Image courtesy of Kelly Sikkema
Not because I want to, but because I feel I need to, I am going to address that linguistic ‘Pandora’s Box’: the use of the student’s first language (L1) in the target language (TL) classroom. Yes, the proverbial ‘English only’ policy. I have yet to work in a place that does not emphatically endorse this rule. You can see it on the classroom wall, doors, and even in the school bathroom. I even had one place put the sign on the back of the toilet stall door (still not sure who you would be talking to in your L1 while sitting on ‘the throne’).
As you can probably figure out, I am not a big supporter of this policy. Something about it has always bothered me, and not just as a rule, but as a philosophy. So, as I have started to do more regularly, I decided to dip into the research pool to see what others have found out regarding this approach to language education. Continue reading Switching