The Use of Arabic (L1) in Teaching and Learning English (L2 A Study Conducted on Non-Major EFL Students at King Khalid University

Researchers have different opinions regarding the use of mother tongue in the EFL classroom. Also, students and teachers are divided over the issue of using L1in the EFL classroom. The present study aims at
investigating student and teacher perspectives regarding the use of L1 in learning and teaching English. The sample includes (345) non-major EFL male students at King Khalid University in Saudi Arabia. Statistical
analysis of the questionnaires given to students and teachers shows that students use L1 in varying degrees; (41.44%) of them always use L1 and (45.79%) of them sometimes use L1 in the EFL classroom. Concerning
teachers, (72.72%) of teachers who are native speakers of L1 sometimes use L1 in the EFL classroom. Also, the majority of students (86.95%) think that it is useful to use L1 in the EFL classroom. Teachers, however,
are divided over this issue, (63.63%) of the teachers who are native speakers of L1 think that it is useful to use L1, whereas only (28.57%) of the non-native speaker teachers of L1 support this idea. In addition, the
majority of students (82.09%) prefer to have teachers of English who know their mother tongue. (63.63%) of L1 native teachers and (64.28%) of the teachers who are non-native speakers of L1 think that it is
preferable if teachers of English know the students mother tongue. Furthermore, most of the students (46.69% strongly agree and 31.75% agree) think that the use of L1 in the EFL classroom has a number of benefits. If L1 is used occasionally and only when needed, it appears to be an effective teaching aid in the EFL classroom. However, we should maximize the use of L2 in the EFL classroom and students must use English not L1.