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This study explored the students’ perceptions in-depth, from three different levels of English proficiency: the advanced, the intermediate, and the beginning group, on the use of first language (L1) in an English classroom. The research was conducted at a government university in the southern region of Thailand during July and August in 2012. Twelve student participants with different English proficiency from four different majors were purposively selected and were interviewed separately. The result of the study proved that the participants with three levels of English proficiency recognized the advantage of using L1 to create a positive classroom climate to support emotional wellbeing, in comprehension and to enhance language proficiency. The advanced group appeared to hold the most negative perception because their preference of a classroom language was English. However, they are in accordance with the other two groups; that L1 use, if properly used, would provide benefits rather than have a detrimental impact on language learning.
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