The role and use of mother tongue (L1) in language teaching has been variously described and researched. Prodomou (2000) describes the use of L1 in language classroom as ‘skeleton in the closet’, while Gabrielatos (2001) describes it as ‘a bone of contention’ (http://www.gabrielatos.com/L1UseInELT-TGNL.pdf, 06.12.2009). Gabrielatos states that the skeleton has been there all the time; he argues if there is a pedagogical or psycholinguistic framework to be used. Furthermore, he notes that there are too many parameters in the language teaching for success or failure to be attributed to the procedures and materials used (http://www.gabrielatos.com/L1UseInELT-TGNL.pdf, 06.12.2009).  Giving pupils immediate translation is seen as one of the failure, as the immediate translation tends to create a dependency for the students. Cameron explains that pupils will soon realize the pattern of their teacher’s explanations and learn that they do not have to concentrate on working out the meaning because the translation is predictably given afterwards. (Cameron 2001: 86), in addition, Cameron suggests avoiding translation and trying other techniques. However, the limited and judicious use of mother tongue (L1) in FL classroom indeed leads to several and is very productive for certain circumstances.

First, the use of L1 is justified to be used in FL classroom to convey the meaning of an unknown word, clarify the confusing word, and explain difficult concepts.  Visual aids, props, textbook illustration are used to explain a new term and clarify the words that remain confusing. However, visual aids sometimes mislead the understanding. According to Butzkamm (http://www.fremdsprachendidaktik.rwth-aachen.de/Ww/programmatisches/pachl.html, 03.12.2009), the additional techniques to convey the meaning function less and can even be harmful. In the target language (TL), the teacher has to be precise on whatever terms explained. A rough explanation is certainly not enough. The explanation, demonstration, or whatever picture used should be carefully graded and selected (Byram 2004: 416;http://www.fremdsprachendidaktik.rwthaachen.de/Ww/programmatisches/pachl.html, 03.12.2009). Therefore, L1 is the precise means of getting the means across. According to Lemos, Harmer (1991) notes that translation is a quick and efficient technique    (http://www.ask.com/bar?q=the+presence+of+the+mother+tongue+in+the+foreign+language+classroom&page=1&qsrc=2417&dm=all&ab=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thefreelibrary.com%2FThe%2Bpresence%2Bof%2Bthe%2Bmother%2Btongue%2Bin%2Bthe%2Bforeign%2Blanguage%2Bclassroom.%2B…a080679248&sg=yBFmOhzyeaSthtCrnc9b9mtmP4ixhGh63qZcAuk2QWI%3D&tsptsp=1260118300976. 05.12.2009). Dodson (1967/1972) in “Routledge Encyclopedia of Language Teaching and Learning” shows a combination of idiomatic and literal translation that clarifies both what is meant and how it is said:

Why have you marked this word wrong?

Warum hast du dieses Wort angestrichen?

(clarifies the meaning)

Warum hast du dieses Wort falsch markiert?

(renders the structure transparent) (Byram 2004: 417).

This technique, for instance, provides precise meaning immediately. The pupils understand and at the same time feel assured. Besides giving immediate translation, code-switching from the TL to L1 seems to make a positive contribution to the learning process if it is used judiciously by teachers and pupils. Code-switching in the FL classroom involves pupils substituting vocabulary items from their L1, when they have not acquired sufficient knowledge of L1.  To illustrate, Setati and Adler conducted research projects in South Africa about the use code-switching to communicate mathematics to pupils by primary mathematic teachers.

T: Ee ke raa gore tla re baleng potso e. [Let’s read the question.]

Ps: How many dogs are there altogether?

T: Go raa goreng? [What does it mean?] Ke batla go tlhaloganya seo pele. [I want to understand that first] Morero ke eo potso e re botsa gore dintja tso tsotlhe tse di mo dicaging di di kae. [Morero, there’s a question, it says, how many dogs are there altogether in the cages.] Dintja tso tsotlhe di di kae? [How many dogs are there altogether?] Jaanong ke batla go itse gore karabo re a go e bona jang. [I would like to know how are we going to find the answer.]

