Advantages and Disadvantages of an “English only” policy in a TEFL in-class course

It is not always easy for the EFL learners to use English as the medium of communication throughout, even in the TEFL classroom. However, the educator might implement an “English Only” policy in the class to help the students use English more in the class. In the following lines, we will have a look at how this policy impacts the learners and also the advantages and disadvantages of the same when implemented in a TEFL in-class course.


1. Develops students to express themselves in English

As the educator makes the students to express their thoughts in English in the class, the students gradually get acquainted with the language more and also learn the ways to use English effectively. This caters to a significant increase in confidence of the learners and eases the educator’s task.

2. Stronger listening skills

The implementation of English in the class helps the learners to build their listening skills on a strong base. This caters to the development of communication skills among the learners in the class.

3. Helps in better Problem Solving

The implementation of English as the only medium of communication in the classroom encourages the growth of problem solving skills among the students. This enables the learners to find newer ways of communication with the educators and the trainers in a TEFL in-class course. Thus they can find more feasible solutions to deliver their questions to the educator, who in turn, helps to solve their queries.

4. Easier to manage

An “English only” classroom may be easier to manage for the educator as the students communicate with each other. This is also applicable for the ease of conversations between the teacher and the students as well.

5. Makes socialising easier

A classroom where students use only one language to socialise with each other, i.e., English, helps them to socialise with each other better and in a more fluent way. A classroom which involves the use of more than one language as the medium of communication might not have the same impact on the learners and the classroom atmosphere.

From the aforementioned points, we can get a clear picture of the advantages that a learner can derive from an “English only” policy in TEFL in class course. However, there are certain disadvantages that the learners can get affected from due to the implementation of an “English only” policy in a classroom, which are depicted in the following lines.


1. Beginners may face challenges in learning simple language points

Students might face problems in learning simple language points if an “English only” environment is implemented in the classroom, especially in the beginning stages. This might be detrimental for the understanding of the students as they might not be able to pick up the instructions from the teacher while indulging in a TEFL in-class course.

2. Slowing down the educational process

At times, it becomes difficult for the learners to get in-depth analysis about the course and its curriculum if the educator uses only English as the medium of communication. The use of native language, while explaining the nuances of a comprehensive course, can help the students to understand and speed through the course content, which is an utmost necessity for the timely and successful completion of the course.

3. Students might feel uncomfortable

Students might feel a little uncomfortable in an “English only” in-class environment, which might affect their learning process negatively. In the initial stages, the students need to get familiar with the atmosphere of the class and the strict usage of just one language prevents them from communicating among themselves as well as with the educator.

4. Class management is affected

The teacher has to spend more time being a “language cop” rather as an educator. This not only affects the attentiveness of the students but also makes classroom management difficult for the educator. This is something that should be avoided for a better classroom environment.

5. Students with lower English skills get demotivated

It is the primary responsibility of an educator to help the students get motivated. However, the implementation of an “English only” policy in a classroom might affect the confidence of the students who have lesser knowledge in English. This might get them demotivated in an in-class situation where the only language to communicate is English.

From the aforementioned points, it is clear that the implementation of an “English only” policy has both merits and demerits. So, it is up to the teacher and the institution to take a feasible decision regarding such a policy and to see that it caters to the development of the learners who are indulging in a TEFL in-class course.

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