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The Impact of Code-Switching on Speaking English in EFL Classrooms

Several factors have been responsible for the complexity reflected in today’s linguistic situation in Algeria, some being historical, others political and still others socio-cultural. It is undeniable that, as a consequence of the diverse events that the country has gone through, the Algerian society has acquired a distinctive identity. Simply because it is at once a bilingual, multilingual, and a diglossic community. Therefore, Code-switching is a phenomenon which can easily be observed among the Algerian population. Code-switching as a sociolinguistic concept is first analyzed by focusing on the major factors that prepare the speaker to use it. This research explores also the different functions that code-switching is used for in a foreign language in general and English in particular. It tackles the different code-switching constraints the speaker should respect when switching between languages or language varieties.In addition, an attempt is made to investigate the secondary schools’ teachers and learners’ attitudes towards the use of cod-switching in a foreign language classroom, and the way they perceive the use of this concept in the teaching and learning processes.

Introduction :

        Language is a human behavior which can be studied from several different points of view: social, cultural, psychological…etc. Sociolinguistics is concerned with the study of language in relation to society. In social studies, language can be studied either for its use or function .Despite the fact that the linguistic situation in Algeria is still problematic, it can be described as a real laboratory for sociolinguistic studies because of the diglossic, bilingual and even multilingual situations that prevail. These linguistic situations have created a phenomenon of switching between languages. Thus code switching has become a very common practice among all the individuals of the Algerian society. Code-switching is awidespread phenomenon in bilingual classroom interactions  .An earlier definition of code switching dates back to Weinreich (1974:1) “Language in contact” where she defined bilingual people as “individuals who switch from one language to the other according to appropriate changing in speech situation. The use of code-switching consists of mixing two codes which means that two grammatical systems are used in the same utterance .Thus codeswitched speech highlights the interaction of social and grammatical categories due to the greater contrast between the phonological, morpho-syntactic, and lexical features of the available codes as compared to those of one language. Varying combinations of uses result when these codes come into contact over a period of time. Furthermore, a successful learning processes claim a good running of English classes’ interaction concentrating on the learner’s involvement which is an important step in the fulfillment of a proficient learning. This study deals with the sociolinguistic situation in Algeria which prepares the speaker in general to code switch and pupils in particular as they have already got the habit to codeswitch outside the classroom. Statement of the problem Acquiring a foreign language is a complex process especially when it takes place in a multilingual context. Therefore, the use of more than one language in a community results in the alternate use especially in the classroom. This favors the use of code switching. However, the learner is attached to his mother tongue or other languages or varieties he masters. Thus, he uses them each time he is confronted to difficulties in communicating in the target language. Consequently, there is an influence of the native language or the different varieties the learner had already acquired on the language to be learnt. To keep the study within manageable bounds. Pupils at second year secondary school was choseni n theree regions (Algiers,Skikda and Constantine) because they have been in contact with Standard Arabic and French for a long time. Therefore, they are a perfect site to observe the language contact phenomena. The research evolves around a central question: What is the impact of code switching on speaking English? Explain further
Aims of the study:
Code-switching is a linguistic phenomenon which is widespread among learners and even teachers in the Algerian schools. The objective of this study will be an attempt to shed light on the use of codeswitching when speaking English and to find out what are the advantages and the disadvantages of using this strategy in the classroom’s oral interactions.
Code-switching in the classroom could be a great benefit, since it is used due to the inability of learner’s expression, it serves for continuity in speech instead of presenting interference in language, but if it is used too much it could easily become a barrier in the students communication in English. It may have negative effects on learning L2; since it may result in loss of fluency in long term. Learners,may make some mistakes mainly in grammar which affects highly the learning process and may constitute a real obstacle to its efficiency.
Tools of investigation;
A questionnaire is designed to obtain accurate outcomes and sufficient information from the respondents. Then, these data are analyzed to evaluate the effects code switching may have on the teaching and learning processes of English in the Algerian secondary schools.
