Many Asian education systems discourage or even ban the use of L1 in L2 classrooms – although in fact L1 remains widely used by teachers. Why is L1 use still devalued in this context? By observing classes and interviewing teachers, this book explores three dimensions of L1 use in L2 teaching:
• pedagogy: what teachers actually do, and what they say about it
• the personal: what happens to identity when we ‘perform’ a foreign tongue
• the professional: how textbooks are used, and what is distinctive about the EFL domain.
A powerful yet balanced book that proposes a practical new way of looking at 21st century language teaching based firmly on evidence from the EFL classroom and on current ideas about the student as an L2 user. It is important in bringing together the principled use of the L1 in the classroom, the advantages of bilingual language teachers, and the use of teaching methods and coursebooks that integrate the students’ own language and culture with their learning rather than referencing an incomprehensible alien culture.
- Vivian Cook, Emeritus Professor, Newcastle University, UK
The generative power, sophistication and beauty of L1 in its love-hate romance with L2 is finally brought back to the table so gracefully by Forman in this long overdue book. L1 is an essential, natural and intrinsic component of foreign language teaching and learning, and therefore it must be recognized and acted upon as such, not any less, as Forman convincingly demonstrates. After all, it is time to move beyond advocating for bilingualism as a political sentiment, an external attribute and a symbolic necessity. Its power runs from within and for real.
- Phan Le Ha, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA
Ross Forman offers a comprehensive account of a study on bilingual pedagogy situated in Thailand. The study is theoretically grounded in sociocultural and functional views of language and human meaning-making. It offers a 3D analysis of bilingual pedagogy by connecting it inwards to the dimension of personal lived experience and identity as well as outwards to the profession, offering research-based principles to both teachers and teacher educators. Extremely insightful and highly recommended.
- Angel Lin, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
I found this to be a powerful, well-researched and insightful look into the bilingual use of the L1 and L2 in Asian EFL education, specifically, in a Thailand-based context... Forman explains his rationale for the study well throughout the duration of the book, and provides a thorough, much-needed overview of, and support for, L1 use in L2 learning; a concept which has received much criticism throughout the majority of the 20th century.
- International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 2016
- Blake Turnbull, Kyoto University, Japan
If you teach English as a non-native English speaker, then this book may make you feel like someone finally understands your world. Forman's observations at a Thai university, albeit now well over 10 years old, challenge the still dominant pedagogical model that English is best delivered by native speakers.
- U: magazine, November 2016
- Carol Charman, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Ross Forman is a Senior Lecturer in TESOL and Applied Linguistics at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. He has worked in the field for over 30 years and his research interests include bilingual pedagogy, EFL practices and second language development. He has recently published in Language, Culture and Curriculum; Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching and Language Teaching Research.