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ESL forum > Techniques and methods in Language Teaching > teaching english as foreign language     

teaching english as foreign language

Azera Titan

teaching english as foreign language
it is used to say that we can not use mother tongue when we teach english but it is very diffecult to do. So i need to discuss this point of view friends

11 Jan 2014      


You could try a search using Google: There are lots of links that could help you.
Click this link:

11 Jan 2014     

United Kingdom

I used to be a French teacher (to English kids) and we were required to use target language insofar as possible i.e. just French, no English. It was impossible. Now I teach EAL (English as an additional language) to INAs (international new arrivals), mainly Slovakians. I don �t speak Slovakian, so I am ideally placed to be able to stick to English. Guess what? When EAL jobs are advertised, they always say �Slovakian speakers preferred �. Hey ho!

My opinion is that most pupils feel uncomfortable if their own language is excluded. You need to check comprehension and a quick and easy way to do this is to use mother tongue. Reassurance and praise are more meaningful when delivered in mother tongue. 

I have a Slovakian support assistant in with me and I don �t know how I �d cope if she wasn �t there. 

It �ll be interesting to hear if anyone else has any thoughts on this. 

11 Jan 2014     


Here �s a similar thread from before

11 Jan 2014     

United States

I �m in a similar position to Lynne �s in that I teach immigrants. However, they come from many different countries and speak many different languages. There �s no way I could learn Spanish, French, Portuguese, Arabic, Vietnamese, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Albanian, Somali, Yorumba, Ogoni, Burmese, Krio, Haitian Creole, Japanese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Nepali, Urdu, Pashto, Bengali, Cambodian, and Karen. (Those are just the languages I remember that current or former students speak. I �m sure there are some I forgot.) I have to teach in English!
Fortunately, by the time they get to me, they have some English. I still use lots of pictures and gestures when I teach, though.

11 Jan 2014     

United Kingdom

It can be done i.e. teach English to non-English speakers without use of mother tongue and as MoodyMoody says, sometimes it has to be! Visuals, kinaesthetic activities (acting it out), modelling, all sorts of techniques that we all know, come into play. I just think that if you can speak the language of your students and they all speak the same language, that is useful, rather than a hindrance. It is another tool at your disposal. 

11 Jan 2014     

Peter Hardy

Like Moody and Lynne I teach (adult) speakers of many different languages. I speak none of their languages, but I take pride when they speak English after three to six months. How? I use pictures and other visuals for vocabulary, video clips, I act and mime and let them use dictionaries for more complex words. They have to (...) learn ten new words each day, and I let them start with the most used words first. In short, it can be done without use of any mother tongue. Occasionally I have peer-teachers, who teach in their mother tongue. The difference is that my students learn English much quicker! And no-one ever said life was easy :-)

11 Jan 2014     


I only use in English in my classroom of Turkish speaker. I teach children ages 4-6 they learn well maybe not always conceptualizing the language or having full understanding. I use lots of visual resources, demonstrations, games, TPR and songs. This allows my student to understand better and repeat the language

12 Jan 2014