Own-language Use in ELT

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Although overlooked or ignored in the professional literature of English language teaching (ELT) for much of the twentieth century, own-language use has recently re-emerged as a focus of research and practice. After defining key terms and concepts, including the ‘monolingual assumption’ that has underpinned much English-only teaching in ELT, this entry outlines both the reasons for its initial ‘disappearance’ from methodological debate and the recent resurgence of interest in its potential to support English language teaching and learning. Following a summary of commonly-presented arguments against own-language use, a range of perspectives in support of drawing on the learners’ own language in class are reviewed. Subsequently, a range of own-language use classroom functions and practices are discussed, whilst the continued variation in what teachers around the world actually believe and do regarding own-language use is highlighted.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching
EditorsJohn I. Liontas
ISBN (Electronic)9781118784235
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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