The dispute over whether to use or not to use learners' L1 inside the classroom has always been the topic of discussion for many people for various reasons. The debate has also involved ESL students. Some maintain that such use may lead to more dependence of an ESL on his Arabic language, which may delay the progress of mastering the target language. Whereas others believe that the use of Arabic inside the classroom may ease the process of learning the target language, as the students become better at dealing with instructions, develop more motivation to learn, participate in group work activities because learners share the same L1, Arabic, and are no longer embarrassed to get involved in classroom discussions. This article studies the case of university students who have Arabic as their native language, taking an intermediate university requirement course in English. These students shall answer a set of questions developed in the form of a questioner. The data will be analyzed and studied with respect to the scenario that each question constructs on the use of Arabic language inside the ESL classroom. The findings gathered from the quantitative analysis of the data collected, inspect why and when do students incline to use Arabic language in the ESL classroom, and provide instructors with insights on when to allow its use in class to promote learning. The study aims to draw ESL instructors' attention on how to make use of Arabic language for better ESL classroom management and thus better learning outcomes.
Jana Muhieddine El Moabbi, Beirut Arab University, Lebanon
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