A Field Study of the Use of Arabic in EFL Classrooms in the Saudi Intermediate Public Schools / Abdulrahman A. Al-Abdan
The present paper reports on a field study that attempts to investigate the extent to which Arabic is used during the teaching of English in Saudi intermediate public schools and to identify the causes. effects and situations of this use. A total of 451 English teachers and supervisors from these schools were asked to respond to a questionnaire specially designed to collect data about these issues.
The results revealed that 75% of these teachers use Arabic while they teach English for about 10% of the class time. They use it out of conviction resulting from their teaching experience and to respond to their students' needs. More over, the results indicated that there is a host of factors behind this use. such as: the unavailability of teaching aids, the hard effort needed in teaching English monolingually and the shortage of time alloted to English in these schools. In addition, the results showed that these teachers are aware of some of the major situations in which the mother tongue could be used in foreign language teach-ing. However, overwhelmed by the above-mentioned causes, they tend sometimes to misuse and/or over-use Arabic in the course of their work.
In the light of these results, some recommendations are presented in the paper for regulating and reducing the use of Arabic in Saudi English classrooms.