Code-switching inside and outside the EFL classroom : Lower secondary pupils’ experiences and attitudes

University essay from Linnéuniversitetet/Institutionen för språk (SPR)

Abstract: Previous research claims that studies on pupil code-switching are lacking in number. Therefore, this study aimed to provide a picture of how lower secondary students in Sweden perceive code-switching inside and outside the Swedish EFL classroom, how the interlocutor affects the pupils’ code-switching as well as the pupils’ attitudes to the phenomenon. The material consists of semi-structured interviews with seven pupils at a lower secondary school. Qualitative content analysis was used as a method to process the interview data. The results show that code-switching occurs in relation to language proficiency in order to explain, annotate and exemplify second language content in the pupils’ first language and in this way enhance learning. This is done by the teachers when leading the class or by the pupils themselves in group discussions or during exercises. Furthermore, results show that interlocutors could be both enablers and be enabled to code-switch during discussions. In addition, the pupils had varied attitudes to code-switching where it was either seen as a mistake to code-switch, or that the pupils code-switched to add effect to their language. The pupils claimed to have different proficiency of the English language and spoke a varied amount of L1 during the lessons. However, all pupils agreed that English should be the primary language in the Swedish EFL classroom. The study concluded with a discussion on the pedagogical implications of the study where it could be used by teachers as a communicative resource.

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