Teachers’ self‐reported L1 and L2 use and self‐assessed L2 proficiency in primary EFL education

Main Article Content

Eva Wilden
Raphaela Porsch

Abstract

This study investigates teachers’ first language (L1, German) and second language (L2, English) use in the primary English as a foreign language (EFL) classroom in two federal German states. It particularly focuses on the question of whether a more frequent, (self-reported) use of the L2 is positively correlated to teachers’ professional qualification as well as (self-assessed) L2 proficiency. To this end, data was collected in 2017 through an online survey among German primary teachers teaching EFL in year 4 (N = 844). L2 use was assessed through a 4-point Likert scale comprising 16 items on various classroom situations. L1 use was surveyed with an open question on situations of L1 use in the L2 classroom. Moreover, teachers self-assessed their L2 proficiency with a 4-point Likert scale and adapted CEFR descriptors for speaking. Findings indicate that teachers claim to use the L2 more in L2-related situations and the L1 more in classroom management situations. The study shows that teachers with a higher formal qualification tend to assess their L2 proficiency higher and claim to use the L2 more often in the primary EFL classroom. In contrast, teachers with a lower formal qualification tend to assess their L2 proficiency lower and claim to use the L1 more frequently in the L2 classroom.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Wilden, E., & Porsch, R. (2020). Teachers’ self‐reported L1 and L2 use and self‐assessed L2 proficiency in primary EFL education. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 10(3), 631-655. https://doi.org/10.14746/ssllt.2020.10.3.9
Section
Articles
Author Biographies

Eva Wilden, University of Duisburg-Essen

Eva Wilden, PhD, is Professor of EFL education at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany. Her research interests include primary EFL education, inclusive L2 education and teacher qualification. Together with Raphaela Porsch she directs the TEPS project (Teaching English in Primary Schools), which has been published in various international journals such as Language Teaching for Young Learners or AILA Review. Eva has co-edited the anthology The Professional Development of Primary EFL Teachers (2017, Waxmann). She co-edits a special issue of The European Journal of Applied Linguistics and TEFL on teaching English to young learners. Eva is member of the AILA Research Network in Early Language Learning established by Janet Enever.

Contact details: University of Duisburg-Essen, Department of Anglophone Studies, Universitaetsstrasse 12, 45141 Essen, Germany (eva.wilden@uni-due.de)

Raphaela Porsch, University of Magdeburg

Raphaela Porsch, PhD, is Professor of Education at the University of Magdeburg, Germany. Her research interests include teacher education, teaching out-of-field/teaching across specialisations, academic emotions, transition after primary school, and (early) foreign language teaching. Together with Eva Wilden she directs the TEPS project (Teaching English in Primary Schools), which has been published in various international journals such as Language Teaching for Young Learners or AILA Review. She has worked in national large-scale assessment as well as projects on school development and is the editor of several anthologies on educational topics such as transition after primary school and teaching out-of-field.

Contact details: University of Magdeburg, Institut I: Bildung, Beruf und Medien/ Erziehungswissenschaft, Zschokkestr. 32, 39104 Magdeburg, Germany (raphaela.porsch@ovgu.de)

