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Volume 2 Number 4, Winter 2005, Pages 1-140   

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Mother Tongue in the English Language Classroom: A Case of One School

    Junju Wang

The present study explores the role of the mother tongue in the English language classroom through a survey conducted among 498 students and 10 teachers at one school in China. It aims to investigate (1) whether Chinese is still being used, and if yes, to what extent and for what purposes, (2) the attitudes of both teachers and students towards the use of Chinese, and (3) the actual and potential functions of Chinese in English classes. The results of this study indicate that Chinese was still quite extensively adopted in the English language classroom, and that both the teachers and the students responded positively to a reasonable use of the mother tongue, especially for pedagogical purposes. In addition, both similarities and disparities in opinions were found within and between the two parties of participants, in regards with their mutual use of Chinese and the functions of the mother tongue.