L1 in the EFL CLassroom? Part 3 – The Proposition

This post concludes my review of the literature surrounding the issue of how the L1 should or shouldn’t be used in the classroom. As the other parts of this blog post are included in this final post, I haven’t linked to them. Rather, read over the abstract and download the whole thing if you’re interested. It should fit together better that way!

The Pedagogical Potential of Codeswitching


The bilingual turn (Ortega, 2013) has resulted in greater acceptance of codeswitching as natural and potentially helpful throughout the ESL world. However, there is still a lot of room for development. This literature review aims to explore current work in the field and identify which direction ESL theories of codeswitching are, and should be, moving in. By looking through the ESL and bilingualism literature this paper notes how codeswitching is being theorised and used in various contexts, and argues that ESL teaching and research, although having made great progress, is still falling far short of the potential that codeswitching offers as a pedagogical tool. A potential solution is suggested from the bilingualism literature, in which codeswitching is developed into an ecologically situated concept of translanguaging. This is largely based on the work of García (2009), who views early L2 learners as emergent bilinguals, and the L1 as a key to L2 learning. A few attempts to provide a framework for translanguaging in bilingual education are explained, and, along these lines, this review suggests that many ESL situations would benefit from a reconceptualization as bilingual education.

Download and read the literature review (pdf): Avery (2013) The Pedagogical Potential of Codeswitching


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