An Investigation of Perception, Purpose and Amount of L1 Use in EFL Classrooms: the Case of Grade Five Students in Atse Fasil General Elementary School

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Dessie Alemayehu
Getnet Gidey

Abstract

The major purpose of the present study was to investigate perception, purpose and amount of L1 use in EFL classrooms. In the study, Atse Fasil General Elementary School was selected using simple random sampling technique out of 44 elementary schools in the city of Gondar, and only grade five was chosen using purposive sampling technique. In this grade level, there were 412 students as a total population. Out of these, 82 students (20%) were selected with systematic simple random sampling technique for participation. The study employed descriptive survey research design with mixed approach (qualitative and quantitative). To collect data, audio recording, questionnaire and interviews were used. The recorded data and the questionnaire data were analyzed quantitatively. The interview data were analyzed qualitatively. The findings of the study regarding the perception of the students indicated that Amharic should be used with limited amount in English language classrooms. It was also found that Amharic was used for clarifying difficult concept, providing instructions, maintaining discipline, checking comprehension, eliciting ideas, explaining rules and defining vocabularies. Also, the finding shows that EFL students employed 57% of Amharic in English contexts; Amharic was implemented in English classrooms before attempts were made within the target language (English). Based on the findings above, it was recommended EFL students should be given on how, what for and how much to utilize Amharic in English language learning situations.

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