Should The Teacher Know The Student's First Language? Strategies in Teaching Methods


  • Jozina Vander Klok McGill University, Montreal, Canada


English teaching, learning, mother tongue


When teaching English, is it important to know the mother tongue of your students? In this paper, I discuss the advantages and disadvantages whether a teacher knows the first language of their students or not. For example, an advantage of knowing the first language is being able to quickly understand student's language use, such as using English vocabulary but still using the syntax of their first language. However, this knowledge may then be a disadvantage if the teacher and/or student only relies on translation as a teaching method. In looking at these advantages and disadvantages, I explore defferent teaching methods for when the teacher does understand the student's mother tongue and when the teacher does not, in order to exploit the best method in each respective situation.


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How to Cite

Vander Klok, J. (2023). Should The Teacher Know The Student’s First Language? Strategies in Teaching Methods. The Proceedings of International Conference: Ronggolawe English Teaching Conference (RETCO), 1(1), 133–134. Retrieved from