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Teaching secondary modern foreign languages
Teaching secondary modern foreign languages

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2.1 The benefits of using target language in the classroom

Using the target language as the main means of communication in the classroom provides students with maximum opportunity to use the language for themselves. This view is supported by a number of researchers in MFL teaching and learning, including David Little (1995) and Hazel Crichton (2009).

Crichton suggests that high-level target language interaction is a way of ensuring that the students have to function at a certain basic level. She also suggests that this supports their acquisition of the language and allows them to communicate sometimes also using spontaneous language. She adds that using target language as the main method of communication can also act as a motivating factor for students as they successfully understand and communicate in the foreign language.

While recognising that a classroom context is not the most natural way of acquiring a language, Crichton suggests that it is still possible if the target language is seen as the normal means of communication by both the teacher and the students.

Reflection point

Consider how you have seen the target language used in classrooms that you have observed or worked in. How did the students respond?