Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 10. Number 3 September 2019                                            Pp.192-201

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The Effects of the Use of First Language on Learning English as a Second Language:
Attitudes of Arabic EFL Learners


Abdulrahman Alzamil
Department of Foreign Languages
Taif University, Saudi Arabia



Teachers may wonder whether the use of first language (L1) in the second language (L2) classroom is beneficial or detrimental to L2 learning. The present study investigates the attitudes of L1 Arabic speakers towards the use of English in the L2 classroom. The study examined the following: a) whether Arabic is used in English language classrooms; b) students’ attitudes towards their English teachers’ use of Arabic; c) students’ attitudes towards their classmates’ use of Arabic; d) whether the use of Arabic facilitates L2 English learning. The study was conducted with 149 male Saudi university English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners studying in a Saudi English department. They were asked to complete two questionnaires: a) a background questionnaire; and b) an attitudinal questionnaire. The findings revealed that the participants believed that: a) Arabic is seldom used by their teachers; b) the use of English is more beneficial than Arabic to learning English; and c) Arabic can be used in some situations by teachers when communicating important information.
Keywords: Arab EFL learners, attitudes, English classroom, learning, using Arabic, second language

Cite as:  Alzamil, A.  (2019). The Effects of the Use of First Language on Learning English as a Second Language: Attitudes of Arabic EFL Learners. Arab World English Journal10 (3) 192-201.


Dr. Abdulrahman Alzamil is an assistant professor of second language acquisition of syntax in
the Department of Foreign Languages at Taif University in Saudi Arabia. His research interests lie
primarily in the area of generative second language acquisition of morphosyntactic and semantic