59 the role of mother tongue in foreign language teaching nurillaeva g

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Pachl, Koucka The role of mother 2007, Документ (8), 635-648, gost

Nurillaeva G

Nurillaeva G.
Nurillaeva Guzal - Teacher,
the article is devoted to the influence of mother tongue to the process of foreign 
language teaching, on the example of EFL. It also discloses the challenges, that teacher can 
face and proposals of overcoming them. 
: mother tongue, EFL, methodology of foreign language teaching, modern 
approaches, language experience
The use of mother tongue at foreign language lessons can be useful in particular cases. 
Willis considered that unless teachers teach multi-lingual classes, theymay not speak 
English all the time, and sometimes it might be more economical to use mother tongue 
instead of English [3]. This can be done for example when: 

Explaining the meaning or use of new words would be time-consuming. 

Introducing the aims of the lesson or the next activity to make sure pupils know 
what they are learning. 

When checking of pupils' understanding after the presentation stage. 

Discussing the main ideas of a reading passage, but only when the aim is to improve 
the reading skills. 

Pupils got teacher's permission to use their mother tongue, but it is important to 
make clear when pupils must stop using the mother tongue and return to English. 
Auerbuch adds other possibilities: 

Classroom management. 

Language analysis. 

Presenting grammar rules. 

Discussing cross-cultural issues. 

Giving instructions and prompts. 

Explaining errors. [2, P.450] 
As stated above, the reasonable use of mother tongue can play its role in some cases, but 
the target language should remain the main language.There is several functions of mother 
tongue at foreign language lessons. 
1. Motivational function. The native language is often used in the formulation of the 
goal of the lesson in the teacher's presentation before introducing new material.Many 
teachers use the native language of students summarizing the material at the end of the 
lesson. It is a very important moment of the lesson; teacher should say what students 
have learned at the lesson in order to provide a sense of progress, for example: "So, let's 
sum up. Why do we need Present Continuous Tense? What can we tell about its 
functions?"Thus, summing up the lesson can serve simultaneously as an additional 
explanation, a kind of "framework design". 
2. Educational function. The native language is used to explain the peculiarities of the 
articulation of individual sounds at the stage of formation of sound-producing skills (usually 
at the elementary level). This concerns, first of all, those sounds that are absent in the 
students’ native language (for example, sounds [θ] and [∂], nasal [η]) or sounds that are 
partially coincide with similar sounds of the native language, ([s], [t], [h], [r]). Many 
teachers use native language of students presenting new grammatical material. Teachers try 
to explain more accurately the meaning of the new grammatical construction, pay attention 
to its features and forms, demonstrate use in speech; thus, examples in Russian can be visual 
material for comparison. Mother tongue is used by teachers in the process of explanation of 

material of linguistic and cultural nature, when comparison of cultural realities of different 
countries makes it possible to remove difficulties in understanding the features of life and 
the world view of representatives of another culture.
3. Organizational function. Communicative approach in teaching foreign languages 
involves the use of different game technologies, which are effective means of increasing 
cognitive and linguistic activity of students and contributing to better learning of lexical and 
grammatical material, the formation of speech skills. It is more reasonable to explain the 
rules of new games in student’ native language, it will ensure the accuracy of understanding 
the instructions by all students and will save time for the game [1].
4. Semantic function. As a rule, teachers use students’ mother tongue when other methods of 
explaining of foreign words such as direct demonstration (demonstration or illustrative visibility), 
synonyms-antonyms, and conjecture on word-building elements (suffixes, prefixes, word-
building, conversion), foreign interpretation of the meaning of words (definition) cannot be 
implemented. In this case, the translation is used for one or two words.
5. Control function. At the stage of improving or controlling the formation of lexical and 
grammatical skills, so-called "reverse translation" is effective, when students are presented 
with isolated words, phrases (including idioms), individual sentences (there may be proverbs 
or sayings) or statements in their native language. Students translate them into a foreign 
language on their own or in pairs. 

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