P: We are going to write tens, hundreds, thousands and units. (Puts chart on the board.) . . . and we must underline, when we are through we say 12 times 12, we underline again when we are through we put the button here and we say 2 × 2. . . (Learner goes on with the procedure in English until he gets the answer)

P: The answer is 144.

T: Go raa gore re na le dintja tse kae? [It means how many dogs do we have?]

P: 144.

(http://www.mai.liu.se/~chber/workshop/Setati&Adler.pdf, 02.12.2009)

The teacher’s language practice suggests an important relationship between code-switching, the kinds of mathematical discourses used and whether these enable or constrain learner access to communicating mathematics. The research’s result states that it makes sense for teacher to encourage and use pupil’s L1 as learning and teaching resource. L1 is found as an effective method of learning.

Secondly, the use of L1 in the L2 classroom is used to check the pupils’ comprehension. Asking pupils questions, for example, “How do you say ‘I have been there’ in German?” is a quicker and accurate path to check how far they have comprehended the language. Schweers (1999) investigated a monolingual Spanish-speaking class in Puerto Rico. He carried out an experiment on his own classes.

“I use Spanish to make comprehension checks. It is important as you go along to periodically make sure students are understanding. I will ask, “Does everyone understand? Who can tell me the Spanish translation?” Or, after making an important point, I will ask, “Who can say what I just said in Spanish?”.”(http://www.exchanges.state.gov/forum/vols/vol37/no2/p6.html, 01.12.2009)

He found that the pupils are enthusiastic and receptive with the classroom activities. He noted the pupils spontaneously use English in class and while working on the task. Even though all teachers reported using the L1 to some degree, they saw a place for a more restricted use of the L1 than pupils in the situations mentioned above.

Thirdly, L1 is justified to be used particularly when the teacher and pupils need to compromise or negotiate disciplinary and other management circumstances. In the classroom, noise and indiscipline might seem to occur to circumstances, for example: when pupils are not clear what to do, when the task is too easy or too difficult, or when the characteristic of the task provokes noise. The pupils prefer to talk to friends rather than work on the task, and then the noise is generated. It is very difficult for the teacher to maintain the classroom. Furthermore, if the class size is big then the noise and in discipline’s probability is greater. Therefore, the teacher needs L1 for its immediate effect in order to minimize the noise or indiscipline during the task. Mee-Ling (1996) recalls Lin’s (1990) and Pennington’s findings (1995) that Cantonese (L1) was used to keep discipline and draw pupil’s attention.

“Some naughty boys didn’t pay attention in class. They looked puzzled when I told them to keep quiet. Therefore I used Cantonese “ngon jiung ! m goi lau sam seung tong! (Keep quiet! please pay attention to the lesson!) Then, they were immediately conscious that they were too talkative in keeping discipline.”

Furthermore, teachers tended to use Cantonese to control the class in order to finish the lesson as quickly as possible (www.fed.cuhk.edu.hk/en/pej/0601/0601091.ht / 02.12.2009).

Last, the use of mother tongue in the classroom creates a better teaching-learning environment (reducing language anxiety and building self confidence). Meyer cites Brown (2000) that language anxiety has a strong effective influence on second language acquisition. Language anxiety is aroused when pupils have communication anxiety, fear of negative social evaluation, or academic evaluation (www.kyoai.ac.jp/college/ronshuu/no-08/meyer1.pdf. 05.12.2009). The use of the L1 allays the language anxiety. Comparing to the monolingual classroom’s situation, pupils dropped to silence when they were fined by the teacher every time they were caught using their mother tongue. This attempt has blocked pupils’ process of learning. Pupils do not have a positive state of mind to learn. The use of L1 in the language classroom helps students to understand the expressions used, they can use the expression with a great confidence. At the next step, the pupils can use the expression based on their needs. The pupils feel secure and assured as they can understand and use it based on their needs.