Code-Switching and the Sociolinguistic Situation in Algeria
All over the world, countries have several languages spoken in their territories. In
studying multilingual speech communities, some sociolinguists have attempted to devise a sociolinguistic ‘typology ‘of languages as Ferguson (1959) did before to offer a sociolinguistic profile formula for a given political unit. He classified languages according to the political or social status that qualifies them as being official, national and other standard or vernacular, etc. Algeria can be cited as a perfect example of linguistic complexity. As a result of its particular history, Algeria has developed a complex linguistic profile with Arabic and its regional varieties in most of the country, Berber dialects in a number of areas and French as a functional secondary language, a legacy of the colonial period. It is a country where four languages are used: spoken Algerian Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic, Berber and French. Thus it is a multilingual country. “In many multilingual societies, bilinguals interact with other bilinguals, and opt to use their different languages in a complex network of interaction”(Crystal, 1997, p. 364). This means that bilingual or multilingual speaker communicates with others changing from one language to another and the availability of different languages or language varieties encourages the speakers to choose from them. In addition to a sociolinguistic perspective, a historical one is necessary because it helps to understand the evolution that led to this situation. Its sociolinguistic profile involves classical Arabic which is the national and official language, Algerian Arabic spoken by almost all the Algerians, Berber that was recently recognized as a national language and French which is widely used though it is considered as a second language. It is necessary to stress that all of the Algerian historical background had a direct influence on its current linguistic situation.
The Algerian Linguistic Map
1. The Historical Perspective
The current linguistic situation in Algeria which is characterized by a rich diversity is a result of the historical background which had a direct and great influence on it. According to Queffélec et al. (2002) Algeria was invaded by many countries and it was deeply influenced by their civilizations (Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines Arabs, Turkish and French) . By returning to the ancient pages of history to know the early and first invaders of Algeria, we find that the Phoenicians were the early ones. They were eliminated by the Romans in 146.B.C.who settled for nearly seven centuries. Prior to French colonialism, the most significant invasions of Algeria were those of the Romans, the Vandals, the Byzantines, the Arabs, and the Turks. Of these, the Arab invasions of the 7th and 11th centuries left the most important cultural traces on people. Okba Ibn Nafi was one of the Arab leaders in the middle of the 7th century who introduced the civilization which was dominated by the Arabic language and Islam. Until the coming of Banu Hilal, the invasion of Arabs brought about extensive ‘Islamisation’ and ‘Arabisation’ and brought Arabs from Arabia to North Africa. The Arab rule lasted almost nine centuries before Algeria came under the Ottoman Empire in 1518.The latter ruled the country three centuries and it continued to be an outpost of the Ottoman Empire until 1830. “Despite the fact that Algeria became under the Ottoman rule for
four centuries, it seems that the Turkish language does not have any effect on neither Arabic nor Tamazight except for two hundred and thirty two words. Most of them are related to food like “Baklawa” a cake with walnuts and almonds, “Bourek” a piece of dough stuffed by meat “(Bencheneb, 1992,p.96).Later on, The French occupying forces invaded the country with the fall of Algiers in 1830. By 1848 the French administration declared Algeria a French territory. The French occupation lasted one hundred and thirty two years .Therefore, the new conquerors were going to implement a new culture and consequently a new language. In that period, the Algerian linguistic situation was complex. In fact many languages existed in Algeria: Arabic (native language which was taught in the Quranic schools and known as the Zawiyet and Medariss ), Berber and French. The French leaders in Algeria were puzzled by the urgent need to choose the language of communication. In 1932, the Duke of Rovigo imposed the French language as the language of instruction to reinforce their domination in Algeria. Hadj Ali (1963) stated that laws were passed by the French administration making Arabic a foreign language by banishing it from the educational system. He further added that
these laws prevented the Quranic schools and Zawiyet from studying the Quran. (p.13). Ravigo (1843) wrote “I regard the spread of instruction and our language as the most efficient means to make our rule evolve in this country … the real feat of the process will be the slow replacement of Arabic by French… which can decrease the annihilation among natives, especially if the new generation comes collectively to learn in our schools”. (p.36) (as cited in Taleb- Ibrahimi, K, 1994, p. 42). Also, Genty de Bussy (1932) claimed that it was more urgent to teach French to Algerians than to teach Arabic to French people. Arabic was marginalized and the implementation of French as the medium of instruction started progressively in public schools and other domains such as commerce, administration, etc.(p.74). In 1938 the French passed a law making Arabic a foreign language and French was the official language of Algerians and the European settlers (in 1960, the Europeans in Algeria reached 1000 000).The French linguistic influence on that of the Algerian map seems very strong .We can say that French has the lions’ share (Ahmed Sid, 2008). Genty de Bussy(1835) explains that beyond Arabic was nothing but a language, French was of higher value, he says: “Au-delà de l’Arabe, il n’y a rien que la langue ; au-delà du Français, il y a tout ce que les connaissances humaines, tout ce que les progrès de l’intelligence ont entassée depuis tant d’années” (p.75) .On the other hand, according to Ahmed Taleb Ibrahimi (1994), Arabic was already the language of universal science. A few centuries before, young Europeans used to cross the Mediterranean Sea to learn Arabic in Andalusia. In that period, Arabic was the only medium which gave access to research in sciences such as Mathematics, Chemistry, Medicine, Astronomy, etc.