References

  1. Atkinson, D. (1987). The mother tongue in the classroom: A neglected resource? ELT Journal, 41(4), 241-247.
  2. Auerbach, E. R. (1993). Reexamining English only in the ESL classroom. TESOL Quarterly, 27(1), 9-32.
  3. Barucki, H., Bliesener, U., Börner, O., Böttger, H., Hoffmann, I.‑B., Kierepka, A., & Schlüter, N. (2015). Der Lernstand im Englischunterricht am Ende von Klasse 4: Ergebnisse der BIG-Studie. München: Domino.
  4. Bhooth, A., Azman, H., & Ismail, K. (2014). The role of the L1 as a scaffolding tool in the EFL reading classroom. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 118, 76-84.
  5. Butzkamm, W., & Caldwell, J. A. W. (2009). The bilingual reform: A paradigm shift in foreign language teaching. Tübingen: Narr.
  6. Cameron, L. (2001). Teaching languages to young learners. Cambridge: CUP.
  7. Clotfelter, C. T., Ladd, H. F., & Vigdor, J. L. (2010). Teacher credentials and student achievement in high school: A cross-subject analysis with student fixed effects. Journal of Human Resources, 45(3), 655-681.
  8. Cook, V. (2001). Using the first language in the classroom. Canadian Modern Language Review, 57(3), 402-423.
  9. Cortina, K. S., & Thames, M. H. (2013). Teacher education in Germany. In M. Kunter, J. Baumert, W. Blum, U. Klusmann, S. Krauss, & M. Neubrand (Eds.), Mathematics teacher education: Vol. 8. Cognitive activation in the mathematics classroom and professional competence of teachers: Results from the COACTIV project (pp. 49-62). New York: Springer.
  10. Council of Europe (2001). Common European framework of reference for languages: Learning, teaching, assessment (CEFR). Strasbourg: Council of Europe.
  11. Cummins, J. (2007). Rethinking monolingual instructional strategies in multilingual classrooms. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 10(2), 221-240.
  12. DESI-Konsortium. (Ed.) (2008). Unterricht und Kompetenzerwerb in Deutsch und Englisch: Ergebnisse der DESI-Studie. Weinheim: Beltz.
  13. Deters-Philipp, A.‑C. (2018). Lehrersprache im Englischunterricht an deutschen Grundschulen. Münster: Waxmann.
  14. Dörr, S. (2018). Lehrer- und Schülersprache im Englischunterricht der bayerischen Mittelschule. Münster: Waxmann.
  15. Garton, S. (2019). Early language learning teacher education: Present and future. In S. Zein & S. Garton (Eds.), Early language learning and teacher education: International research and practice (pp. 265-276). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
  16. Goldhaber, D. D., & Brewer, D. J. (2000). Does teacher certification matter? High school teacher certification status and student achievement. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 22(2), 129-145.
  17. Hall, G., & Cook, G. (2013). Own-language use in ELT: Exploring global practices and attitudes. ELT Research Papers, 13(1), 1-49.
  18. Helmke, T., Helmke, A., Schrader, F., Wagner, W., Nold, G., & Schröder, K. (2008). Die Videostudie des Englischunterrichts. In DESI-Konsortium (Ed.), Beltz Pädagogik. Unterricht und Kompetenzerwerb in Deutsch und Englisch: Ergebnisse der DESI-Studie (pp. 345-363). Weinheim: Beltz.
  19. Hobbs, L. (2013). Teaching ‘out-of-field’ as a boundary-crossing event: Factors shaping teacher identity. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education, 11(2), 271-297. http://doi.org/10.1007/s10763-012-9333-4
  20. Hoffmann, L., & Richter, D. (2016). Aspekte der Aus- und Fortbildung von Deutsch- und Englischlehrkräften im Ländervergleich. In P. Stanat, K. Böhme, S. Schipolowski, & N. Haag (Eds.), IQB-Bildungstrend 2015: Sprachliche Kompetenzen am Ende der 9. Jahrgangsstufe im zweiten Ländervergleich (pp. 481-507). Münster: Waxmann.
  21. Inbar-Lourie, O. (2010). English only? The linguistic choices of teachers of young EFL learners. International Journal of Bilingualism, 14(3), 351-367. http://doi.org/10.1177/1367006910367849
  22. Izquierdo, J., García Martínez, V., Garza Pulido, M. G., & Aquino Zúñiga, S. P. (2016). First and target language use in public language education for young learners: Longitudinal evidence from Mexican secondary-school classrooms. System, 61, 20-30. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2016.07.006
  23. KMK. (2013). Fremdsprachen in der Grundschule - Sachstand und Konzeptionen 2013: Beschluss der Kultusministerkonferenz vom 17.10.2013: Sekretariat der Ständigen Konferenz der Kulturminister der Länder in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland.
  24. Kohlbacher, F. (2006). The use of qualitative content analysis in case study research, 7(1), Art. 21. http://doi.org/10.17169/FQS-7.1.75
  25. La Campa, J. C. de, & Nassaji, H. (2009). The amount, purpose, and reasons for using L1 in L2 classrooms. Foreign Language Annals, 42(4), 742-759.
  26. Lee, J. H., & Levine, G. S. (2018). The effects of instructor language choice on second language vocabulary learning and listening comprehension. Language Teaching Research, 39, 1-23. http://doi.org/10.1177/1362168818770910
  27. Lee, J. H., & Lo, Y. Y. (2017). An exploratory study on the relationships between attitudes toward classroom language choice, motivation, and proficiency of EFL learners. System, 67, 121-131. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2017.04.017
  28. Lee, J. H., & Macaro, E. (2013). Investigating age in the use of L1 or English-only instruction: Vocabulary acquisition by Korean EFL learners. Modern Language Journal, 97(4), 887-901. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-4781.2013.12044.x
