Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

EFL Teachers' Code Switching in Turkish Secondary EFL Young Language Learner Classrooms

Academic journal article International Journal of Linguistics

EFL Teachers' Code Switching in Turkish Secondary EFL Young Language Learner Classrooms

Article excerpt


This study investigated Turkish EFL Young Language Learner teachers' code switching (CS hereafter) from English to Turkish in their classroom discourse. The data were collected from two different secondary private institutions in Adana and Denizli. In accordance with this aim, three EFL teachers and their fifth-grade intermediate level classrooms were recorded for two class hours via video camera. The recordings were transcribed and explored to see whether these teachers resorted to CS or not, if so, what types of CS they used in their classroom, what the functions of these switches were, and finally if these CS attempts contributed to their learners' language learning or not. Face to face semi-structured interviews were held with three teachers and these interviews were analyzed through content analysis. The results obtained from video recordings and semi-structured interviews showed that all the teachers who took part in this study used CS to varying extents. Moreover, the teachers resorted to inter-sentential CS the most in terms of typology in their discourse. The detailed analyses of video recordings revealed that the teachers used CS for 20 different purposes and they employed CS mainly for translation, meta-language, asking equivalence, giving instruction and classroom management purposes. Finally, the results of interview analyses showed that the teachers found CS useful for language learning; however, they cautiously emphasized that L1 should not replace L2 in classroom. In the light of the findings of this research, some suggestions were made to EFL teachers and teacher training institutes.

Keywords: EFL Young Language Learner Teachers, Classroom Interaction, Code Switching, The Use of L1 in Language Learning and Teaching, EFL

1. Introduction

Used interchangeably with L1 or mother tongue in the literature, CS is described as the alternation of two languages within a single discourse, sentence or constituent (Poplack, 1980). A considerable amount of literature has been published on the use of CS in bilingual settings, ESL as well as EFL classrooms (Gardner-Chloros, McEntee-Atalianis, & Paraskeva, 2013; Li, 2008; Low & Lu, 2008; Riegelhaupt, 2000; Redinger, 2010; Saxena, 2009). For the past 30 years more information has become provided for the CS practices of bilingual speakers and of adult ESL and EFL learners, especially at the tertiary level (Jingxia, 2010; Mirhasani & Mamaghani, 2009; Van Der Meij & Zhao, 2010; Yao, 2011). In the local context, studies concerning the use of L1 or CS for adult learners have been carried out (Atas, 2012; Bensen & Çavusoglu, 2013; Bilgin & Rahimi, 2013; Sen, 2010; Üstünel, 2004). These studies generally focus on teachers' attitudes or acts of CS at the secondary and tertiary levels. For example, Sen (2010) examined how exactly L1 is used by teachers at a high school to focus on form. After transcribing the instances of CS, teachers were asked why they thought their students used it. Similarly Bilgin & Rahimi (2013) investigated the functions, manner, reasons, and contributions of CS to the learning process of ELT from teachers' perspectives. Twenty teachers working at two Turkish universities were given a questionnaire with regard to their beliefs about acts of CS.

Furthermore, Bensen & Çavusoglu (2013) investigated the teachers' use of CS in EFL classrooms in the English Preparatory School of a private university in North Cyprus. Classroom interactions of four different teachers were recorded in order to identify the functions of CS. Follow-up playback sessions were held so as to reveal the perspectives of the teachers on their CSs. Another study conducted at university level by Üstünel (2004) attempts to describe how teachers make use of CS in ESL lessons. This study also reveals the students' responses to their teachers' CS acts and the impact of these acts on their use of TL.

In the same vein, but comparing two different proficiency levels at a Turkish university, Atas (2012) analyzed the discourse functions and forms of CS used by learners and teachers in EFL classrooms in a case study. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.