Title

Exploring practices and view of a bilingual English teacher regarding the role of first language in teaching speaking skills at the primary level

Date of Award

8-1-2008

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)

Department

Institute for Educational Development, Karachi

Abstract

In this study, I have investigated the view of a bilingual language teacher regarding the role of first language in teaching English speaking skill at the primary level. I, therefore, conducted this study in a private English medium school, where the first language of teachers and students was Urdu. The school context also corresponded to my own context to a considerable level. This research was carried out through a case study in light of the nature of research question, how does a bilingual teacher view the role of first language in teaching English speaking skills in class five in a private school? The data was amassed through semi-structured interviews, observations, and document analysis. The findings suggest that code switching was found as an alternative teaching strategy to develop the English speaking skills of students through facilitating the understanding of limited English proficient students. The study revealed that the native language of the teacher and students plays the role of self-facilitative tool. Hence, it enhances students' confidence and encourages involvement in classroom talk. The findings revealed that language teachers applied first language in teaching grammar patterns, background of a text, words with abstract meaning, and emphasizing in believing that his students are non-native speakers. As a result, explaining in first language is very important for clarifying comprehension related difficulties. Moreover, the study demonstrated that a lack of pedagogical knowledge impacted on the development of speaking skill and use of first language in classroom practices. Moreover, lack of social environment for the balanced development of both first and foreign language was identified. This had potential bearings on the development of speaking skill in the target language. There seemed to be less exposure to English in the immediate context (home and school and street). The findings reflected that first language was dominant inside and outside home.

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