Tojiniso Olimnazarova

MA Education TEFL dissertation prizewinner 2012

Tojiniso Olimnazarova

Using students' linguistic repertoires for teaching English as a foreign language in Tajikistan

'My one year at the MA Education TEFL programme at the University of Birmingham was a wonderful and unforgettable journey into the academic world, and I am really honoured to finish this journey as the recipient of the best TEFL Dissertation Prize. Taking this opportunity, I would like to extend my special thanks to all the instructors in the TEFL programme as well as the English instructors in the School of Professional and Continuing Education of the University of Central Asia in Khorog, Tajikistan for their constant support along this journey. This wonderful achievement has greatly inspired me to think about continuing with my studies on a PhD programme.'


The contentious debate over whether students’ L1 should be used in the English classroom or not has continued for a long time. Recently a number of professionals in the field of second language acquisition have questioned the monolingual approach advocating for a more bilingual approach to language teaching. This study has focused on the potentials of using students’ full linguistic repertoire in the English classroom. The research was carried out through a case study of the School of Professional and Continuing Education in GBAO, Tajikistan using interviews and observations. The findings from this research provide evidence that the use of students’ full linguistic repertoire presents many different possibilities that assist in the teaching and learning processes. Using L1 was found to be beneficial for key pedagogic functions such as keeping pedagogic tasks moving and providing equity of participation in small group work and whole-class discussions. Further research into the potentials of L1 use needs to be conducted to show why bilingual instructional strategies are legitimate. This dissertation recommends that in teacher trainings more attention should be paid to the role L1 plays in L2 learning.