Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number4   December 2021                                 Pp.349 -365
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol12no4.23

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Mother Tongue Use in Beginner EFL Grammar Classes in Saudi Arabia: A Case Study 

Khulud Ali Tubayqi
Female Art and Humanity College, Jazan University, Saudi Arabia

Mazeegha Ahmed Al Tale’
Faculty of Languages and Translation, King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia
Corresponding author: maltale@kku.edu.sa

 

Received: 8/23/2021               Accepted: 11/22/2021            Published: 12/15/2021

 

 Abstract:
Using the mother tongue (MT) in English as a foreign or second language (EFL/ESL) classrooms is indispensable, especially in beginner classes. This paper aims to add to the present literature on this issue by highlighting the attitudes of both students and teachers towards MT use in English as a foreign language (EFL) classroom, the justifications for its use, and some of the actual interaction practices in grammar classes. It investigates the attitudes of 110 Saudi EFL female beginners and their two teachers toward using the Arabic language in EFL grammar classes at Jazan University. It also investigates the students’ reasons for using or avoiding their MT. Moreover, it presents some of the functions that MT serves in EFL grammar classes.  To collect the data, the researchers used two questionnaires and classroom observations. For data analysis, they used Microsoft Excel and thematic content analysis. The results indicated that, although both students and teachers generally have positive attitudes toward using the MT in EFL classes, they are also aware of the adverse effects of its overuse. The results also revealed that the teachers and students use MT in EFL classes to serve different classroom functions that ease the teaching and learning processes. Based on these findings, the study provided recommendations for teachers, curriculum designers, and future researchers.
Keywords: Arabic, attitudes, English as a foreign language (EFL), functions, grammar, mother tongue (MT), reasons, Saudi Arabia context

Cite as: Tubayqi, K. A., & Al Tale’, M. A. (2021). Mother Tongue Use in Beginner EFL Grammar Classes in Saudi Arabia: A Case Study.
Arab World English Journal, 12 (4) 349 -365.
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol12no4.23

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Received: 8/23/2021 
Accepted: 11/22/2021  
Published: 12/15/2021
https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol12no4.23 
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Khulud Ali Tubayqi is a lecturer at Jazan University, English department. She holds a master’s degree from King Khalid University, majoring in Applied Linguistics. She has rich experience in teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) to Saudi students. Her research interests are EFL teaching, language planning and discourse analysis. ORCid ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2543-9928

Mazeegha Ahmed Al-Tale’ is an associate professor of Applied Linguistics in the Faculty of Languages and Translation-King Khalid University, Saudi Arabia. She has taught several English Language courses for graduate and postgraduate students. She has also published articles in local, Arabic, and international journals. Her research interests are English as a foreign language (EFL)learning and teaching, e. Learning, and critical discourse analysis. ORCid ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6355-8816