The First Language (L1) as a Mediational Tool in Peer Interaction by EFL College Students in Vietnam


sociocultural theory
peer interaction


The assumptions that using the first language (L1) in EFL/ESL language learning might spoil the linguistic development have been established for a long time. However, a large body of language learning studies has recently claimed the benefits of using L1 in learning context, especially during peer interaction. Moreover, Sociocultural Theory (SCT) provided the new perspectives towards learning shedding new lights on the potential role of L1 by highlighting the mediational role of L1 for the higher mental achievements in language learning. This paper drawing on SCT reports the results of the study which investigates the use of L1 in speaking tasks by EFL college students in Vietnam. It provides insights into the use of the L1 in the EFL learning in a speaking environment. Data collection was done by videotaping five pairs on completing two speaking tasks and analysed by adapting the L1 functions of Storch and Wigglesworth (2003), Swain and Lapkin (2000), Algería le la Colina & García Mayo (2009). The paper reveals the mediational functions of L1 in peer interaction in speaking task completion. It also provides the pedagogical implications for using mother tongue in teaching and learning English in the peer context.


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