To summarize, the Algerian repertoire witnesses a rich diversity of languages and language varieties which are the heritage of the numerous civilizations that settled there for many centuries.
2. The Sociolinguistic Perspective
“One of the most common ways of identifying a person is by his or her language”.
(Spolsky, 1998 , p.57). A speaker, then, is identified by the means of the language he/she speaks; thus the role of a language is to establish social identity. Like many other nations of Africa, Algeria is a highly multilingual country. It is considered as a multilingual society as many languages coexist with each other. The Algerian linguistic situation is a mixture of different varieties that dominate the verbal repertoire and maintain communication between the different linguistic groups and there are about three linguistic groups. The first group includes the varieties and dialects of Arabic which are different from one another. The second group includes the indigenous Berber language and its different varieties. The third group is about what he calls “classical” languages as standard Arabic and the French language. Therefore, the current linguistic situation in Algeria which is characterized by a rich diversity is the result of its particular history, Algeria has developed a complex linguistic profile with Arabic and its regional varieties in most of the country, Berber dialects in a number of areas and French as a functional secondary language, a legacy of the colonial period. According to Taleb Ibrahimi (1997) Algeria’s culture is a mixture of nationalities and traditions, a mixture of various cultures. Consequently, the Algerian speakers have the possibility to use a wide range of varieties that constitute their verbal repertoire.
2.1. Arabic
“Arabic is the language of daily communication for between 150 and 200 million
people (the Arab world), and the language of worship for more than a billion of Muslims. It is the language of Quran. Moreover, it is the language of television, radio and language of the media”. (Mcloughlin,1999, p.1). Arabic, a Sematic language enters Algeria’s linguistic area with the arrival of Islam .Rouadjia (1991) says in this respect: “The Arabic language and Islam are inseparable. Arabic has a privileged position as it is the language of the Quran and the Prophet, and the shared language of all Muslims in the world, language of science, and language of culture”. (As cited in Benrabah, 2007, p. 67). Arabic in the past was classified into two categories: Classical Arabic and Colloquial Arabic. The former is the language of the Holy Book-Quran- and ancient poetry, whereas the latter is the language of daily conversations, but now it is classified into three categories:
 Classical Arabic.
 Modern Standard Arabic.
 Algerian Arabic or Dialectal Arabic.
2.1.1. Classical Arabic
It is considerably valued by Muslims, Arabs and non Arabs alike; it is considered to be a model of linguistic excellence and the key to a prestigious literary heritage. It is valued over and above any other form of Arabic that is spoken natively by the Arabs, to the point that “when somebody says he does not speak Arabic well, he usually means the Classical one” (Murphy,1977, p.4). It is the language of Quran and Islam. It is very sacred and highly appreciated. “It is considered as a dead language as it is replaced by Modern Standard Arabic”. (Mouhadjer, 2002, p. 989) .
2.1.2. Modern Standard Arabic
It is the form of Arabic that results from the modernity of the classical one to meet
human needs and demands. It is grammatically and phonologically based on Classical Arabic with a less complexity concerning the vocabulary: it contains many foreign loans words especially from English and French as in the case of technical and scientific terms like: internet and computer .It is the language of formality ,culture and writing as Cown et al. (1986) claim: “Modern Standard Arabic is traditionally defined as that form of Arabic used in practically all writing (forms) of Arabic and the form used in formal spoken discourse such as broadcasts, speeches, sermons and the like” , public administration, education, hospitals, and economic sectors. (p.20).
2.1.3. Algerian Arabic
Dialectal Arabic is restricted in use for informal daily communication within families and in everyday life. It is also called Algerian Arabic (AA). It represents the dialectal Arabic and mother tongue of the vast majority of the Algerian population. It has only an oral form, and it is used in informal conversations like the street, family and every day conversation.
2.3. Berber
According to historians, Berber is the indigenous language spoken by the first inhabitants of Algeria before the Arab expansion. Besides Algerian Arabic, there are four spoken dialects which are Kabyle in Kabylia, East of Algeria; Chawia in Aures, South East of Algeria; Mozabite in the Mzab and Tamashekt in the Sahara (Taleb Ibrahimi. K, 1994,p.39-40). Robert (1980) wrote that: “As a consequence of their geographical separation from one another and the absence of both any sustained commercial intercourse between them and a written language, there has been no tendency for their culture to become unified or for their language to become standardized in the course of their history”. (as cited in Ahmed Sid 2008, p.16). In March 2002, Algerian authorities amended an article –Article 3- which made Berber as a national language. This means that it would be taught in all levels starting from the academic year 2003-2004.The Higher Council of the Tamazight language is working to introduce Berber in public administrations and the justice system. It also wants to standardize Tamazight. (Ahmed Sid, 2008).
