Vol. 1,No. 2, July 2011

Author(s): Nasser Hassanzadeh

Abstract: Current views on the importance of mother tongue emphasize that it has a productive role in the teaching/ processes and if it supported in the educational settings, it would lead to awareness and explicit knowledge of mother tongue in which learners experience less difficulty in learning and understanding of different subjects. The present study reports an attempt to investigate the importance of awareness and explicit knowledge of mother tongue in learning English language grammar on Iranian EFL learners. This study was carried out in the teaching/learning context in (East Azerbaijan-Tabriz). The researcher did the investigation with 40 male and female intermediate EFL learners. A pilot study was conducted and a valid test was prepared to be applied as pre and post test before the study. The validity of this test was checked against CELT test. A proficiency test was administered to the participants to make sure of their homogeneity. Then, they were randomly assigned to control and experimental groups. Both groups were taught the same grammar structures. However, the focused grammar structures were taught to the experimental group both in English and their mother tongue. At the end of the course both groups were tested. The results of the independent sample t-test indicated that experimental group did significantly better than the control group. Thus the null hypotheses were rejected and the research questions with positive answers were accepted. At the end of the teachings, a questionnaire including 20 questions was given to the students in the control group who had experienced mother tongue teaching to get their opinions about being taught in their mother tongue. The conclusion underlines the requirement of language awareness in mother tongue to cause a growth in better understanding, to facilitate and to improve teaching/learning situation.

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