#KELTchat Summary: L1 Use in the Language Classroom – 7th October 7th, 2012

This week’s summary was brought to you by @BarryJamesonELT of the fantastic blog, Barry Jameson: All things ELT… Thank you very much Barry!


This is a summary of the #KELTChat that took place on Twitter on the 7th October 2012. The topic was L1 Use in the Language Classroom. There was a lively discussion involving many KELTchat regulars and some new faces too.  The chat was moderated by the wonderful @AnneHendler.

L1 Beliefs

The chat started by discussing L1 beliefs in the classroom.  The majority seemed to agree that some form of L1 was okay depending on how it was controlled.

@languagebubble stated that it was, ‘no secret that I like L1 in the classroom… where appropriate.’

@AlexSWalsh felt that, ‘L1 correctly utilized is a useful tool but it has to be carefully guided and structured.’

@darryl_bautista suggested that, ‘Full English instruction only divided the learner and language.’

@johnPfordresher tends to, ’teach and instruct as much as possible in English, allow students help each other in L1 for few who don’t understand.’

@OksanYagar felt L1 is useful, ‘when there are different levels of students… you do not want to lose a low group.’

Most were not strongly against it but didn’t particularly use L1 within their classroom.

However, @teachersilvert felt that, ‘if you use L1, how are you going to convince them to learn a new language?

@yitzha_sarwono does not use, ’L1 at all, as long as I use gestures and simple short sentences they are okay’.

@michaelegriffin said, ‘One thing I am totally against is pushing L2 for giving instructions n such for the purpose of “input” it’s usually the same stuff.’

@tamaslorincz had issues with teachers using L1 unless with very young learners, ‘no reason why teachers shouldn’t be able to explain things in L2’.


The chat then moved on to strategies that teachers use to enforce they language policies.  A number of useful strategies were discussed such as self assessment by students of their participation including L1/L2 use, Korean tokens (for high levels), team points (for mixed levels), speak English (don’t break the chain), students stand up to use Korean, being allowed to use L1 if they have attempted English twice, English only in increments etc

Final Thoughts

As the chat was coming to a close participants were offered a chance to give their final thoughts.

@teachersilvert felt that, ‘nothing is forbidden as long as it works for you and your students’.

@GemmaL1 suggested, ‘explain benefits to students of using English as much as possible’.

@JohnPfordresher, ‘don’t be pressured by anyone, your class, your choice.’

An energetic discussion came to an end.  It was great to so many teachers getting involved.  Thanks to all who participated.  Hope to see you at the next #KELTchat.



Scott Thornbury http://itdi.pro/blog/2012/10/01/breaking-rules-scott/

Richard Pemberton http://www.slideshare.net/richpemberton/l1-use-in-the-l2-classroom

Alex Walsh http://www.alienteachers.com/1/post/2012/06/at-what-point-if-ever-is-it-right-to-implement-an-english-only-classroom.html

Alex Grevett http://breathyvowel.wordpress.com/2012/03/09/asking-students-to-assess-your-l2-output/

Fiona Mauchline http://cerij.wordpress.com/2011/01/25/guest-post-by-fiona-mauchline/


One thought on “#KELTchat Summary: L1 Use in the Language Classroom – 7th October 7th, 2012

  1. Pingback: #AusELT chat summary: Using L1 in the classroom (6/3/14) | #AusELT

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