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Fri, 07 Sep 2012 11:51:53 EDT by admin, 104479 views
University of Miskolc
Education paper by Molnár, Erzsébet (all papers)
The Role of the Mother Tongue in Foreign Language Teaching
Mother tongue has an indispensable and inevitable role in foreign language teaching. However this role changes continuously in its intensity, character, methods, and in its strategies. There are subjective and objective differences between mother tongue acquisition (L1) and foreign language learning (L2) and we should take into consideration the effects of mother tongue in FLT. We talk about positive and negative transfers. Postivie transfer is if mother tongue is similar to foreign language in some aspects but if mother tongue is different this effect will have negative transfer. The main reasons why students make mistakes (errors) are partly because of negative transfer and partly because of mother tongue interference.
Students use mother tongue in order to fulfil their needs and mother tongue becomes their tool in order to express themselves. In the case of L2 students are aware of the fact that they can use their mother tongue when they want. We can distinguish four fields in terms of similarities and differences in the language: phonetic-phonological, grammatical, lexical, conversational routines The usage of mother tongue is unavoidable in some cases: in the exploration of the meaning of the foreign word, clarifying grammatical rules, comparing the mother tongue and the target language, explaining new structures, in translations, etc. The discussion of the role of the mother tongue has arisen lots of very interesting responses from around the world. The formerly strict dogma that there is no room for the mother tongue in the EFL classroom (a product of acquisition-based teaching methods), has been replaced by a more differentiated approach which may depend heavily on the cultural and educational situation where each individual teacher is working.
Brief Professional Bio:
MOLNÁR, ERZSÉBET (b. 1953) is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Miskolc, Hungary. She has degrees from Esterházy Károly Teacher Training College (B.A.) in Eger, as well as from the University of Budapest (M.A.) and the University of Szeged (M.A.). She received her Ph.D. from Pannon University in Veszprém, based on a dissertation about the great Transylvanian-Hungarian Polymath, Sámuel Brassai (1797-1897). After teaching on the secondary school level, in 1999 Dr. Molnár was appointed to the Department of English Linguistic and Literature at the University of Miskolc. Her specialty is language pedagogy and the main issues of foreign language teaching. Her publications include half dozen textbooks, three dozen related articles in English and Hungarian, as well as a book on the topic of her dissertation, Sámuel Brassai. The Last Transylvanian Polymath (2008). She is a frequent participant at various international conferences, including those in Great Britain, Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Albania, Malta, Canada, and the United States.