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Code Switching As A Resource In Content And Language Integrated Learning Or Bilingual Classroom

782 words - 3 pages


Currently, teaching content in foreign language and second language, for example, content and language integrated learning (CLIL) or bilingual teaching approach has become a trend in education world. Some countries such as Malaysia, Africa, and European countries have adopted this model of learning in their education system. There are some reasons behind adopting CLIL or bilingual teaching approach in their education system, for example, to improve cross countries (cross language) traffic, and as a respond to the important of English language as a dominant language in the world (Samala, 2009).

Cummins stated that there is a minimal level of language proficiency (treshold), that students should reach in order to be able to learn the task effectively (1981, cited in Lim & Presmeg, 2010). As students in bilingual or CLIL classroom do not learn the content of the lesson in their mother tongue, code-switching is often occurred in their classroom. The teacher in the classroom would switch classroom discourse from the target language to students first language when he find that the students difficult to understand the concept of the lesson in the target language.

Code-switching in the classroom should not be considered as a failure to teach in the target language, but it should be considered as a resource in the classroom. In this essay, I will discuss both advantages and disadvantages of code-switching in classroom.

Definition of Code-switching

According to Baker, code-switching is a situation where an individual switched from one to another language in one utterance, and the switching is done deliberately (1993, cited in Lim & Presmeg, 2010). In general, Setati (1998) defined that code-switching is “the use of more than one language in a single speech act” (p. 34). She also added that “code-switching can involve a words, a phrase or a sentence. It can also involve several sentences” (p. 35).

Code-switching in the classroom occur when a teacher switches their instruction and classroom discourse from the target language to students main language. Moreover, Setati (1998) stated that the teacher could code-switch in their teaching in three ways, namely, for reformulation, content of activity, and translation.
Advantages of Code-switching

There are several advantages of applying code-switching in classroom. Firstly, Adler (2001) and Setati (2005) said that the students will learn and understand better when they are taught in their main language (cited in Lim & Presmeg, 2010). Therefore, when students do not understand the lesson in the target...

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