Using the Mother Tongue

Activities to optimise a major classroom resource

  • Book
Using the Mother Tongue Cover

Key features

Using the Mother Tongue, part of the Professional Perspectives series, offers a variety of practical ways to make use of what is a very valuable resource by:

  • providing ideas and guidelines on when and how to use the mother tongue
  • encouraging teachers to use the mother tongue selectively and effectively
  • raising awareness of the similarities and differences between languages
  • building links between the mother tongue and the foreign language through comparison and translation

The use of the mother tongue in the foreign language classroom has often been officially discouraged; however, many teachers have recognised that in practice using one’s own language to learn a foreign language is natural, necessary and efficient.


This book is proof that the foreign language teaching field is alive and dynamic and that the mother tongue can be a useful instrument in the communicative foreign language classroom.

Joaquim A. Gerardo Mateu

APAC Spain, 2004 PDF

There is such a diversity of ideas on display here that I would defy anyone to fail to find at least some good ideas here for their own classes.

Simon Gill


Where Using The Mother Tongue should really find favour is with the many non-native-speaker teachers of English working in a domestic setting.

John Lake

IATEFL Issues, April – May 03 PDF

Being a non-native teacher of English, I believe that many of us will be grateful for the publication of this book because of the invaluable support it provides.

Antonio Roldán Tapia

Modern English Teacher, 2003 PDF

Any teacher who has ever questioned the established wisdom that we should never use the mother tongue in our classrooms or felt guilty doing so will find Using the Mother Tongue an interesting and stimulating read.

Jennifer Murray


Component ISBNs

Book 978-0-954198-61-9

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