Students’ Perception of Code-Switching as Pedagogical Tool in Multilingual EFL Classrooms: A Social Justice Perspective
Keywords:code-switching, minority language, monolingual, multilingual, cognition, student perception, language instruction
The act of switching back and forth between two languages, varieties, or dialects, typically during a single conversation, is referred to as code-switching. In multilingual, bilingual, and translanguaging contexts, code-switching is a significant phenomenon that affects cognition, communication, and students' language acquisition. The benefits and drawbacks of language switching for L2 learners have been hotly debated ever since the 1980s. However, these studies are often more focused on teachers’ beliefs and perceptions about code-switching paying little attention to how students perceive the use of code-switching in an L2 classroom. The current article's goal is to gain a better understanding of how students at an English-medium university in a Pashto-majority area of northern Pakistan feel about the practice of code-switching. The study's data was collected using questionnaires that included both closed- and open-ended questions. The results of the study suggest that students are supportive of their teachers' deliberate use of code-switching; however, in the university’s multilingual classes, the language that the teacher switches to must be understood by all students to prevent the minority group that does not understand the teachers' native language from feeling excluded. The article concludes with the implication of this study for English as a medium of instruction in higher education in Pakistani and other analogous teaching environments.
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