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Code-switching is defined as 'the use of two (or more) languages or language varieties alternating across sentence boundaries (inter-sentential)

or alternating within sentence boundaries' (Jones: 2011: 14), in other words, it is 'the switch between different languages or varieties in the same utterance or turn' (Jones; 2011: 14). This means that a speaker switches between two or more languages within the same conversation or sentence. This may occur for a number of reasons for example to emphasize certain words or an important instruction, to enforce authority, evoke fear amongst small children by an adult, and in many instances to simply gain or convey a better understanding in a conversation between other people hence, it can be used in a classroom situation. This may be viewed as a positive activity or it may be viewed as a hindering or negative activity. Since code-switching is the use of two or more languages it can be used in a learning environment by teachers and students to facilitate understanding and to learn new languages. It may also be used to explain and examine various complex terms or concepts that a student may be struggling with in a classroom. This is of particular importance in the South African context which is so uniquely and extensively diverse in terms of language and dialects as there are eleven official languages of which there are a group of people whether large or small that use one or more of the official languages as their mother tongues. Also, due to migration, there are also foreign citizens in South Africa who speak their own languages of origin. Educational institutions and schools are unable to conduct education in all the official languages as it will be time consuming, costly and difficult to prepare for and administer. This means that speakers of languages that are not offered in educational institutions have to adapt to the dominant language of that institution and code-switching is an effective method of learning and understanding in the dominant language. Take for example The University of Cape Town where English is the dominant language, a lecturer who is a Zulu mother tongue speaker who also speaks and understand English may explain a difficult word or concept in Zulu to a student who is finding it difficult to understand that word or concept in English, in this way the student will be able to link the connection between the two thereby learning in both Zulu and English. In a study in china, researchers were interested in the code-switching between Chinese and English which teachers used in a Chinese University in which they considered the dynamics, complexity and variability of code-switching(Lin:2011: 1). In the study a pragmatic model of Chinese-English code-switching was applied through the utilization of a linguistic adaption theory (Lin: 2011: 1). The research study consisted of three parts, namely, the adaptability, negotiability and variability of the Chinese-English code-switching. In the analysis, when looking at the reasons for code-switching researchers took into account the linguistic and social considerations (Lin: 2011: 2). The study drew on another study conducted in three Kenyan schools in which teachers switched between English, Swahili and mother tongue (Lin: 2011: 2) in which the conclusion to the study was that the reason for

switching was used for a socialization role of the teacher, the importance of variation and repetition (Lin: 2011: 2). In the china study on the other hand, the reason for switching was to realize teaching or communicative goals (Lin: 2011: 3) in order to adapt the linguistic reality, the teachers roles or the psychological motives of the material which the teacher is dealing with (Lin: 2011: 3). An example which showed the effectiveness of switching in the study was when the teacher asked the students to use specific writing strategies given to them to improve their English writing (Lin: 2011:3) and the teacher then switches to English instead of Chinese to explain the instruction because the instructions given- writing in an idea blank, brainstorming and clustering (Lin:2011: 3did not have proper or concrete Chinese translations and are effectively understood by the students in English. (Lin: 2011: 3). Also, many Chinese words or writing has a number of meanings and would then create confusion as opposed to clarity and understanding (Lin: 2011:3). When reading out a passage teachers switch between three different languages to convey the psychological intention of the passage (Lin: 2011:4). It is then clear that the teachers code-switching is to adapt to the linguistic convention so as to express them concisely and accurately (Lin: 2011: 3) and hence fill the linguistic gap between two languages (Lin: 2011:4). In a study conducted in Iran, code-switching showed positive results. The study attempted to research the effect of code switching on learning amongst Iranian learners. Two groups of 30 students were chosen from students majoring in architecture in Shahrekord Azad University in Iran. An Oxford Placement Test was conducted and their linguistic homogeneity was then discovered. One group given the name- was considered the control group and was not allowed to code switch. The second group was the experimental group and was allowed code switching to Persian whenever they found it difficult to communicate expressively. Interestingly, the teacher at times switched to Persian and explained aspects, words, topics more effectively in English to ensure understanding amongst the students (Isfahani & Kiyoumarsi: 2011). The results showed the positive consequences and effects of code switching on the development of language, the proficiency thereof and the improvement of reading comprehension ability amongst the Iranian learners (Isfahani & Kiyoumarsi: 2011). The results of the study: can provide support for the use of mother tongue in language classes. Using first language in foreign language classes can be a communication strategy that helps students compensate for their deficiency in the second language. Furthermore, teachers switching to first language can be beneficial in conveying messages that will be difficult for students to understand in the foreign language (Isfahani & Kiyoumarsi: 2011) The positive effects of code-switching are evident in the learning environment and

provide positive results for both teachers and students. Code-switching is an effective method of learning and understanding and has had a number of positive results it should therefore be implemented into other institutions and used extensively. References: Jones, K. 2011 UKZN Undergraduate lecturer. 04 May Lin, W. www.celea.org.cn. Downloaded on the 04th May 2011 Isfahani F. R. & Kiyoumarsi F. http://ijl.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.30/prod.2850 downloaded on the 04th May 2011