Code Switching: Awareness Amongst Teachers and Students in Saudi Universities EFL Classrooms

Malik Ajmal Gulzar, AbdulRahman Al Asmari


This study is a comprehensive investigation of Saudi university EFL classroom interactants’ [faculty & students] awareness towards various dynamics of code switching (hereinafter CS). The participants comprised of 100 faculty members and 100 students drawn from Taif University English Language Center [henceforth TUELC]. A 22 item questionnaire was adapted on a Likert-scale to elicit their perceptions related to various functions of CS in a Saudi EFL classroom context. The results revealed that both groups [faculty & students] indicated almost the same results as far the attitudes towards the reasons that prompt CS in the EFL classroom are concerned but they showed comparatively wider differences towards perceptions of the awareness of CS in Saudi EFL universities classrooms (section 1) and perceptions of the subjective norms of CS in Saudi EFL universities classrooms (section 2) of the questionnaire. The findings of the study reveal that Saudi EFL classroom interactants bear quite positive attitudes towards CS. It is also found that the participants of this study have a strong urge to learn the English language and for the specified purposes of the role of CS is authenticated by the respondents. During the analysis, the results of the study indicated that both respondents [i.e. faculty & students] agreed to use CS, but utility of different functions vary in their perceptions. Moreover, in the light of the data analysis, trends were determined among groups to measure the significance of each function of CS. In short, this work tried to understand the significance of mother tongue [hereinafter MT] and target language [henceforth TL] in the EFL context of Saudi universities.


Code switching; EFL classrooms interactants; Saudi university EFL classrooms; and language choice

Full Text:



Aguirre, A. (1988). Code-switching, intuitive knowledge, and the bilingual classroom. In H. S. Garcia & R. C. Chavez (Eds.), Ethno linguistic issues in education (pp.28-38). Lubbock, TX: Texas Tech University, College of Education.

Andeson, C. U., & Anderson, S. (1999). Growing up with two languages: A practical guide. London; New York: Routledge.

Atkinson, D. (1993). Teaching monolingual classes: Using L1 in the classroom. Harlow: Longman Group Limited.

Auer, J. (1995). The pragmatics of code-switching: A sequential approach. In L. Milroy & P. Muysken (Eds.), One speaker, two languages: Cross-disciplinary perspectives on code-switching (pp.201). Cambridge: University Press.

Auerbach, E. R. (1989). Toward a social-contextual approach to family literacy. Harvard Educational Review, 59, 165-181.

Baker, C., & Jones, P., S. (1998). Encyclopaedia of bilingualism and bilingual education. Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Bootzin, R. R., Bower, G. H., Zajonc, R. B., & Hall, E. (1986). Psychology today: An introduction. Random House: New York.

Brice, A. (2000). Code switching and code mixing in the ESL Classroom: A study of pragmatic and syntactic feature. advances in speech language pathology. Journal of the Speech Pathology Association of Australia, 20(1), 19-28.

Burenhult, N., & Flyman-Mattson, A. (1999). Code switching in second language teaching of French. Retrieved on June 20, 2007, from the World Wide Web:

Burns, A. (1999). Collaborative action research for English language teachers. U.K: Cambridge University Press.

Cook, V. (1991). Second language learning and language teaching. London: Edward Arnold.

Corder, S. P. (1981). Error analysis and interlanguage. London: Oxford University Press.

Crystal, D. (1997). The Cambridge encyclopaedia of language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

De Mejía, A. (1988). Bilingual storytelling: Code switching, discourse control, and learning opportunities. TESOL Journal Winter, 4-10.

Di Sciullo, A. M., Muysken, P., & Singh, R. (1986). Government and code-mixing. Journal of Linguistics, 22, 1-24

Duran, L. (2007). Toward a better understanding of code switching and inter language in Bilinguality: Implications for bilingual instruction. Journal of Educational Issues of Language Minority Students, 14. Retrieved from on 15-09-2012

Eastman, (1995.) Codeswitching, 123-142. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Eisner, E. (1992). The enlightened eye: Qualitative inquiry and enhancement of educational practice. New York: Macmillan Publishing.

