Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

Code Switching in English as Foreign Language Instruction Practiced by the English Lecturers at Universities

Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

Code Switching in English as Foreign Language Instruction Practiced by the English Lecturers at Universities

Article excerpt


In lecturing English as foreign language instruction in the classroom, the English lecturers still have difficulties. They have to switch the language when the students do not understand about what they are conveying. This study was aimed at investigating how the English lectures practiced code switching in English as foreign language (EFL) instruction in the classroom. This was a descriptive qualitative research in which data was taken ethnographically by recording, observation, and interview technique. The collected data was analyzed by descriptive qualitative method through four steps, i.e. data reduction, data description, data grouping, and conclusion. The findings of the study revealed that the English lecturers used English, Indonesian, Arabic, interchangeably. The English lectures made switching for (1) linguistics factor, (2) to continue speaker's pronouncement, (3) addressee specification, (4) information clarification, (5) intimacy, (6) affected with the addressee, (7) unpleasant feeling, (8) to create humor, (9) repetition used for clarification reiteration of a message, (10) to strengthen request or command, (11) to make questions, (12) to give advice, (13) to balance the addressee's language competence, (14) to make it easier to convey speaker's message, (15) discourse marker.

Keywords: Code switching, English as foreign language, Instruction

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1. Introduction

Using two or more languages within an utterance or what linguists call code switching, is fairly common especially between two of the most used languages in the country which is the national language (Indonesian) and the international language (English). Code switching is common in multilingual Asian countries such as Indonesian, where English as well as other foreign languages (EFL) are mixed in an utterance. In English Foreign Language (EFL) instruction, code switching comes into use either in the teachers' or the students' discourse. Although it is not favoured by many teachers, one should have at least an understanding of the functions of switching between the native language and the foreign language and its underlying reasons. This understanding will provide language teachers with a heightened awareness of its use in classroom discourse and will obviously lead to better of instruction by either eliminating it or dominating its use during the foreign language instruction. So, code switching is used by the teacher in order to build solidarity and intimate relations with the students. Skiba, (1997) underscores that code-switching can be practiced by teachers by integrating it into the activities used to teach a second language. By having students get in pairs and switch languages at pre-determined points in conversation, it helps them to learn each other's language. Teachers can also begin a lesson in one language, then switch to another language, forcing the children to listen carefully and comprehend both languages.

With regard to the previous statements, Sert, (2004) explains that the functions of teacher code switching are known as topic switch, affective functions, and repetitive functions. Topic switching means that the teacher alters his or her language according to the topic being taught. This is mainly seen in grammar instruction, and the student's attention is directed towards the new knowledge. In Affective functions, code switching which is practiced by the teacher to express emotions, and build a relationship between the teacher and the student. In dealing with repetitive functions, the teacher uses code switching to clarify the meaning of a word, and stresses importance on the foreign language content for better comprehension.

Code switching is practiced by the students in EFL classroom also has many functions. Sert (2004) has investigated that the functions of code switching for students are known as equivalence, floor-holding, reiteration, and conflict control. …

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