Investigating University Students’ Attitudes towards Instructors’ Use of Translation in EFL Classes
Due to the advancements in the domains of science and technology, there has been a worldwide growing demand for the learning of English. Kurdistan Region / Iraq is no exception and the interest in learning English is steadily increasing due to the benefits such learning entails from learners’ viewpoint. Accordingly, people involved in the process of teaching foreign languages at large and that of learning English in particular have been looking for the most effective educational and instructional techniques to bring about a type of learning that meets their objectives and needs. The present research tackles a matter that has been of much controversy over the years, the use of translation, i.e. learners’ native language in English classes at university level. Such a controversy stems from the fact that although translation as a teaching technique is criticized by many researchers due to its limitations and weaknesses in terms of language learning itself, it is still widely used in English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classes to facilitate students’ understanding and learning of the teaching materials. The current study is designed to approach the topic both theoretically and practically. Theoretically speaking, a cursory account is first made of the two key concepts, namely translation in terms of its definition and advantages and disadvantages in EFL classes, and attitude concerning its definition and role in the teaching and learning of foreign languages. Practically speaking, a 16-item questionnaire has been designed to investigate EFL university students’ attitudes towards translation and duly validate the hypothesis that university students have negative attitudes towards the use of Translation in their EFL classes. The questionnaire was distributed among a sample of EFL students. The data analysis collected via the sample’s responses to the questionnaire indicate that EFL university students have very negative attitudes towards their instructors’ use of translation. In the light of these results and findings, a number of conclusions have been drawn upon with a number of recommendations have been put forward.
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