The language of communication in English classrooms in the Czech Republic: Mixing languages
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The paper deals with classroom communication. More specifically, it focuses on issues connected with the usage of English as the target language and Czech as the mother tongue in lessons of English as a foreign language in primary and lowersecondary schools in the Czech Republic. 89 English lessons were analysed and the proportion between English and Czech used in the sample lessons was established in order to show how the two languages are mixed in the lessons. The analysis of the number of words uttered in the lessons showed that teachers used Czech more than English but students said more English words than Czech words. When operationalized in terms of time, the use of language was equally balanced between the target language and the mother tongue. Another perspective described in the paper is one of opportunities that the teacher creates for the students to practice diff erent language skills. Great diff erences in using the mother tongue and the target language were found between individual teachers, which is in line with the findings of a number of similar research studies. Towards the end of the paper, five typical situations of mixing languages are briefly presented.
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