The Effect of Target Language and Code-Switching on the Grammatical Performance and Perceptions of Elementary-Level College French Students


Foreign Languages

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2012


Grammar instruction is at the center of the target language (TL) and code-switching debate. Discussion revolves around whether grammar should be taught in the TL or using the TL and the native language (L1). This study investigated the effects of French-only grammar instruction and French/English grammar instruction on elementary-level students’ grammar performance. The study also examined students’ instructional preference and perceptions of the use of either approach to teach grammar and French in general. Grammar test score increases were significantly greater for the French-only condition, and posttest grammar scores were significantly higher for the French-only condition. Qualitative findings suggested that although a majority of students expressed a preference for learning French grammar with the support of English, they recognized the benefits of a TL approach.