Advantages And Disadvantages Of Code Switching

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Code-switching refers to the linguistic phenomenon that occurs when an individual who is either, bilingual or multilingual, alternates their dialect with various languages (Moodley, 2013:55). Associated with code-switching is the concept of Matrix language (dominant language) and the idea of when to use code-switching; whether it is conscious or subconscious. In terms of code-switching in the classroom, there are several aspects that contribute to the advantages of using different languages which may help a student learn particular subjects. For example, an English teacher who is reading a poem that has certain words in a different language. However, there are disadvantages which may hinder the student’s ability to understand certain concepts…show more content…
Therefore, teachers must accommodate students who do not necessarily speak the same languages (Moodley, 2013:74 -75). To ensure that student’s education is not compromised, a target language needs to be implemented to ensure that the subject being taught is acknowledged by the learners. However the “language barrier” would also create an opportunity to code-switch, which will benefit learners to a great extent. It will not only eliminate the isolated feelings of students but accommodate their language and cultural backgrounds. Furthermore, a teacher will be able to teach their class to the extent where they will be motivated to learn. An explanation of a particular subject may require certain words or sentences in another language which may help learners understand the concept (Moodley, 2013:68). For example, a History teacher will be teaching about apartheid, there might be certain phrases which may require code-switching and thus the learner would be able to understand how particular groups of people felt during that specific -time period. It also might give context to what is being…show more content…
Even though code-switching is encouraged, there needs to be an equilibrium and therefore a target language will ensure a balance between the intended language and the language which the students prefer to speak. Moreover, there are certain aspects of code-switching which may hinder the education of students and that may lead to negative consequences (Moodley, 2013:75). If a teacher is monolingual, they will not be able to code-switch in a multilingual classroom. Children will not be able to understand certain concepts that are unfamiliar to them. The teacher will struggle to have their class in active learning; students will not be actively engaging with their coursework that is provided. Furthermore, this may lead to disruptive behavior as the teacher cannot demand good behavior from their learners and thus there will not be enough time to teach a certain subject if all the time spent is on trying to get their learners to work (Rodrigo: 2016). Another negative aspect of code-switching is miscommunication and misinterpreting what has been said. This could lead to a teacher being offensive to learners if a phrase or sentence is used incorrectly and thus diminishing the professional relationship between students and teachers. For example, a teacher might say a phrase in another language but a student could take the phrase out of context, which may cause many problems.

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