With the growth of sociolinguistics studies in the field of code-switching, numerous definitions emerged in this field of studies based on diverse aspects, those aspects can be social or linguistic.Code-switching, as defined by (Johansson, 2013), is a phenomenon that occurs in bilingual and multilingual speech communities.
Therefore, due to bilinguals and multilingual’ diversity of languages, they have the opportunity of communicating using two or more languages, in order to express themselves as well as meanings in better and different ways. Meanwhile, another researcher (Arthur, 2017) defines code-switching as the way bilinguals shift between multiple language varieties within the same phrase or utterance. Additionally, she explains more “it is what happens when people reflexively or subtly change the way they express themselves”. She also states that the use of code-switching “makes a lot of sense”; as it is an approach to give people from various backgrounds the ability to communicate with one another. In addition, according to Duggins (2018), and Okantah (2018), Code-switching can be seen in people’s ways of living and communicating rather than their languages. They define Code-switching as the change in the style of dressing, the way of speaking and the way people present themselves or communicate with others based on the situation or surroundings. A clear representation of this definition is African-Americans, who have their own style of dressing, use of language and lifestyle, yet they tend to switch from their own language and culture to American’s culture and standard language as long as they are interacting with Americans in schools or workplaces.
2.1.2 Motives of using Code-switchingShifting from a language to another within narratives or starting a sentence with a language and ending it with another is called Code-switching, according to Crystal (2006).Among a number of reasons that lead to the use of Code-switching, (Crystal, 2006, p.
414) explains that the motives of Code-switching are based on Social and Linguistic factors as follows.The first factor is the lack of language knowledge in a certain situation. When people find it difficult to express their feelings or emotions using a certain language, they tend to switch to another language to help them explaining themselves in a better way.
For instance, people can express themselves using their native language L1. However, they can only use their second language L2 to expressing emotions. This factor is typically related to a person’s own feelings and emotions.Another factor is about building relationships. It occurs in situations where a person wants to be involved in a particular group of people that have a variety of backgrounds and languages.
Due to this variety of languages, the person will code switch according to the language spoken in certain situations. Also, to indicate the person’s ability in dealing with different people as well as languages. It also can be used to exclude others from the group, who are unfamiliar with a specific language and incapable of dealing with code-switching or variety of languages.Moreover, people tend to code switch when they want to express their feelings and approach toward others and to estimate the level of their relationship. People change their use of languages according to the level of formality, comfort and association with others.
All of these aspects can be determined through the person’s use of language. Switching languages usually creates a special effect between the speaker and listener “if two bilinguals normally talk to each other in language X, the choice of Y is bound to create a special effect”. Furthermore, Davies and Bentahila (1994) explain an important factor which is the social setting, which usually determines people’s use of language according to the atmosphere or social setting they are involved in. for instance, people use different language at school than the language used at home as well as their language in work. This can also be related to the types of code switching, which is situational Code-switching (as cited in Rauf, 2017, p.213)2.1.3 Types of Code-switchingEsen (2018) demonstrates that the types of code-switching can be classified into three main categories.
Firs type is the Inter-Sentential code-switching, which is when switching from a language to another occurs at the end of the sentence. This type of Code-switching is mostly used between people who are fluent, like natives, in all the languages spoken.In the second type of Code-switching which is Intra-Sentential, the switching from languages occurs within the sentence, phrase or even a word level. The speaker using this type of Code-switching is mostly unaware of the usage of Code-switching or the language that was used in the previous part of the sentence or the phrase. Moreover, speakers switch between languages without pausing, uncertainty or interfering.The last type is the Extra-Sentential where an insertion of a tag word from the native language L1 into the utterance which is in the target language L2 occurs.
This type of Code-switching is a result of the power of the mother tongue as speakers usually use words they are used to from their native languages.2.2 Code-switching in second language learning classrooms Code-switching as a concept used in schools and universities occurs usually in second language learning classrooms among instructors as well as students. There are several motives that determine the use of Code-switching in second language learning classes, which affects students’ learning process in both ways positively and negatively.2.
2.1 Reasons and motivesJohansson (2013) states that instructors should minimize their use of code-switching in second language learning classes for several reasons. However, there are a number of situations where instructors are obligated to use code-switching in classrooms.(Lin, 2013, p.197-202) explains that one of the reasons that cause the use of Code-switching in second language learning classrooms is to build a closer relationship between students and their instructor.
Code-switching occurs in informal situations mostly, where instructors want to maintain a sense of humour, empathy or solidarity toward students.Lin (2013, p.197-202), and (Jingxia, 2010, p.21) also argue that another main purpose for the use of Code-switching in classrooms is to clarify important points and make them clearly understandable for students.
Teachers tend to code switch when they want to assure that students understand what is said properly, especially when it comes to explaining questions of a test, give instructions, give feedback for students’ performance or to help students who face difficulties with understanding specific things. “When a teacher explains what is said in the curriculum or another academic text it can be useful to translate or explain some concepts further in the students’ L1” (Lin 2013:202; Jingxia 2010:21).Walker (2011) mentions another motive that leads to the use of Code-switching which is attracting students’ attention in class. Sometimes students get lost in class or bored, in such situations instructors tend to code-switch as a communication strategy for humour purposes or to make students pay attention to what is said. However, Nofaie (2010), and Bloom (2009), and Cook (2008, p.181) claim that code-switching could be an excellent strategy used in classes, yet teachers should limit its use for a variety of reasons.
