Abstract: This study examined the amount, the purposes, and the reasons why L1 is used in L2 classrooms. Data consist of video and audio recording of samples of two instructors' L2 classes over the course of a 12-week semester in two second-year German conversation university courses, instructor interviews, and stimulated recall sessions. Results revealed that the instructors used L1 quite frequently in their classrooms and that they did it for many reasons and purposes. They also believed that L1 should be used in L2 classrooms and that its use facilitates L2 learning. Findings provide evidence that despite disagreement on the use of L1 among L2 researchers, these instructors of German as a foreign language used L1 in their classrooms for important instructional purposes.