to the point that L1 is not helpful in praising.

40

45%
40%
35%
30%
25%
20%
15%
10%
5%
0%

43%
37%

36%

16%

19%

16%
14%

APU

12%
7%

APLU

0%
disagree

neutral

agree

APU

Completely
disagree
36%

43%

14%

0%

completely
agree
7%

APLU

16%

37%

16%

12%

19%

Figure 26. L1 is useful for praising in APU and APLU.


The graph presents data showing that APU completely disagrees 18% more than
APLU in the question whether L1 is useful for praising. The APU group disagrees 12 % more
than APLU. APLU gives neutral answer 2 % more than APU. APLU agrees 12 % more than
APLU that L1 is helpful in praising.
10. L1 use is a good source of the rapport in APU and APLU.
40 % of the teachers' answers were neutral, 40% of the respondents disagreed with the
statement.7% of the teachers completely agreed with the statement
40% of the teachers remained neutral while 36% agreed with the statement that L1 is a
good source of the rapport.24% of the respondents disagreed with the statement that L1 is an
excellent source of the rapport in APLU. The majority of teachers stayed in neutral position
answering the question.

41
40%40%
40%
35%
30%

27%

24%

25%
20%

15%

15%

13%
9%

13%12%
7%

10%

APU
APLU

5%
0%

disagree

neutral
answer

agree

complet
ely agree

APU

Complet
ely
disagree
27%

13%

40%

13%

7%

APLU

15%

9%

40%

12%

24%

Figure 27. L1 is a good source of the rapport in APU and APLU comparatively.
The graph clearly shows that APU completely disagrees that L1 is a good source of
the rapport 7% more than APLU group. The APU group disagrees 4% more than the APU
group. The quantaty of neutral answers in APU is equal to quantity in APLU. The APU group
agrees 1% more with the that L1 statement is a good source of the rapport than APLU group.
The APLU group completely agrees with the former statement 17% more than APU group.
Comparing APU and APLU in percentage it could be seen that APU respondents have
negative trend towards the use of L1 but APU has positive trend towards the use of L1.
To the question that based on the experience if they agree that the more the use of
foreign language the more efficient is an acquisition of this FL I analyzed answers in the
following way: The 52 respondents among 55 responded positively the more use of L2 in the
class, the more effective is the acquisition. Only three respondent's answers were different. One
respondent answered "rather not effective" and one teacher had an opinion: "the acquisition of
foreign language is the more effective with the help of the first language. One respondent
stated that he doesn't think it is effective to use more L2 in the class because in English there
are many unknown words to the students who should be translated in L1 of the pupils. This
teacher also noticed that if the words are translated, they are easily remembered. The fact is

42

that the opinion of majority of our teachers is that only with the more use of L2 the acquisition
of L2 is effective
"I agree completely with the fact that the more we use FL, the more efficient
acquisition."
"The more communication, the more words will be learned."
Yes, it is effective because of the immersion into a language."
"Yes, I totally agree at this point. In English speaking environment, students can require
appropriate language skills."
"Students should be situated in language environment as much as possible."
"Yes effective, using as much FL as possible on practice and at work, working abroad,
where there is no first language, on the Internet and definitely in a conversation between
teacher and student. But grammar is necessary to understand and learn."
"We improve English by practicing constantly, and this way increase the level and
acquisition of the language.
One respondent answered it is effective, but it depends on the level and age of the
learner. But this teacher thinks the explanation is more effective if it is compared with the
grammar of a native language. Another respondent had an opinion that there were many factors
that influence the efficiency of learning the language. It is the motivation of the learners and
features of the perception and their memory.
To the questions whether there are two approaches to teaching foreign language using
only foreign language or with the support of L1 and whether they should use an alternative.
40% of the respondents who think that they use only foreign language, 22% of the
teachers are for L1 support in the classroom, two approaches together 9%, for other alternatives
are the 27% of the teachers. No answer gave 2 % of the respondents. Most of the teachers
think that only use FL is important during class: "I suggest speaking only in a target language,
it is more effective".

