Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effect of Code Switching on the Acquisition of Object Relative Clauses by Iranian Efl Learners

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

The Effect of Code Switching on the Acquisition of Object Relative Clauses by Iranian Efl Learners

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Code-switching, the interchanging use of two distinctive languages, is placed in the field of bilingualism and is viewed as a shared characteristic of those who speak two or more languages. Code-switching is often studied from two different viewpoints: linguistic and social, and it is therefore defined variously. Investigating the issue of code-switching in bilingual and social settings, many scholars put their concentration mostly on its types and its functions (e.g., Gumperz, 1982; Poplack, 1980). Their researches set a good background for later scholars in other contexts, especially education (e.g., Canagarajah, 1995; Macaro, 2001). In the classroom context, this issue has made more and more educational researchers interested in their exploration into the various kinds of code-switching, its function, its impact on the speakers who utilize it, and the reasons for code-switching. Code-switching happens prevalently in language classrooms across the world where teachers are teaching a foreign language (FL) or a second language (SL). The Iranian FL teaching context is no exception.

In the Iranian EFL teaching setting, code-switching, the alternation between learners' first language, in other words, Farsi and learners' target language (i.e., English), is a common factor in schools, universities, and language institutes. It is obvious that code-switching is utilized by teachers of English while speaking with other teachers of English and, especially, in their classroom instruction. It is clear from the researcher's own experience and observation of other EFL teachers' teaching practice that Iranian EFL teachers often code-switch. In other words, they use both Farsi and English, in different stages in their EFL classroom. Nevertheless, little information is known about the phenomenon in the Iranian EFL teaching context. Thus, a clear understanding of how code-switching happens, when it takes place, and for what reasons it happens For this reasons, the researchers hop to find out the effect of code switching on the acquisition of object relative clauses which helps writers, , students ,teachers professors use and understand language more effectively.

There have been several studies of code-switching practices conducted by teachers in classroom instruction across the world, especially in Asian teaching and learning context, where English is mainly instructed as a foreign language. Those studies are usually performed by using survey questionnaires (e.g., Lee, 2010), classroom observations and/or interviews (e.g., Greggio& Gil, 2007). In Iran, there have been studies related to EFL educational issues, for example, issues related to teacher development (Eftekhari, 2001), and understanding of the communicative approach to language teaching (Moradkhani, 2012). Nevertheless, up to now, there are some studies in the Iranian educational context have investigated the issue of teachers' code-switching practice in their English classroom teaching, even though this practice commonly takes place. One study (Farjami and DavatgariAsl, 2013) explored teachers' beliefs and performances to the degree that it provided general information about teachers' use of their first language (i.e., Farsi) in their English classrooms by interviewing a confined number of teachers.

On the other hand, grammar instruction has been one of the most controversial aspects of L2 acquisition. Whether EFL teachers' code-switching can facilitate the complicated process of grammar learning for EFL learners and whether EFL learners' attitude and opinions towards teachers' codeswitching in grammar instruction are positive or negative are examined in this study.

1.2Research Questions and Hypotheses

In line with the above-mentioned purpose of the study, the researchers attempted to answer the following research questions which were motivated by the research gap on the effectiveness of codeswitching on grammar instruction.

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