Code Switching in spoken English class
This paper investigates how code switching functions as a medium of communicative tool between students in a spoken class in Hubei University of China. The findings indicate that code switching in spoken form allowed for effective communications between students in a natural and cozy way for all students involved.
1.Definition of code switching
Code switching was first investigated systematically in the 1960s and 1970s. There have been numerous definitions ranging in specificity, and several theoretical models aimed at describing and explaining its many features and manifestations. Like any area of scholarly ...view middle of the document...
(McClure & Wentz, 1975; Poplack, 1981).
Grosjean (1982,p.152) came up with several additional oral functions of code switching like marking group identity, emphasizing solidarity, excluding others from a conversation, raising the status of speaker and adding authority or expertise to a message. Skiba (1997, p. 10) claimed that code switching enabled students to possess autonomy over a long period of time with the function of enhancing the individual’s expressive capacity.
In the 1990s, researcher scholars had been exploring code switching in bilingual classrooms and found it efficient as a communicative strategy that were used among bilingual students (Aguirre, 1988; Hudelson, 1983; Olmedo-Williams, 1983). Eldridge (1996) came up with three categories of code switching in a foreign language classroom: equivalence, floor holding and reiteration. A similar study was carried out by Sana (2010), who added his own four categories of code switching: student-student code switching, student-researcher codes switching, comfort code switching and sorry code switching.
Li (2000) firstly grouped the functions of code switching into two dichotomies: discourse-related functions and participant-related functions. The first one means organizing conversations by making contributions to the interactional meanings of the particular utterances, and the latter means switching correspondingly to the individual’s preferences when participating in their conversations. Meiring and Norman (2002)’s identified additional different communicative functions: expressing equivalence, discussing procedural concerns, floor holding, reiterating concepts, and forming group relationships. In the similar vain, Rababah(2002) pointed out that typical functions of code switching were repeating words and sentences , trying to avoid certain words that they find difficult, and rephrasing words and sentences.
The latest research was conducted by Andrew (2012)，who pointed out that L1’s function is for metalanguage, floor holding, reiteration, and socializing with metalanguage and socializing as two new perspectives in analyzing the functions of code switching.
The functions of students’ code-switching in English spoken English classroom discourse have not been investigated and analyzed in Chinese EFL context despite the fact that researches on the same issue have been explored in developed nations where the contexts are quite different from Chinese bilingual classrooms.
The main purpose of the study is to identify the functions of code switching by analyzing students’ classroom discussion data in a spoken English class in Chinese EFL context and the analyzing the possible reasons why they code switch.
Data Collection Procedure
The study was within the paradigm of qualitative research. The data for research was collected in the naturally occurring group discussions during a spoken English class in Hubei University of Technology in China in the 6th teaching week of the...