Iranian EFL University Lecturers’ and Learners’ Attitude towards Using First Language as a Scaffolding Tool in Reading Comprehension

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Zahra Imani, Department of ELT, Kermanshah Science and Research Branch, Kermanshah, Iran, & Department of ELT, College of Literature and Humanities, Kermanshah Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Department of ELT, Kermanshah Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Kermanshah, Iran

Abstract

Abstract The role of EFL lecturers’ first language (L1) in the EFL courses has been an ongoing debate. A monolingual approach to EFL suggests that the use of the target language solely in foreign language (FL) classroom improves learning of the target language. Accordingly, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the attitude of Iranian lecturers and EFL learners towards using L1 as a scaffolding tool in reading comprehension. As such, a mixed method design was employed and the data were collected from a sample of 80 Iranian EFL students and 15 lecturers. The quantitative data were collected through two questionnaires and the qualitative data were gathered using a semi-structured interview guided by the research objectives. The findings revealed that the participants perceived the use of L1 (Persian) as a scaffolding tool in their EFL classrooms and it was used to serve a number of purposes: to explain complex grammar, to translate new words, to define concepts, and to help each other in their groups. Moreover, lecturers believed that L1 helps learners’ improve EFL learners’ reading comprehension. It can be concluded that L1 can be utilized as a scaffolding strategy by learners and lecturers in facilitating their learning and it can be used as a pedagogical tool by the EFL learners to enhance their learning experiences as well as to maximize their engagement in the classroom.

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