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A Comparison on the Students and Teachers Perspective of the Use of L1 in English Classes of Grade 8 SMP Negeri 1 Salatiga

First Draft Proposal


Anjanis Lhaksmi Pangrukti 112010035


Background of Study
Many experts argue about the interference of L1 towards the students competence in English. As cited in Krashen (1988), Lado claims that the main problem in adult second language acquisition is the persons first language. Moreover, Lott (1983) insists that errors in the foreign language can be traced back to the mother tongue. However, in Indonesia, the status of English is as a foreign language. Thus, the use of L1 can not be omitted. In this context, L1 is Bahasa Indonesia. The writer chose Bahasa Indonesia as the L1 because Indonesia is a multilingual country and Bahasa Indonesia is the official language in this country. As an official language, Bahasa Indonesia is used as the medium of instruction at school, and particularly in English classes. Regarding the interference of L1 in L2 acquisition, it is best if L1 is used efficiently so that it will not give negative impact to the language learning process. Therefore, it is necessary to find out teachers and students perceptions towards the use of L1 as a medium of instruction; and compare them to see whether the teachers use of L1 in English classes match with the students need of L1.

Literature Review The role of First Language in the classroom

The L1 in EFL classroom is used in explaining the grammar, vocabulary, difficult concept, and for students comprehension (Cianflone, 2009, as cited in Jadallah and Hasan, 2010). Moreover, David Atkinson (1987) as cited in Schweers Jr. (1999) suggests the use of L1

in EFL classroom as follows: Eliciting language; Checking comprehension; Giving complex instructions to basic levels; Co-operating in groups; Explaining classroom methodology at basic levels; Using translation to highlight a recently taught language item; Checking for sense; Testing; and Developing circumlocution strategies. Likewise, Piasecka (1988) as cited in Auerbach (1993) suggests that L1 can be used in the following occasions: Negotiation of the syllabus and the lesson; Classroom management; Presentation of rules governing grammar, phonology, morphology, and spelling; Discussion of cross-cultural issues; Instructions or prompts; Explanations of errors; Assessment of comprehension In Addition, Atkinson (1987) as cited in Bouangeune (2009) states that L1 is used to check students comprehension, give instructions, give opportunity for students to cooperate more in the class, improve presentation, and as reinforcement. Cummins (1981) as cited in Beebe (1988) confirms that the L1 will help the knowledge transfer to L2. Thus, it can be concluded that L1 is useful for EFL or ESL learning.

The benefits of using L1 in the classroom

The status of English as a foreign language in Indonesia made it impossible to omit the use of L1 in the classroom. The learners first language is seen as the helpful medium of L2 transfer. Al Nofaie (2010) as cited in Jadallah and Hasan (2010) believe that learners first language is beneficial for the teaching learning process.

Rivera (1988: pg.2) as cited in Auerbach (1993) states that The role of education in this approach is to empower learners to use their native language actively in order to generate their own curriculum, and, therefore, their own knowledge. Thus, the use of L1 in L2 classes is important for the student to build their comprehension. In addition, Rivera noted some benefits of using L1 in L2 classes, such as: a. Native language attract beginner level students to participate in ESL classes b. Native language reduces affective barriers to allow L2 acquisition c. Native language enhance more rapid progress in ESL d. Native language facilitates the process of acquiring L2 Moreover, Butzkamm (2003) as cited in Jadallah and Hasan, 2010) proposes the benefits of using L1 as follows: Gives sense of security and reduces learners stress Saves learners from frustration while learning L2 Gives teachers more authentic texts Creates a friendly ESL classroom atmosphere

In addition, Atkinson (1987) as cited in Bouangeune (2009: pg. 186) finds that L1 can be useful in translation because it can encourage the students to reveal his/her feelings and avoid negative transfer.

Potential problems in using L1 in L2 classroom

Regarding the benefit of using L1, many theorists also believe that the use of mother tongue in ESL classroom can be a problematic. Burt (1982) claims that learners first language is considered to be the destroyer in L2 learning. Lado (1957), as cited in Krashen (1988) supports

the idea that the errors made by adult second language learners was caused by their first language. Therefore, it can be concluded that the L1 interfere the L2 learning process. The term interference is used to emphasize the problem caused by l1 in second language acquisition. Dulay et al (1982), as cited in Bhela (1999), defines interference as a habitual transfer of the L1 structure into the L2. Ellis (1997: 51) also defines interference as a problematic transfer that the L1 caused. Another definition of interference is by Skiba (1997) that refers interference as the elements transfer from one language to another. The potential problem due to the interference of L1 in L2 classroom is suggested by Beardsmore (1982), as cited in Bhela (1999), that the obstacles of a second language learner in acquiring the L2 is on the phonology, vocabulary, and grammar. Thus, it can be concluded that L1 interfere the L2 on all skills. However, according to Corder (1967) as cited in Nunan (1999), errors were not the result of L1 interference, but as a normal and healthy process of acquiring the language. Nunan (1999: 92) adds that learners learn numerous things simultaneously (and imperfectly). Another contrary argument regarding the irrelation of L1 and L2 acquisition is by Seliger (1979) as cited in Beebe (1988), who reviews the research made by Dulay&Burt (1974), Bailey,Madden, and Krashen (1974) that the common errors made by the learner were not due to L1 influence, but occurred regardless of the learners L1.