Ellis, R. (1985). Understanding second language acquisitions. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Galasso, J. (2001). The development of code switching: Minimalist constraints and the role of checking theory. Retrieved on March 20, 2008, from Joseph.

Genesee, F., Paradis, J., & Crago, M. B. (2004). Dual language development & disorders: A handbook on bilingualism & second language learning. Baltimore, Maryland: Brookes.

Genishi, C. S. (1976). Rules for code-switching in young Spanish-English speakers: An exploratory study of language socialization. Ann Arbor, MI: Xerox University Microfilms.

Gibbons, J. (1979). Code-mixing and koineising in the speech of students at the University of Hong Kong. Anthropological Linguistics, 21, 113-123.

Green, Kantor, & Rogers. (1990). Exploring the complexity of language and learning in the classroom. In B. Jones & L. Idol (Eds.), Educational values and cognitive instruction: Implications for reform (Vol.II., pp.333-364). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Grosjean, F. (1982). Life with two languages: An introduction to bilingualism. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Gulzar, M. A., & Abdulrahman, A. A. (2013). Intra-sentential patterns of code-mixing between bilingual male and female teachers: A comparative study. European Journal of Scientific Research, 97(3), 411-429.

Gulzar, M.A. (2010). Classroom discourse in bilingual context: Effects of code-switching on language learning. Germany: VDM Publishing House.

Gulzar, M.A. (2010). Code-switching: Awareness about Its Utility in EFL/ESL Classroom Discourse. Bulletin of Education and Research, 32(2), 1-14. Pakistan: Institute of Education and Research, University of the Punjab.

Gumperz, J. J. (1976). The sociolinguistic significance of conversational code-switching. (Working Papers of the Language Behavior Research Laboratory, No.46). Berkeley: University of Califomia.

Gysels, M. (1992). French in urban Lubumbashi Swahile: Code-switching, borrowing or both? Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 13(1-2), 41-56.

Hakuta. (1986). Mirror of language: The debate on bilingualism (pp.11-12). Review by Genesse 1987 in Miami and Kennedy 1991.

Hamers, F. J., & Blanc, A. H. M. (1989). Bilinguality and bilingualism. Cambridge University Press.

Hammink, J., & McLaughlin, B. (2000). A comparison of code switching behaviour and knowledge of adults and children. Retrieved on March 28, 2007, from the World Wide Web: http://

Hancock, M. (2004). Categories of classroom code switching: Language classroom as bilingual community. Retrieved from on 13-09-2012

Haugen, E. (1987). Blessing of babel: Bilingualism and language planning problems and pleasures. Berlin & New York: Montonde Gruyter. url:

Heller, M. (1988). Code switching: Anthropological and sociolinguistic perspectives. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Huerta, A. G. (1977). The acquisition of bilingualism: A code-switching approach. In Working papers in sociolinguistics. Austin, TX

Jacobson, R. (1985). Title VII demonstration projects program in bilingual instruction methodology (final report). San Antonio, TX: Southwest independent school district.

Jacobson, R. (Ed.). (1990). Code switching as a worldwide phenomenon. New York: Peter Lang.

Javid, C. Z., Farooq, U., & Gulzar, M. A. (2012). Saudi English-major undergraduates and English teachers' perceptions regarding effective ELT in the KSA: A comparative study. European Journal of Scientific Research, 85(1), 55-70.

Johnson, K., & Johnson, H. (Eds.). (1998). Encyclopaedic dictionary of applied linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press

Judith & Wallat. (1981). Ethnography and language in educational settings. ABLEX Pub. Co..

Kachru, B. B. (1978). Code mixing as communicative strategy in India: In international dimension of bilingual education. E. Jame (Ed.). Alatis George Town University Press.

Kamwangamalu, N. M. (1992). Mixers and mixing English across cultures. World Englishes, 11(2/3), 173-181.

Klein, W. (1986). Second language acquisition. Cambridge, London: Cambridge University Press.

Labov, W. (2010) Principles of linguistic change cognitive and cultural factor. University of Michigan Press.

Lipski, J. M. (1978). Code-switching and bilingual competence. In M. Paradis (Ed.), Fourth LACUS Forum (pp.263-277). Columbia: S. C. Hornbeam Press.