  29. Macaro, E., & Lee, J. H. (2013). Teacher language background, codeswitching, and English-only instruction: Does age make a difference to learners’ attitudes? TESOL Quarterly, 47(4), 717-742.
  30. Macaro, E., Tian, L., & Chu, L. (2018). First and second language use in English medium instruction contexts. Language Teaching Research, 2, 1-21. http://doi.org/10.1177/1362168818783231
  31. Macías, D. F. (2018). Classroom management in foreign language education: An exploratory review. Profile: Issues in Teachers´ Professional Development, 20(1), 153-166. http://doi.org/10.15446/profile.v20n1.60001
  32. McMillan, B. A., & Rivers, D. J. (2011). The practice of policy: Teacher attitudes toward “English only”. System, 39(2), 251-263. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2011.04.011
  33. MSW NRW. (2008). Richtlinien und Lehrpläne für die Grundschule in Nordrhein-Westfalen. Düsseldorf: MSW NRW.
  34. Nakatsukasa, K., & Loewen, S. (2015). A teacher’s first language use in form-focused episodes in Spanish as a foreign language classroom. Language Teaching Research, 19(2), 133-149. http://doi.org/10.1177/1362168814541737
  35. NKM. (2006). Kerncurriculum für die Grundschule. Schuljahrgänge 3-4. Hannover: Niedersächsisches Kultusministerium.
  36. Ott, N. F. (2011). Codeswitching im Englischunterricht der Grundschule. Immersion als erfolgreicher Weg zum Zweitspracherwerb? Beiträge Zur Fremdsprachenvermittlung, 51, 51-75.
  37. Paker, T., & Karaağaç, Ö. (2015). The use and functions of mother tongue in EFL classes. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 199, 111-119.
  38. Porsch, R. (2017). Spezialisten oder Generalisten? Eine Betrachtung der Fachausbildung von Grundschullehrerinnen und -lehrern in Deutschland. In M. Radhoff & S. Wieckert (Eds.), Studien zur Schulpädagogik: Vol. 84. Grundschule im Wandel (pp. 151-162). Hamburg: Kovac.
  39. Porsch, R. (2020). Fachfremdes Unterrichten in Deutschland: Welche Rolle spielt die Lehrerbildung? In R. Porsch & B. Rösken-Winter (Eds.), Professionelles Handeln im fachfremd erteilten Mathematikunterricht: Empirische Befunde und Fortbildungskonzepte (pp. 29-47). Wiesbaden: Springer Spektrum. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-658-27293-7_2
  40. Porsch, R., & Wendt, H. (2017). Mathematikunterricht und Studienschwerpunkte der Lehrkräfte: Gibt es Auswirkungen auf die Mathematikleistungen von Grundschülerinnen und -schülern? Nationale Befunde aus TIMSS 2011. Unterrichtswissenschaft, 45(2), 115-135. http://doi.org/10.3262/UW1702114
  41. Porsch, R., & Whanell, R. (2019). Out-of-field teaching affecting students and learning: What is known and unknown. In L. Hobbs & G. Törner (Eds.), Examining the phenomenon of “Teaching out-of-field”: International perspectives on teaching as a non-specialist (179-191). Singapore: Springer. http://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-3366-8_7
  42. Porsch, R., & Wilden, E. (2017). The introduction of EFL in primary education in Germany: A view from implementation research. In E. Wilden & R. Porsch (Eds.), The professional development of primary EFL teachers: National and international research (pp. 59-75). Münster: Waxmann.
  43. Rixon, S. (2013). British Council survey of policy and practice in primary English language teaching worldwide. London: British Council.
  44. Rolin-Ianziti, J., & Varshney, R. (2008). Students’ views regarding the use of the first language: An exploratory study in a tertiary context maximizing target language use. Canadian Modern Language Review, 65(2), 249-273. http://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.65.2.249
  45. Sali, P. (2014). An analysis of the teachers’ use of L1 in Turkish EFL classrooms. System, 42, 308-318. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2013.12.021
  46. Schreier, M. (2012). Qualitative content analysis in practice. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
  47. Shabir, M. (2017). Student-teachers’ beliefs on the use of L1 in EFL classroom: A global perspective. English Language Teaching, 10(4), 45-52. http://doi.org/10.5539/elt.v10n4p45
  48. Tian, L., & Macaro, E. (2012). Comparing the effect of teacher codeswitching with English-only explanations on the vocabulary acquisition of Chinese university students: A lexical focus-on-form study. Language Teaching Research, 16(3), 367-391. http://doi.org/10.1177/1362168812436909
  49. Turnbull, M. (2001). There is a role for the L1 in second and foreign language teaching, but… Canadian Modern Language Review, 57(4), 531-540. http://doi.org/10.3138/cmlr.57.4.531
  50. Unsworth, S., Persson, L., Prins, T., & de Bot, K. (2015). An investigation of factors affecting early foreign language learning in the Netherlands. Applied Linguistics, 36(5), 527-548. http://doi.org/10.1093/applin/amt052
  51. Wagner, W., Helmke, A., & Rösner, E. (2009). Deutsch Englisch Schülerleistungen international: Dokumentation der Erhebungsinstrumente für Schülerinnen und Schüler, Eltern und Lehrkräfte. Frankfurt: GFPF.
  52. Wilden, E., & Porsch, R. (2020). A critical analysis of the German public debate about an early start in primary foreign language education. Language Teaching for Young Learners, 2(2), 55-83. http://doi.org/10.1075/ltyl.19019.wil
  53. Zech, J. (2019). Primary EFL teachers’ language use in class: An empirical study. (Unpublished master thesis). University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.