43

Teachers mentioned that the learning with only L1 should be according to levels: "The
learning according to levels, the forming of the groups according knowledge of the language
even psychology of the learner". "With the support of the L1 according to the level of the
teaching" stated another teacher. "It depends on the level of the proficiency of the learner, the
lower the level, the more support in the first language."
One of the teachers thought that using L1 inappropriately could be even distracting
and not helpful: It depends on the level: for the beginner level L1 could be helpful but for the
students of intermediate level and higher level, referring to L1 may not be needed or even may
be distracting."One of the teachers suggested using even dictionaries sparingly: "Using only FL
without dictionaries, only when it is necessary. Some teachers mentioned about their methods.
That one is effective methods is communicative:
."Communicative oriented approach to students is more effective."
"Using Communicative approach one can reach a high level of proficiency, even on the
beginner level. But every language has owned features that are why it is necessary to use
comparative constructions in grammar."
One teacher suggested a use of the L1 as an additional tool in teaching: "I would
recommend teaching FL using FL but not prohibiting the first language but using it not as a
support but as an additional tool in an acquisition of FL."
One teacher wrote that taking students out of the comfort zone and converse with
students only in FL is more effective: "I think that students should be brought by the teacher
out of the comfort zone and as much as possible to converse with students in FL, explaining
the moments that students don't understand. Some teachers suggested alternatives like
combination of the two approaches, the native speaker involvement in the class:
"Alternation of the first and second approach depending on the level."
"If native speaker teachers teach the language, then the first approach should be used if
local teacher than the first language use is necessary."

44

But some teachers adhered to the point that still L1 is very useful in FL classes.
"The support of the first language increase the level of awareness, many concepts
could be introduced only through native language and the culture. But the purpose is yet the
teaching in a target language. Alternative- parallel learning of two languages of the one
language group useful as well."
"Consciously-comparative, which is oriented on the analytical work of the students
with the text, on the transition from acquired rules to the formation on their basis of speech
abilities, on the wide use of the first language as a support to the acquisition of the FL. The
important feature of the approach is the possibility of adaptation to the particular individual
qualities of the students, to his linguistic features and memory.
I supposed that use of L1 is effective but our teachers mostly adhered to the point that
L2 is a powerful language of the instruction and only a few teachers thought of L1 as a tool in
foreign language classes. It was interesting to find out something about teaching process. For
example, the teachers don't prefer to ask questions in the first language and don't use L1 in
educational matters such as praising.
But the most interesting finding was the percentage of use of L2 in the Universities.
The percentage of the foreign language use in foreign language class showed that 27% of the
teachers use from 0 to 5 % of the first language, 30 % of the teachers use 5-10% of the first
language, 23% of the teachers use 20% of the first language.11% of the respondents use 30 40 % of the language, 5% of the teachers use 50% of the first language.4% of the teachers use
75% of the language. The majority of teachers use 5-10% of the L2 in the classes, and only 4%
of the teachers use 75 % of the first language.
Analysis
The question what attitudes University teachers of foreign language have is not as
simple as it seems. Nobody can measure attitude towards the use of L1 but one can divide the
notion on aspects and measure teachers attitude.