LiWei, (2000). The bilingualism reader. London & New York: Routledge.

Macswan, J. (1999). A minimalist approach to intra-sentential code switching. New York & London: Garland Publishing.

Makay, L. S., & Hornberger, H. N. (1996). Sociolinguistics and language teaching. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Martin-Jones, M. (1995). Code-switching in the classrooms: Two decades of research. In L. Milroy & P. Muysken (Eds.), One speaker, two languages: Cross-disciplinary perspectives on code-switching (pp.90-112). Cambridge: University Press.

Martin-Jones, M. (2003). Teaching and learning bilingually: Towards an agenda for qualitative classroom –based research. Retrieved on January 20, 2008, from World Wide Web:

Mehan, H. (1982). The structure of classroom events. In P. Gilmore & A. Glatthorn (Eds.), Children in and out of school. (pp.59-87). Centre for Applied Linguistics.

Merritt, M. A. (1999). Socialising multilingualism: Determinants of code switching in kenyan primary classroom. In C. M. Eastman (Ed.), Code switching (pp.103-121). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters LTD.

Milroy, L., & Muysken, p. (1995). Introduction: Code-switching and bilingualism research. In L. Milroy & P. Muysken (Eds.), One speaker, two languages: cross-disciplinary perspectives on code-switching (pp.1-14). Cambridge: University Press.

Myers-Scotton, C. (1993). Dueling languages: Grammatical structure in code switching. Oxford: Clarendon.

Pfaff, C. W. (1987). First and second language acquisition. MA: Newbury House Publications, Cambridge.

Phillips, J. M. (1975). Code-switching in bilingual classrooms. ERIC Document ED111222.

Poplack, S. (1980). Sometimes I’ll start a sentence in spanish y termino en espanol: Toward a typology of code-switching. Linguistics, 18(233-234), 581-618.

Romaine, S. (1989). Bilingualism. USA: Black Well Publisher.

Sankoff, D., & Poplack. S. (1981). A formal grammar for code-switching. Papers in Linguistics, 14(1-4), 3-45.

Selinker, L. (1972). Interlanguage. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 10, 209-231.

Skiba, R. (1997). Code switching as a countenance of language interference. The Internet TESL Journal, 3(10). Retrieved on June 11, 2007, from Internet TESL Journal.

Skinner, B.F. (1957). Verbal behaviour. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

Skutnabb-Kangas, T. (2000). Linguistic genocide in education or worldwide diversity and human rights. London: Erlbaum.

Skutnabb-Kangas, T., & Cummins, J. (Eds.) (1988). Minority education from shame to struggle. Cleveden, Avon: Multilingual Matters.

Stevens, R. (1983). A theoretical model of the language learning/language teaching process. Working Papers on Bilingualism, 11, 129-152.

Valdds-Fallis, G. (I981). Code-switching as a deliberate verbal strategy: A microanalysis of direct and indirect requests among bilingual Chicano speakers. In R. P. Durin (Ed.), Latino language and communicative behavior (pp.95-108). Norwood, N.J.: Ablex.

Van Lier, L. (1988). The classroom and language learner: Ethnography and second language classroom research. London: Longman.

Vygotsky, L. (1962). Thought and language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Weinreich, U. (1953). Languages in contact. The Hague: Mouton.

Woolard, K. (1985). Language variation and cultural hegemony. American Ethnologist, 12(4), 738-748.

Woolford, E. (1983). Bilingual code-switching and syntactic theory. Linguistic Inquiry, 14, 225-252.

Zentella, A. C. (1981). Ta bien, you could answer me en cualquier idioma: Puerto recan code-switching in bilingual classrooms. In R. P. Duran (Ed.), Latino language and communicative behaviour (pp.95-107). Norwood, New Jersey: ABLEX Publishing Corporation.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)

Share us to:   


  • How to do online submission to another Journal?
  • If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

  • Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

  • Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.

We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:;;

 Articles published in Higher Education of Social Science are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 1020 Bouvier Street, Suite 400, Quebec City, Quebec, G2K 0K9, Canada. 
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http:// Http://;

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Research & Development Center of Sciences and Cultures