Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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The study deals with the sociolinguistic phenomenon of codeswitching as manifested in community-based ethnic-language classes. More specifically, it focuses on teachers’ codeswitching from students’ second language (Mandarin Chinese) to students’ first language (English). The empirical study was conducted at one Chinese community school in the United Kingdom to investigate the instances in which teachers switch to students’ first language and to explore teachers’ introspection regarding their codeswitching behavior. Twelve types of codeswitching were identified and categorized in accordance with functions recorded in other studies. Discrepancies between teachers’ beliefs on the choice of language medium and their actual practices were found. Teachers were not always aware of their codeswitching and they generally held positive attitudes towards their conscious codeswitching and negative attitudes towards subconscious codeswitching. Conscious switches were used mainly for pedagogical, interpersonal, and interactive purposes. A sense of guilt was found to be associated with their unconscious codeswitching. This study suggests that raising teachers’ awareness of the potential usefulness of codeswitching within ethnic-language education is paramount.


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