45

First my hypothesis which was based on anecdotal evidence at the beginning of writing
was that our teachers are mostly positive to the use of L1 in their classes. But it turned out that
to describe attitudes of teachers in one sample is not as easy. First, all three universities
surveyed are different. They are different in size, they could be private or public, approaches
and methods are different. But what all the people from those universities have in common is
that they are all teachers in Higher Education and teachers of foreign languages. So for me
when I studied attitudes it was not important whether it is private or public or whether the
instruction is English or not. Also the proficiency of the teachers is not a matter of my interest.
Each person in survey gives personal vision to the use of L1 and it is what I needed. It means
that in APU there are teachers who eagerly think that L1 is an important tool though the trend
in APU is negative toward the use of L1. There are teachers in APLU which have a positive
trend towards the use of L1 and think that L1 can hinder the learning of L2.
Conclusion.
The study shows certain trends but the beauty of the project is that the study shows a
detailed picture of complex problem of the attitudes of teachers of foreign languages in
universities in Almaty.
The thesis has a descriptive value. It is first experience to conduct a study and certainly
there are shortcomings in questions that I asked in survey. But I think I described the situation
very well. So my purpose of the study is reached.
I think through the research I came to understanding that there are certain trends in
Universities in Kazakhstan. The result I get I suppose came because of existence of two
philosophies of teaching: American-centered and Soviet school. So as I see results I can
suppose that attitudes depend on the school and teaching philosophies of the school. As you
can see in figures there is correlation between school and attitudes. So I randomly chose those
universities but in result university with American style of teaching immersing in L2 showed
mostly negative attitude towards use of L1 in foreign class and university based on Soviet

46

school showed positive trend in attitudes of L1. So I have made such a conclusion that school
and its philosophical thought plays role in what attitudes teachers have.
According to the literature review, L1 is a tool. It can reduce affective filters, and
students could feel more comfortable (Meyers, 2008). The use of L1 can help in learning: If the
instructors know L1 and L2 they can show languages comparatively (Nation, 2001). In foreign
language class L1 should be used carefully as a tool that helps emotionally and socially, but it
should not be overused and bring harm (Weschler, 1997).
The teacher as a master should know whether to use this tool or not. It is always up to
the teacher how he or she uses this wonderful tool that could be an asset to the class depending
on teacher' strategies. I suppose we should not diminish any language whether it is native (L1)
or foreign language. As we should not diminish different types of teachers: NEST or NNEST.
L1 and foreign language are equally important no matter with how much percentage we use.
To summarize what is written in Literature review and Analysis it is needed to convey
that for any teacher it is certainly necessary to take a certain stance in teaching. Any teacher
may follow the Comprehensive Input Hypothesis of Krashen and immerse students in L2 in
such a way to increase proficiency as in APU practice. It can be mentioned that the teacher
could use the hypothesis of Affective Filters as in APLU trend to facilitate students
emotionally and cognitively. Both trends have a right for existence and helps in certain aspects.
Foreign Language class students need a new generation of teachers who can master both
directions and be able to use L1 and L2 when it is mostly appropriate in every classroom
situation.
The main finding of the thesis is that attitudes of teachers correlate with the
philosophies of the school. As one can see an American philosophy of teaching in APU so the
attitudes of teachers to L1 is mostly negative. The post-soviet philosophy of APLU bring
teachers to have positive attitudes towards the L1.

47

In conclusion it is needed to add that both universities, APU and APLU, having own
approaches of teaching develop ways educate new generation. This new generation is educated
by the universities with the point that our country chose trilingual education emphasizing that
foreign language, particularly English, is important element in becoming country with bright
future on international arena.
Limitations
The limitation of the study is that I found correlation between school and attitudes,
dependent variable but there are independent variables like age and education and may be level
which I didnt look for this time. So the attitudes could depend on them. So next research will
be whether only school and its philosophy influence the or may be age and education or other
independent variables have some role in it.
Implications
The use of L1 is one of the crucial question in the lesson and the thesis answers this
question in following way. Students following literature review can use L1 in the foreign
language classroom especially when the teacher explains grammar and define vocabulary,
explain reading and deliver instructions. Students' answers in this study showed the importance
of the L1 use in teaching pronunciation, writing and interacting in the not formal way. L1 is
important in sociocultural view to create relationship between students and teachers. Practically
teachers can use L1 to facilitate teaching but not overload the lesson with too much L1. The L1
is psychological tool which helps students to stay in comfort zone. So if the teacher feels that
students dont understand what he or she say the teacher should switch to L1 and explain in
first language. The use of L1 is important when teacher instructs low levels of the students to
use L2 in low level in high percentage is not the right way to do. According Affective Filters
Hypothesis students should be in good emotional state to learn the language and at the same
time if they distracted by too much L1 in the class they would not learn anything.

