Amy Brown, University of Adelaide ELC
Using L1 to Build Learner Confidence

What are the possible benefits of a controlled, deliberate use of students' first languages in a multilingual English language classroom? The possible challenges are obvious – lack of a shared language being just one – but it will be argued that both students and teachers can gain from a critical use of first languages. This presentation will look at practical ways that teachers can incorporate aspects of students' L1 in order to build learner confidence while allowing teachers to learn more about the linguistic capital their students bring to the classroom. Participants are encouraged to share their own experiences of using their students' first languages in class.

Amy has been working as an English language teacher in General, Business and Academic English for the past 18 years in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Vietnam and Australia. She completed a Master of Applied Linguistics (TESOL) from the University of New England in 2014, and has spent the past 4 years working in both the Academic and General English programs at the University of Adelaide English Language Centre. Her experience of studying Spanish in a university environment in Colombia prompted her to look more closely at using students’ first languages in her classes.