Simon Gill wrote:
> I favour the OCCASIONAL and PRINCIPLED use of the mother tongue, but
with the language being learned as a default setting...
> pozdravy z Moravy:-)))
> Simon Gill
Zdravim z Cech! (Now this was principled wasn't it?)
I enjoyed your article in hltmag.co.uk as well as the ongoing discussion
here because it's something I'm now trying to figure out for myself.
Personally, I'm all for your approach of PRINCIPLED use of L1 but the
frequency really depends on the context - who you teach and what. Low
levels and some technical terms beg for use of L1.
I used to teach English to Chinese native speakers in Malaysia and some
of them were very very close to elementary. I could see it all rather
ineffective when I was unable to deliver any sort of comprehensible
input or get across some instructions.
Now back in the Czech Republic, I've got elementary and lower
intermediate business people and I originally thought 'as much English
as possible, ie. English all the time' would greatly benefit my
students. Big blunder! On a few occasions I went to great lengths to
explain something in English only to FRUSTRATE my students and realize
that 'a swift kick in Czech' would've done the job. After all, they
asked for a Czech teacher for a reason.
Incidentally, there's an excellent essay on the silent period here
which argues for use of L1 by