48

The support of the first language expand the level of awareness, many concepts could be
introduced only through native language and the culture. But the purpose is yet the teaching in
a target language. So here practicality of the thesis can be found in ways to use L1 in the class.
It is important to use L1 as a tool which helps learning but not overuse L1 in class. Our
teachers mostly adhered to the point that L2 is a powerful language of the instruction and only
a few teachers thought of L1 as a tool in foreign language classes. The teachers don't prefer to
ask questions in the first language and don't use L1 in educational matters such as praising. So
it is good way to immerse in L2 to praise students in L2 and have talk in class in L2 with the
students. Asking questions in L2 is also important to immerse in L2 and at the same time
develop critical thinking in foreign language.
One characteristic of teachers talk to which scholars paid much attention is
teacher's questioning. The instrument that is used in the direct interaction between teacher and
learners are questions. Questions are counted as one of the teachers initiating activities and
make easy student's acquisition of the language by questioning and initiating responses from
students. Questioning plays a significant role in language learning. Questions can help to
comprehend, make a connection to prior knowledge, and stimulate cognitive development
(Vogler, 2014). That is why questioning in L2 is important and stimulates cognitive abilities of
students.
Another conclusion which was made in my thesis is that communicative method
came in the post-soviet area instead of grammar-translation which historically was important in
USSR and after post-soviet schools. This is a big step forward to switch from mere reading and
translating to communicating and socializing in English. In this way our schools can prepare
professionals who not only can read and translate but communicate, give speech and participate
in international meetings.
This is a step forward for our schools as we approach trilingual education where we
students should be able communicate with teachers and peers in content sphere.

49

That is a big task for all subject teachers and English teachers to cooperate and create good
relevant communication in subjects that will be taught in English to mix all former mentioned
methods to deliver the lesson that develops L2 learning.

50

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55

Appendices (Data collection tools)


Questionnaire
First part

1. Age
a. 21-25
b. 26-30
c. 31-35
d. 36-40
e. 51-60
2. Gender
a. male
b. female
3. Education
a. bachelor
b. specialist
c. master degree holder
d.PHD
e.other
4. University
5. Language of the teaching

56

Second part
1. L1 is useful for class management
a.

completely agree

b.

somewhat agree

c.

neutral

d.

disagree

e.

completely disagree

2. L1 helps in clarifying the meaning of the words and expressions.


a.

completely agree

b.

somewhat agree

c.

neutral

d.

disagree

e.

completely disagree

3. L1 is useful in explaining grammar rules.


a.

completely agree

b.

somewhat agree

c.

neutral

d.

disagree

e.

completely disagree

4.It is useful to ask questions to teachers in L1


a.

completely agree

b.

somewhat agree

c.

neutral

d.

disagree

e.

completely disagree

57

5. L1 is useful in organizing student activities.


a.

completely agree

b.

somewhat agree

c.

neutral

d.

disagree

e.

completely disagree

6. L1 is useful in explaining aspects of foreign language.


a.

completely agree

b.

somewhat agree

c.

neutral

d.

disagree

e.

completely disagree

7. L1 is useful translating words and expressions


a.

completely agree

b.

somewhat agree

c.

neutral

d.

disagree

e.

completely disagree

8. L1 is useful in checking comprehension.


a.

completely agree

b.

somewhat agree

c.

neutral

d.

disagree

e.

completely disagree

9. L1 is useful in talking about learning and what strategies to use in L1.


a.

completely agree

58

b.

somewhat agree

c.

neutral

d.

disagree

e.

completely disagree

10. L1 is useful to praise students


a.

completely agree

b.

somewhat agree

c.

neutral

d.

disagree

e.

completely disagree

11. L1 is useful in establishing good rapport.


a.

completely agree

b.

somewhat agree

c.

neutral

d.

disagree

e.

completely disagree

59