In conclusion, the L1 in the FL classroom is used for various purposes that serve mainly classroom management. Classroom management comprises organizing the class what to do, controlling behavior (discipline), explaining activities. In simpler terms, the teacher might use L1 when the communication breaks down, the lesson plan is destroyed by discipline problems, and the teacher uses ineffective teaching strategies. Therefore, the use of L1 is indeed very judicious. The teacher should be sensible enough to reflect on their teaching strategies and find out the core teaching problems (www.fed.cuhk.edu.hk/en/pej/0601/0601091.ht / 02.12.2009). The use of L1 might turn up as a disadvantage if the teacher does not seek any attempt to work on their ineffective teaching strategies. Nevertheless, L2 use in the foreign language classroom needs to be maximized whenever possible, by encouraging its use and using it for classroom management. If the use of L2 is demonstrated carefully and constantly then classroom management can be a very effective tool for EFL process. In this way the role of L1 in classroom management can be minimized, on the other hand, the role of the L2 can be increased.


Butzkamm, Wolfgang (2003): We Only Learn Language Once. The Role of The Mother Tongue in FL Classrooms: Death of a Dogma.Language Learning Journal, No 28, 29-39. [online available at: http://www.fremdsprachendidaktik.rwth-aachen.de/Ww/programmatisches/pachl.html, 03.12.2009].

Byram, Michael (ed.) (2004): Routhledge Encyclopedia of Language Teaching and Learning. London: Routledge.

Cameron, Lynne (2001): Teaching Languages to Young Learners. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Ferrer, Vincent: The Mother Tongue in The Classroom :

Cross-linguistic Comparisons, Noticing and Explicit Knowledge. http://www.teachenglishworldwide.com/Articles/Ferrer_mother%20tongue%20in%20the%20classroom.pdf (05.12.2009).

Ferrer, Vincent: Using the Mother Tongue to Promote Noticing: Translation as a Way of Scaffolding Learner Language. http://www.teachenglishworldwide.com/Articles/Ferrer_mother%20tongue%20to%20promote%20noticing.pdf (06.12.2009).

Gabrielatos, C. (2001): L1 use in ELT: Not a skeleton, but a bone of contention. A response to Prodromou. TESOL Greece Newsletter 70, 6-9 . [online available at: http://www.gabrielatos.com/L1UseInELT-TGNL.pdf, 06.12.2009].

Lemos, Cristiane Alves (2001): The Presence of the Mother Tongue in the Foreign Language Classroom (Language Teaching & Learning). Academic Exchange Quarterly, [online available at: http://www.ask.com/bar?q=the+presence+of+the+mother+tongue+in+the+foreign+language+classroom&page=1&qsrc=2417&dm=all&ab=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thefreelibrary.com%2FThe%2Bpresence%2Bof%2Bthe%2Bmother%2Btongue%2Bin%2Bthe%2Bforeign%2Blanguage%2Bclassroom.%2B…-a080679248&sg=yBFmOhzyeaSthtCrnc9b9mtmP4ixhGh63qZcAuk2QWI%3D&tsptsp=1260118300976,  05.12.2009].

Mee-ling, Lai. (1996): ‘Using the L1 Sensibly in English Language Classrooms’. Journal of Primary Education Vol. 6 No.1&2. 91-99. [online available at: http://www.fed.cuhk.edu.hk/en/pej/0601/0601091.htm, 02.12.2009].

Meyer, Harry. (2008): The Pedagogical Implications of L1 Use in The L2 Classroom”. http://www.kyoai.ac.jp/college/ronshuu/no-08/meyer1.pdf. (05.12.2009).

Scweers,C W Jr. (1999): Using L1 in the L2 Classroom. English Teaching Forum. Vol.37/2 (April-June). [online available at: http://www.exchanges.state.gov/forum/vols/vol37/no2/p6.html, 01.12.2009].

