Mother Tongue as an Asset in Developing l2 Reading Comprehension Skill Among Iranian EFL Learners

Farzaneh Iranmanesh, Mohammad Golshan


This study attempted to explore the effect of teachers switching to l1 on developing l2 reading comprehension among learners and to justify the assumption that their switching to l1 can be purposeful, following pedagogical goals. To this respect two groups of students majoring at English teaching were selected from intact classes ,one as the control group, the other as the experimental receiving l2-only and l2 plus l1switching instruction respectively for their reading comprehension course with the same teacher under equal condition (highly attempted).The result showed that non/low proficient l2 readers who rely more on translation in the process of comprehending English texts made more advantage of the teacher’s implementing strategy and developed more than other participants. That is; apart from various reading strategies utilized by EFl learners, teachers’ code switching as a compensation strategy to clarify the complex unknown (assumed for the learners) syntactic/semantic structures plays a prominent role in facilitating the struggling task of comprehension among learners. It also justified the premise that insisting on l2-only instruction in reading comprehension is not facilitating but frustrating and time consuming. However, systematic switching to l1 can be developmental and timesaving through making positive effect on comprehension, motivation and confidence. Hence this study can provide language teachers with pedagogical implications for non-proficient l2 readers particularly at the early years of learning process.

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