Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 9. Number 2. June 2018                                             Pp.  186-199
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol9no2.13

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Use of First Language in the Classroom: Non-native EFL Teachers’ Beliefs in Teaching English to Adult Learners in Bilingual Context 

Iftikhar Ahmad
Department of Humanities & Administrative Sciences, Unaizah Community College, Qassim
University, Saudi Arabia

Noor Raha Mohd Radzuan
Centre for Modern Languages & Human Sciences, University Malaysia Pahang, 26600 Pekan,
Pahang, Malaysia

Muhammad Sabboor Hussain
Preparatory Year Programme (PYP), Main Campus, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia

 

 

Abstract:
This study aims to investigate the perspectives of non-native English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers across mother tongue and gender, and their male and female adult students, regarding the use of Arabic in the EFL classrooms at the university level in Saudi Arabia. The study specifically seeks to investigate the perspectives of non-native Arab and non-Arab EFL teachers as they, working in the native Arab setting, often resort to Arabic (Al-Nofaie, 2010; Machaal, 2012). However, there are glaring research gaps about non-native EFL teachers’ and adult learners’ beliefs on the use of first language (L1) in the classroom. For this purpose, the study used quantitative research design, and administered two questionnaires, one for the teachers and the other for the students. Students’ questionnaire complemented that of the teachers. Forty teachers and sixty students were selected based on stratified random sampling. The findings of the study revealed that all camps of teachers, Arab, non-Arab, male, female, and students were in favour of judicious bilingual approach. The study finds statistically significant difference between the beliefs of Arab and non-Arab EFL teachers about the use of L1. The findings suggest that Arab EFL teachers’ use of Arabic is extensive, while non-Arab EFL teachers’ use of Arabic is well-timed. The study suggested practical implications for the improvement of English Language Teaching (ELT) in Saudi Arabia by recommending planned, occasional and judicious use of L1 while teaching EFL adult learners.
Keywords: adult learners, bilingual approach, L1 in classroom, non-native EFL teachers

Cite as: Ahmad, I., Radzuan, N, R. M. , & Hussain, M.S.  (2018). Use of First Language in the Classroom: Non-native EFL Teachers’ Beliefs in Teaching English to Adult Learners in Bilingual ContextArab World English Journal, 9 (2).
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awej/vol9no2.13

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Iftikhar Ahmad is lecturer in English at the Department of Humanities and Administrative
Sciences, Unaizah Community College, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia. He is pursuing his PhD
in Applied Linguistics from University Malaysia Pahang, Malaysia. His main area of interest is
Applied Linguistics, especially teacher cognition, bilingualism and ELT. http://orcid.org/0000-
0002-0725-6573