Setati, M et al. (2001): Between Languages and Discourses: Language Practices in Primary Multilingual Mathematics Classrooms in South Africa, Educational Studies in Mathematics, 43(3), 243-269. [online available at:  http://www.mai.liu.se/~chber/workshop/Setati&Adler.pdf, 02.12.2009].


Demikianlah akhirnya aku sampai di main station. Bus-bus berdempet-dempetan, kapal-kapal berjejer di sepanjang pelabuhan ini. Akhirnya baru kusadari bahwa “kadikoy” adalah sebuah kota dipinggiran pelabuhan. Orang-orang penuh berjubel dan berlalu lalang. Maklum jam 19-21.00 adalah traffic hours. Mereka biasanya menunggu di resto atau depot untuk menunggu traffic mencair.

Akhirnya aku sedikit lega karena setidaknya aku taat mengikuti arah-arahan yang diberikan sahabatku, dan telah tiba di stasiun terakhir. Kuturunkan trolley biru besar dari bus, tas kamera menggantung di punggung. Aku akhirnya memilih berdiri disebelah depot “EFET BUFE”, trolley yang berat dan terlalu banyak manusia yang berlalu lalang membuatku tak nyaman untuk bergerak kemanapun juga. Aku memutuskan untuk menunggu sahabtku di tepi itu.

Malam yang liar pikirku, angin dingin dan jaket musim gugur, masih bisa menahan dinginnya Istanbul. Bau kebab menerpaku, rasanya rasa lapar mulai menghampiriku. Tapi bagaimana mau memuaskan rasa lapar ini kalau trolleyku masih berkeliaran di tepi jalan ini, tidak terlalu nyaman. OK… aku menenangkan perut laparku… kataku “tahan sebentar lagi ya….”.

Aku mengamati segala sesuatu yang baru disekelilingku. orangnya, makanannya, tingkah lakunya dan segala keanehannya tertulis dalam benakku. Bukan hanya aku saya yang mengobservasi, tapi, sebaliknya mereka juga mengamatiku dan mengawasi gerak lakuku.

Mungkin mereka merasa kasihan terhadap aku yang begitu “lonely”, diterpa angin malam, terdampar di kota yang sibuk. Mungkin aku terlihat kikuk, dan “turistik”.  Tampak seperti turis Jepang daripada turis Indonesia 🙂

Tetapi  mereka tidak membiarkanku sendirian bosan menunggu.

Datanglah seorang anak kecil ( 5-6 tahun) dengan wajah memelas, ia menunjukkan padaku sebuah tissue dan ia menginginkan 1 TYL sebagai harga se-pak tissue. Wajahnya memang memelas sekali, tiada yang tahu apa memang se-papa itu kehidupannya atau hanya action saja. Kemudian aku menolaknya, aku berkata “NO”. “NO”, kuucapkan sekali lagi. Tapi anak ini tetap tak bergeming, ia masih sibuk menjebakku dengan kemelasnnya. Mungkin juga aku adalah turis yang terlalu baik, apalagi terhadap anak kecil, aku tak bisa mengusirnya. Kemudian kuulangi lagi “NO” dengan nada yang lebih tidak bisa ditawar. Kemudian pergilah anak malang itu.

Setelah satu pergi datanglah  yang lain. Mereka tidak membiarkanku sendirian.

Seorang bapak (50 tahunan) datang menghampiriku. Ia tahu aku adalah sasaran yang tepat, seorang turis perempuan, berada ditengah keramaian, dengan tas koper besar. Ia menawarkanku berbagai minyak wangi, disemprotkan minyak wangi itu sana dan sini. Aku terus menerus menolak, sampai akhirnya sahabatku Aslimay menyelamatkanku ! Thanks God, rasanya LUEGGGGAAAAA banget waktu sahabatku menghampiriku. Kemudian Aslimay mengucapkan sesuatu dalam bahasa Turki yang tak kupahami, kesimpulannya: “we are not interested to buy it, titik!”. Kemudian kami begitu bahagia karena telah sama-sama menantikan pertemuan ini. Itulah malam pertamaku di Istanbul, mereka tidak akan meninggalkanku sendirian !

