The Role of the Mother Tongue in Learning Foreign Languages- Current State of the Algerian Educational Institutions

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Université de M'sila


It is quite amazing to tackle such a topic while integrating the Algerian educational institutions as, according to our teaching experience in different education levels (intermediate schools, secondary schools, and finally University contexts), we have always been warned by a red card to our attention to mean prohibitions and misguiding practices. It is however, worth recalling that it is through using the mother tongue that we learnt to think, to communicate and acquired intuitive understandings of grammar, of words we used for their appropriate contexts. It is therefore, time to reconsider the role the mother tongue plays in education in general and in learning and teaching foreign languages in particular. The mother tongue is without any doubt a true and great asset teachers and learners bring to the practice of foreign languages learning providing thus a language learning support system mainly when this is related to teaching and learning EFL .We must put this reality in the front position, agreeing that most of the Algerian regions, especially the North part, considers French as a mother tongue, a dilemma which needs to be thoroughly investigated and healed. We have, as an education community, to redress torts the mother tongue is used to being the victim and thus prevailing thoughts about including re-thinking concepts of teaching and learning EFL methodologies.



Mother tongue, asset, learning support, foreign language learning