One of which is that the use of Code-switching interferes with the main purpose of those classes, which is learning a new language. Teachers’ code-switching to their native language encourages students to do the same in classes which prevent them from interacting in the target language and so is acquiring it.Cook (2008, p.181) also continues with another reason to avoid Code-switching in classrooms where students have a variety of backgrounds. In certain classes with students that have different backgrounds and different native languages, code switching should be avoided, because it is impossible for a teacher to cape up with all those varieties of languages.
For instance, when teachers code switches to their native language which some students might be unfamiliar with, those students will not understand and get lost in sequence.2.2.2 Importance and affectionCode-switching is considered as an important tool for the learning process in classrooms, it affects students’ learning and academic performance in a positive way. The use of Code-switching in classrooms allow students to interact easily and more effectively with the teacher and other students. Because code switching mostly used in informal situations, that creates a comfortable atmosphere for the students in the class, which affects their relationship with their teachers in a good way that help students to interact more often as a result of the friendly environment. (Cook, 2001; Simon,2001)Simon (2001), (p.317) adds on that code-switching is a significant strategy to enhance students’ understanding in classes and thus improve their academic performance.
It can be part of learning the second language as it is important to improve students’ ability to learn and understand specific terms and topics. Through the use of code-switching, “the risk of misunderstandings due to L2 shortcomings can be avoided” as students will understand easily, quickly and more comprehensively.Students’ ways of thinking get improved when code-switching is allowed or used in classes, due to the fact that the use of the native language has the largest impact on students’ performance and learning process. “code-switching seems to increase the amount of cognitive processing made by students” which helps students to learn more about new things thoroughly. Lin also explains that although the use of code-switching should be minimized as possible as the teachers can, yet students should not be prevented from using it.
Instead, teachers should allow the use of code-switching to a limited extent in order to help the students to understand how and when code switching should be used. (Lin, 2013, p.205-207)In spite of the importance and good impact of using code-switching in classes, Song and Andrews (2009), (p.
36) think that the use of native languages in second language learning classes has a negative impact on students. As it is important for students to speak and hear the second language they are learning in order to acquire it.2.3 previous studies2.3.1 Historical background of researches in Code-switchingRegarding the historical background of studying the field of code-switching, according to (Glottopedia, 2010) scholars have started to notice the concept of Code-switching since the twentieth century when a scholar (Ronjat, 1913) recorded the first observation research regarding bilinguals and their use of languages.
This phenomenon, however, was not taken into consideration for a substantial period of time. In the early parts of the twentieth century, Code-switching was considered to be a random use of languages without any reasons or motivations as a result of the lack of language knowledge. By 1970s scholars’ perception toward Code-switching started to take another level, when two linguists Blom and Grumperz (1972) published an article concerning their studies of a Norwegian village. The two linguists noticed the language of people in a Norwegian village and how they tend to switch between two different dialects of their own language constantly based on different and specific situations. Since then more linguists and scholars conducted a variety of researches regarding the field of Code-switching.2.3.
2 Previous research by Uzma Shirazi, Natasha Memon and Kiran Shirazi (2016) about English language teachers’ code-switching in English language classes in Pakistan The study was investigated in University of Sindh, a university in Pakistan where the use of Code-switching is common among English Language teachers in undergraduate level classes. The main aim of this research is to investigate teachers’ using of Code-switching in classrooms with the focus on the reasons behind this usage.To fulfil the requirement of this research, eight English teachers were interviewed and observed in classes. Those qualitative methods were used to collect data form observation that differs from interviews.
Observing classes as non-participant in order to watch and note everything related to Code-switching in those classes, while interviewing teacher can reveal more information as the interviews are more open and direct where the interviewer can take as much information as possible.Throughout the observation and interviews, Shirazi, Memon and Shirazi found that a number of reasons cause the use of Code-switching in English language classes. “The teachers switch code for various reasons such as, to clarify the concepts to the learners, and to improve their linguistic competence. In addition, they also consider the diversity of the learners along with rapport building and motivating and maintaining discipline in their classrooms”. The research indicates that those finding can also be useful for Language Policymaker to use Code-switching as an excellent strategy in classes.2.3.
3 Research on Students’ Attitude towards Teachers’ Use of Code-Switching and Its Impact on Learning English by Ahmer Rauf (2017)The concern of this study is to identify the responses of students toward the use of Code-switching in classes and its impact on their learning process, as well as how the use of Code-switching affect students’ proficiency in the second language. The researcher aims to make people in Pakistan aware of the importance of functions and the usage of Code-switching in English learning classrooms in Pakistan.Surveys of 35 questions were distributed randomly to 400 participants from both genders males and females aged between 17-21 who were asked to give their opinion regarding the use of Code-switching in classrooms. As well as 70 learners’ exam grades were taken to measure their level in English and how the use of Code-switching in learning affect students’ performance. Through the analysis of the surveys and exam grades, Rauf indicates that the use of good switching in classes has a positive impact on students’ learning process beside their academic performance.In conclusion, all participants show a positive attitude toward the use of Code-switching in English language classrooms and the grades proved the good effect of code-switching on students which resulted from their better understanding through its use among teachers in English language learning classrooms.