The use of the L1 in CLIL classes: The teachers’ perspective


  • David Lasagabaster Author University of the Basque Country



cambio de código, translanguaging, AICLE, instrucción en inglés, uso de la L1.


There are currently different perspectives about the role to be played by the L1 in CLIL (Context and Language Integrated Learning) contexts, although its use seems to be common practice. Some voices consider that the L1 only has a support function for explanation and its use should be minimized, whereas other voices state that the L1 has a learning function, as it can help to build up students’ lexicon and to foster their metalinguistic awareness. In this paper 35 in-service CLIL teachers were asked about their beliefs regarding the use of the L1 in their classes in Colombia. The results indicated that the participants were positive about L1 use, as they believed it can serve to scaffold language and content learning, although the amount of first language use varied greatly from teacher to teacher. The paper ends up by advocating for a principled L1 use, instead of the current randomized practices.


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Author Biography

David Lasagabaster, University of the Basque Country

David Lasagabaster is associate professor at the University of the Basque Country, Spain. He has been involved in teacher education in Spain for several years and has published on second/third language acquisition, CLIL (Content and Language Integrated Learning), attitudes and motivation, and multilingualism. He has published widely in international journals, books and edited books. Among others, he has co-edited Multilingualism in European Bilingual Contexts: Language Use and Attitudes (Multilingual Matters, 2007); CLIL in Spain: Implementation, Results and Teacher Training (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010); English-medium Instruction at University: Global Challenges (Multilingual Matters, 2013); and is co-author of Prurilingualism and Interculturality at School (Horsori, 2010). Since 2008 he is a member of the executive committee of the International Association for Language Awareness. Webpage:


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How to Cite

Lasagabaster, D. (2013). The use of the L1 in CLIL classes: The teachers’ perspective. Latin American Journal of Content & Language Integrated Learning, 6(2), 1–21.