Arab World English Journal: Special Issue: Application of Global ELT Practices in Saudi Arabia September 2019      Pp. 72-86
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/elt1.6

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Exploring Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices on the Use of the
Mother Tongue as a Mediational Tool in a Saudi EFL Classroom

Mazen Mansory
English Language Institute (ELI)
King Abdulaziz University (KAU)
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
mmmansory@kau.edu.sa

 

Abstract :
This study reports the findings of a qualitative study of non-native English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers’ beliefs about the role of the first language (L1) as a mediating tool in a Saudi EFL classroom at a university level. As such, this research was conducted with the aim of answering the main research question which seeks a better understanding and deeper insights into the beliefs that directly affect the teachers’ use of the L1 in the classroom as a mediational tool. The sample consisted of twenty (twelve male and eight female) EFL teachers who answered an open-ended question in an online survey. Four teachers (two male and two female) participated voluntarily in semi-structured interviews. Analysis of the data produced several themes. Those findings revealed that despite all the literature acknowledging the benefits of using the mother tongue in the classroom, many English Language Institute (ELI) teachers still believe in limiting its use as a mediational tool in the English Language Teaching (ELT) classroom as much as possible. In addition, it appeared that the lower the level of students’ English proficiency, the more the teacher is likely to use L1 in the classroom.  These findings have implications for classroom practice and could be employed to emphasise the value of teachers’ beliefs about the role of L1 as a mediational tool in the ELT classroom.
Keywords: First language (L1), EFL, mother tongue (MT), mediational tool, Saudi context

Cite as:  Mansory, M. (2019). Exploring Teachers’ Beliefs and Practices on the Use of the Mother Tongue as a Mediational Tool in a Saudi EFL Classroom. Arab World English Journal, Special Issue 1: Application of Global ELT Practices in Saudi Arabia. 72-86.
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/elt1.6

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Dr. Mazin Mansory joined the English Language Institution (formerly the ELC) at King
Abdulaziz University in 2008 after receiving his MA degree in English Language Teaching from
Nottingham Trent University, UK. In the ELC, he contributed to the teaching and development
of the General English and English for Science programmes. As part of his Doctorate thesis at
Exeter University, completed in October 2016, he carried out research on teachers’ roles in
English Language Assessment, which remains a focal point of his research interests. Mazin is
now an Assistant Professor teaching in the MA in TESOL programme in addition to being the
Head of Academic Students’ Affairs Unit at the ELI.
ORCiD: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8911-4308