…for special cases only
More than half of poll voters (51%) have chosen this answer to express their attitude to using the native language during English classes. Generally speaking, students are happy with make-believe English-speaking world for an hour and a half and occasional returns to reality don’t seem to spoil the atmosphere. However, 29% of those who cast their votes believe that English is the only language that can be used in classes. Strict guys! And I do see their point. Having studied in London for more than a year, I have never had an opportunity to hear my (or anybody else’s) native language since our teacher did not speak any languages but English. The classes were amazing, even though every now and again there appeared clumsy linguistic situations when one of us could get the meaning of the word wrong, or misunderstood a situation. That’s why I understand those who assume that grammar has to be explained in the native language (7%) and those who believe words have to be translated into the native language (3%). However, what I do not understand is the desire to speak Russian whenever we want (7%). We speak it all the time except 80 minutes twice a week. So, what’s the point?.. Actually, I could arrange private Russian-speaking classes for a fair price! 🙂
Despite the absence of Russian during my classes back in London, the English-only approach taught me to use thesaurus instead of bilingual dictionaries. I learnt to think in English and didn’t have to translate the words and sentences into the native language any more. Believe it or not, but only then I realized what “fluent” actually means! However, I recon if the audience is not multinational and we all have the opportunity to facilitate our lives every now and again making sure we have got the word right and the grammar rule, too, we can use the native language as this kind of facility. Not very often though, in order to avoid waiting for the Russian explanation to come.
Well then. I assume we’ve agreed here. The native language ca be spoken only in special cases and special cases are those determined your instructor. Otherwise there’s always an opportunity to get to the black list with some secret punishment to come 🙂