Previous Study
According to Lanzity and Varshney (2008), there are debates regarding the use of L1 in EFL or ESL classrooms, however, there are only few who sees the issue from both teachers perspective and students perspective. Thus, in their Journal entitled Students views regarding

the use of the First Language, they investigated the students perceptions towards the issue. In their journal, they stated Macaros project (1997) on students reactions toward the teachers use of L2 in ESL classroom. The findings of the research is that most of students felt high anxiety of being exposed to higher use of L2 because they dont know the exact meaning of words. Another research in relation to the use of L1 is by Levine (2003) who examined the students level of anxiety regarding the use of L2. In the study, Levine compared the students and teachers belief about the relation of using L2 and students anxiety. The finding of the study is 40 % students confirmed that they felt anxious using L1 and 59,9% of the teachers predicted this anxiety. Moreover, 63,35 of both agreed and strongly agreed to use L1 as a challenge in EFL classroom and that L1 has to be used to communicate in the classroom. In Addition, Chavez (2003) as cited in Lanziti and Varshney (2008) conducted a study about the different functions that learners attribute to both L1 and L2 in the classroom. The result of the study was that the students preferred the use of L1 in the classroom. In compare, the students belief that L2 made boring activity in the classroom.

Significance of the Study

This study will beneficial for ED students who will become English teachers and SMPN 1 Salatiga teachers. Through the analysis and the elaboration of students perceptions toward the use of L1, they will be able to see the Junior High School students need of L1 in English classes. By that, they can use the L1 effectively and efficiently to reduce the potential problem caused by the L1 in L2 acquisition.

Since the English Department of Satya Wacana Christian University has a relationship with SMPN1 Salatiga, especially in the Teaching Practicum course, this study will also be useful for those who become student teachers in SMPN 1 Salatiga. This study also offer s and presents data collection for another student or another person who will conduct a research in the same field.

Context of the Study The study takes place in SMP Negeri 1 Salatiga, Central Java. The context was chosen because it becomes one of the Teaching Practicum site in English Departments Teaching Practicum course. SMP Negeri 1 is one of the best Junior High School in Salatiga, and has the best English teachers. The students are various, ranged from high to low achievement of English. In this study, the subjects are 8 graders of SMPN 1 who are taught by 2 English teachers. The objects of the study are the students and teachers perception that will be gathered from interview and questionnaire. Bahasa Indonesia as the students L1 is still used in the English classes of this school. Moreover, the writer has her teaching practicum in this school. Therefore, the writer conducts the research in this school. Participants The participants chosen are intermediate learners of Salatiga. Their age is about 13 years old. The writer chooses intermediate learners as the participants because they are in the right time when the use of L1 in English classes can be converted. Beginner learners still need L1 as

much as possible as the medium of instruction while Advance learners need to be exposed in English use. Thus, intermediate English learning is the era when the use of L1 is transformed. Considering the context of the study, the participants of this research will be 100 students of grade 8 for questionnaire and 2 teachers for collecting the teachers perceptions towards the issue. Instruments In this study, the writer uses questionnaire and interview to collect the data. The questionnaire will be in the form of Lickerts scale and semi-structured interview questions about their perceptions on the use of L1 in English classes. The Lickerts scale consists of statements as follows: Part 1 SA L1 is needed in explaining grammar concept L1 is used to translate new English words L1 is useful to check students comprehension L1 is used to give instructions Teacher gives reinforcement using L1 L1 is used to communicate in the classroom L1 gives opportunity for students to cooperate more in class L1 is used in reviewing the material or tasks A D SD

Part 2 1. What do you think about the use of L1 in English classroom? Is it important or distracting? 2. In what context do you need L1 in learning English? Why? If the writer still needs further explanation on the students perceptions, additional interview will be conducted. In the interview session, the question will be about elaborating the students answer on their questionnaires. Data Collection Procedures Questionnaire After the Lickerts scale questionnaire for the students is ready, the writer will spread the questionnaire to approximately 100 students from 8 classes of grade 8. The writer will come to each class of grade 8 to give the questionnaire and to collect it. in the questionnaire, the writer will ask about students data and those who fill the data will be interviewed to elaborate their answer in the questionnaire. Interview In collecting the data, first the writer will interview the teacher to ask them about in what context they use the L1 in English classes. The interview will be a semi-structured interview to see the teachers use of L1 and the reason why they use the L1 in particular circumstances. The interview will be around 10-15 minutes and will be transcribed. Further interview to students will be conducted if the writer needs more explanation. The interview will be about 5-10 minutes and will be transcribed.

Data Analysis After the participants were interviewed, the writer will count the students answer in the Lickerts scale into percentages to see the major students need of L1 and their perceptions towards the statements. The writer will also analyze the role of L1 in the classes based on the teachers perceptions and then make a list of the roles and the reasons. Then, the data from students and teachers will be compared to see the similarities and differences between them. As the last step, the writer will draw a conclusion regarding the findings of the research.

Auerbach, Elsa Roberts (1993). Reexamining English only in the ESL classroom. TESOL Quaterly, 27, 1, pp. 9-32. Beebe, Leslie M. (1988). Issues in Second Language Acquisition. New York: Newbury House Publishers Bhela, Baljit. (1999). Native language interference in learning a second language: Exploratory case studies of native language interference with target language usage. Retrieved from Jadallah & Hasan (2010) A review of some trends in using L1 in EFL Clasroom. Krashen, Stephen D. (1988). Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning. Prentice Hall Publisher Lanzity & Varshney (2008). Students Views Regarding the Use of the First Language. Levine, G.S. (2003). Student and Instructor beliefs and attitudes about target language use, first language use, and anxiety: Report of a questionnaire study. Modern Language Journal, 87, 343-364 Lott, D. (1983). Analysing and counteracting interference errors. ELT Journal, vol. 37/3, p. 256261. Nunan, D. (1999). Second Language Teaching and Learning Schweers, William. (1999). Using L1 in L2 classroom. Retrieved from Skiba, Richard (1997). Code Switching as a Countenance of Language Interference, The Internet TESL Journal, vol III, no. 10 (