If you would like to experience different kinds of exotic food, Istanbul is a great place to go. I’ve been trying out different kinds of food (street food, coffee-house, restaurants), the longer I stay the more I love the food. The basic philosophy is try it out ! Here are things that I found out during my trip.

– Turkish waiters might snatch your plates away before you finish it.  I had it few times, and so I told them always when I’m not done. Normally they are very friendly and they would recommend you to take your time.

– Breakfast: you might want to try “simit” (the bread ring) with jam, black or green olives, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers. Well, I don’t really enjoy the coffee from the hotel much. The taste is awful.

– Enjoy a cup of tea (classic black tea) or a cup of Turkish coffee. If you are a coffee lover, i recommend you to take one. It is a thick dark powerful coffee.

– “cok sekerli” are important words if you want to have your coffee very sweet.

– You can read the future from the grounds in the bottom of your cup. Believe it or not ???

– You can find Nescafe everywhere in Sultanahmet and Beyoglu area. They certainly have latte machiato, cappucion, espresso. In the tourist area you might spend 4-6 TYL for a cup of cappucino/latte machiato.

– Tea is not commonly drinked with milk. So they might be confused if you ask milk. However, you can get milk in every hotel.

– The local famous brank of beer is “EFES”, it’s everywhere.

– “Raki” is served in long thin glass. It’s clear white liquid. I don’t really like the taste of this alcohol, but you can try it. Maybe you would like it 🙂

– “Balik restaurant” is a very important term, the restaurant serves fish. You can find normally along the Bosphorus. You have to ask the waiter about the fish and check it if the fish is fresh. You might get old fish in a dodgy restaurant.

– “Borek”: I have eaten different kinds of borek before I come to Istanbul. It is stuffed with cheese/meat/spinach.

– Soup is very fabulous. If you like lentils (linsen), you can try their lentil soup. Very recommended !

– Salad is very standart, you can find any kinds of salad everywhere. If you like aubergine (eggplants), try out eggplant salad. You can eat it with the Turkish bread.

– Dolma : grape leaves stuffed with rice or meat. It’s one of my favorite !

– Last but not least, Turks have different kinds of Kebab. You probably have to read the menu thoroughly before you order them. Doner Kebap: compressed meat (normally lamb), thin sliced. Iskender Kebap: kebap meat served on a pide (bread), they put youghurt and tomato and peperoni. Very tasty !

– In the restaurant, you might find “meze”, sort of finger food. they normally serve meze before the main menu. there are lots of variations: calamari, anchovy, different kinds of vegies with youghurt base, different kind of cheese. Just try them out !

– Don’t forget to try out “Lokum”, the famous turkish delights.You can get the good quality at Ali Muhiddin Had Bekir at Taksim (Istiklal Cad.).

Last but not least,  cullinary is part of getting to know the city and the characteristics of the people.

“Gutten Appetite !”




Ketika pertama kali menghirup udara kota Istanbul, aku hanya teringat pada satu kota, Jakarta. Mungkin seperti inilah wajah Jakarta jika Jakarta berkembang pesat di 10 tahun mendatang. suasana hiruk pikiknya, kerumunan orang, teriakan-teriakan penjaja makanan memang mirip sekali dengan Jakarta. Untuk menggambarkan Istanbul, Istanbul adalah percampuran antara east dan west. ada percampuran orientalisme dan juga westernisme disana. sebuah kota yang terbelah oleh dua benua, Asia dan Eropa.

