L1 Use in the L2 Classroom: A University Instructor’s Perceptions of His Language Choices


First language (L1) use in English as a foreign language (EFL) classrooms has been researched for over three decades. Scholars have studied classroom L1 use from different perspectives, for example, the functions of teachers’ L1 use (Sert, 2005; Forman, 2016) and its pedagogical effects (Lee & Macaro, 2013; Lee & Levine, 2020). Although English-only policies have been questioned in many countries, in Japan the Ministry of Education recommends that English should be taught through English. As Hawkins (2015) notes, this has led to a belief in Japan that L1 use should be minimized or avoided in EFL classrooms. Although research regarding the quantity and functions of classroom L1 use has gained more attention, there are few studies that have investigated teachers’ perspectives on their own L1 use (e.g., Polio & Duff, 1994; Hobbs et al., 2009). This paper reports on the findings from a qualitative study which explores how and why a university instructor used students’ L1 in his classroom. Data from semi-structured interviews, stimulated recall interviews, and classroom observations are analyzed using a phenomenological approach. The paper focuses on one participant, an English-speaking EFL instructor in a Japanese university, and discusses his use of the students’ L1 with his understanding of his language choices. The findings show that the instructor’s L1 use is likely associated to sociopragmatics and that his language choice is a multifaced and dynamic phenomenon as he responds to the communication needs of his students while managing his classes.

Author Information
Miki Harwood, Sophia University, Japan

Paper Information
Conference: SEACE2023
Stream: Teaching Experiences

This paper is part of the SEACE2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
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To cite this article:
Harwood M. (2023) L1 Use in the L2 Classroom: A University Instructor’s Perceptions of His Language Choices ISSN: 2435-5240 The Southeast Asian Conference on Education 2023: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2435-5240.2023.28
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2435-5240.2023.28

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Posted by James Alexander Gordon