The First Language (L1) or Mother Tongue Model Vs. The Second Language (L2) Model of Literacy Instruction
Daria Mizza

In several developing countries with linguistic minorities where the colonial language is preferred for educational purposes, curriculum content is often presented in a language unfamiliar to a significant portion of children beginning school. When the language used for instruction is not understood, pupils do not have the opportunity to learn, and therefore neither ableto understand the content nor to interact with it by participating in class.Researchers raise concerns that those children who do not acquire adequately the language used for instruction will facedifficulties in becoming fully literate (McLaughlin, 1984;Collier & Thomas, 1989; Collier, 1992, 1995; Collier & Thomas, 1995).In order to avoid this situation, children should learn the language used for instruction before learning basic literacy skills in it. Otherwise,pedagogical practices should be conducted in the mother tongue to support the initial stages of their literacy development.Bringing language theories and research findings in literacy development together, this paper advocates for a mother tongue-oriented approach to classroom practices related to literacy acquisition and claims that adequate pedagogical support in the pupil’s first language (L1)is crucial during the early acquisition process of literacy skills.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jehd.v3n3a8