Thai Students’ Proficiency and Attitudes towards English-only Approach and Bilingual Approach


  • Hathaichanok Wansong Linguistics, Literature & Language Education for Sustainability Research Unit, School of Liberal Arts, Mae Fah Luang University, Thailand



second language acquisition, bilingual approach, English-only approach


The English-only approach (monolingual/ L2 only) in language teaching has been widely discussed, while the inclusion of learners' L1 (a bilingual approach) remains a topic of debate. Previous research has primarily concentrated on attitudes towards using L1 in the classroom, rather than investigating its influence on learners' language proficiency. The study aimed to investigate the proficiency, attitudes, and the correlation between proficiency and attitudes of students taught using a monolingual and bilingual approach. The participants consisted of 76 students from Mae Fah Luang University enrolled in an Intensive English. They were divided into two groups: a control group taught only in English and an experimental group taught using both English and Thai. Data were collected through pre- and post-tests measuring English proficiency and language attitudes. The findings revealed that the monolingual group showed no significant difference in mean scores between the pre- and post-proficiency tests (X1 = 5.16, 5.79), while the bilingual group showed a higher mean score in the post-proficiency test compared to the pre-test (X2 = 4.95, 6.45). In terms of language attitudes, the monolingual group demonstrated a significant increase in L1 preference after the experiment (X1= 10.32, 11.50), while the bilingual group consistently maintained a positive attitude towards L1 throughout the course (X2 = 10.65, 11.32). The analysis also revealed a positive correlation between participants' proficiency and attitudes (r = 1.00, p = .01), indicating that a positive attitude towards language use in the classroom tended to impact participants' proficiency. Overall, these results suggest that the judicious use of Thai in English language classrooms can serve as an advantageous tool for learners, leading to improved proficiency outcomes.


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How to Cite

Wansong, H. (2023). Thai Students’ Proficiency and Attitudes towards English-only Approach and Bilingual Approach. Journal of Liberal Arts Prince of Songkla University, 15(1), 267087.