Selepas meninggalkan Jerman yang begitu tenang, tentunya atmosfir baru ini memberikan perasaan tegang dan antusias yang berlebihan. kata orang, mari kita berlatih adrenalin. Aku, yang kurus, datang ke Istanbul dengan tas koper besar seberat 25 kilo dan tas backpack di punggung. problemnya adalah aku tidak bisa menyembunyikan identitasku sebagai turis. yang identik dengan, ‘makanan empuk masyarakat setempat’.

Bagaimana rasanya berada di sebuah kota yang baru, dan tidak bisa berbahasa satu katapun ? Saat itu aku hanya berbekal sepotong deskripsi yang dikirimkan melalui email oleh sahabat baikku. Dia menggambarkan setelah sampai di airport aku harus naik bus nomer 10 menuju Kadiköy (end station). Rasanya hati ini jedar jedor, tangan mulai berat membawa semua lugage.

Aku berpikir hampir semua orang berbicara bahasa inggris tapi nyatanya, supir bus bilang ‘NO ENGLISH !’. Mati deh, pikirku. Dengan kebingungan menumpuk, aku masih bingung berapa duit yang harus aku keluarkan untuk naik bus ini. Dengan keterbatasan bahasa, supir menyuruhku untuk ke belakang. kemudian aku meletakkan lugage di lantai bus, kemudian duduk dan buka buku phrasebook, Turkish-English. AHAAAAA ! ide cemerlang, bukan ?

Aku berpikir phrase book akan menyelamatkan hidupku. Weleh, ternyata halamannya banyak, dan dalam situasi genting, sepertinya tidak praktis kalau masih harus membuka halaman berapa . kepalaku mulai pusing karena harus membuka halaman, sementara aku merasa not fine karena belum membayar pada pak sopir, sementara bingung juga mau mengekspresikannya dalam bahasa setan yang mana. well… akhirnya aku menemukan ekspresinya ‘Ne kadar?’ (How much?).

Kemudian pak sopir memberiku sederet bahasa bilangan turki, yang tak umengerti juga artinya. Tapi kali ini kuberikan 20 TYL. kemudian ia memberiku kembalian, 10 TYL +5 TYL. kemudian katanya ‘bir Lira’ sambil menyodorkan 1 TYL, dan ‘Bucuk’ sambil menyodorkan 50 cent Lira. EUREKAAAAAAAAAAAA ! Pelajaran bahasa Turki telah dimulai.

Akhirnya, sampailah aku di end stationnya, ketika semua orang turun dari bus, aku juga turun disana. Akhirnya aku bertemu sahabatku di Kadiköy, malam yang tak kan pernah kulupakan.

If you  have been there …. there would be no words to express the beauty of the nature ….

Just stay and  enjoy the  breeze of the air ….

Candi Ceto

If you go further up to the slopes of Lawu mountain, you will find Candi Ceto. Candi Ceto and Cand Sukuh share the same combination elements of fertility worship. It is a bit larger than Candi Sukuh, and it has more terraces that leads to the hillside. You can find places to worship on the top of the terraces. It is really not a dangerous terraces. When the sun shines then you can also make this silluet photos, it is a really great feeling to be on the top of the temple.  It is really a great effort to get up here, as there is not any public transportation to take you up there. However, I think it is reachable with your rent car or mini bus. In addition, you will enjoy a very lovely panorama on the way to Candi Ceto. The coffee and tea plantation and the village will give you a great fresh feeling. The admission fee is (only) Rp 10.000,- , you can visit this temple in between 9 am to 5 pm.

Candi Sukuh

Candi Sukuh is one of the mysterious temples that lays close to Lawu mountain and Solo.  It is a quiet and isolated place with a potent atmosphere. The temple is not really large and huge as Borobudur temple, however, it has exhibited explicit representations human’s fertility. The admission is affordable, only Rp 10.000,-. It is opened from 9 am to 5 pm. If you visit this temple, then it is also suggested to visit Candi Ceto, which is