Publication |Sophia Linguistica

Factors Informing Instructors’ Language Choices in two EFL Classrooms in a Japanese University


Miki Harwood


Increasing attention has been given to the use of students’ first language (L1) in
second language (L2) educational settings, and the idea of the inclusion of the L1
in language classrooms has been acknowledged in various contexts. However, in
Japan, the use of L2 by instructors is emphasized in English language teaching
settings, and instructors’ use of students’ L1 is often viewed as a negative teaching
practice. Combining classroom observations, interviews and field notes, this study
explores two university instructors’ language choices and use and furthers our
understanding of the factors that inform their language choices in English language
teaching contexts in Japan. While the two instructors share similar views regarding
L1 use in L2 classroom settings, their language choices in their classes were
significantly different. The analysis shows how social and emotional factors as
well as the instructors’ own language learning and teaching experiences informed
their language choices and use in the classroom.