2. 4. French
The fact that French domination of Algeria occurred at a time when Algeria’s linguistic
unification was still underway had profound implications for its linguistic situation. Although French in Algeria has no official status, but it is considered as the first foreign language of the country (status planning).In spite of this, French is present in the spheres of everyday life; it is used as a second language to Arabic in certain public administration, especially in: Health, commerce, etc. Its use reached mainly every domain as Grand Guillaume (1983) said “It is in this language that all the institutions took place and which gave their country access to the western life”. (p.14). It is also taught as compulsory subject from the third grade in primary education until university where it is the medium of teaching scientific and technical disciplines. Despite the fact that Algeria is the only country of the Maghreb who does not join the institutional Francophone for exclusively political reasons, it is considered as the second Francophone nation in the world after France. (Queffélec, et al.2002 , p .118). Nowadays, French continues to enjoy a privileged position in Algeria, French is still used formerly in administrations, media and education. The domination of French in the linguistic map of Algeria for one hundred and thirty two years led it to be the language of communication
among the Algerians. Since a long time ago, Algeria was considered as the main interest of many invaders. Thus, it was occupied by people of different languages and cultures. This had certainly great impact on its linguistic situation.
3. Languages in Contact
Language contact over time leads to language change. This change involves the contact of different lexical and grammatical systems as well as varying social patterns in the community. Therefore, the language situation in Algeria may be characterized as bilingual, and even multilingual. Bilingualism relates to the use of Arabic and French. Moreover, it is also considered as a diglossic society.
3.1 Bilingualism
Acquiring and using a language other than the mother tongue is the case of agreat
number of people all over the world. Bilingualism has always been aninteresting subject
among linguists, psychologists, anthropologists, dialectologistsand, later on, sociolinguists. It has a considerable interest because of its important role in the determination of variations and changes in language system. Bilingualism is the use of two or more languages as Bloomfield (1933) states “bilingualism is a native-like control of two languages”. (p. 50). Therefore, The term “bilingual” is used to refer to the person who has the capacity and ability to acquire a second language. Sridhar (1996) stated that the term is used in the literature “to refer to the knowledge or use of more than one language by an individual or a community”.(p.47). The Algerian population was so deeply influenced linguistically during the French occupation. Hence, the French language continues to play an important role in spoken as well as in written
domains. The Algerian bilingualism is a special one. It is the result of the long and gradual occupation of the whole country by the French, with more concentration on the northern part. In fact, bilingualism in Algeria is not homogeneous since not all the population is bilingual. According to Myers-Scotton (2006), “a bilingual is one who has acquired or learned to speak or understand … some phrases that show internal structural relations in a second language.Moreover; The Algerian Arabic dialect is often mixed with the French language in every day conversation; media including newspapers, radio, TV… As a matter of fact, many Algerians understand French and use it in their everyday conversations. They take a large number of French words which are adapted phonologically, morphologically and syntactically and consider them as part of their dialect”. (p.3). The Algerian bilingualism has its own specificity which results from the long period of the French occupation. Indeed, bilingualism is not homogeneous in Algeria as not all people are bilingual. There are those who are monolingual. During the colonization and after independence periods, most Algerians were bilinguals whether they were educated or not. However, nowadays we find it only among the educated people and those who are in contact with French. (Mouhadjer, 2002p.990) .Thus,
Bilingualism is a characteristic of individuals who develop some knowledge and ability in a second language and then become bilingual.
3. 2.Causes of Bilingualism
Bilingualism or multilingualism occurs when individuals need to interact with others for several factors or in order to cope with social situations. Accordingly, they use two languages to show intimacy or distance of solidarity, prestige or power (Crystal, 1987). Furthermore, individual bilingualism can be a result of political dominance in a group who use different languages. In addition ,bilingualism can be a result of colonization whose effect might be the most lasting if it lasts long and if the colonizer’s policy is to impose their language on the colonized people. This is the case of the French long-term colonialism in Algeria which has resulted today in a persistent type of bilingualism. Education also is one of the most important factors leading to bilingualism. The child acquires the vernacular language which he receives and develops at home, and then school helps the child to acquire a foreign language and to perform both languages (first language L1 and second language L2) during the schooling period from primary to higher education .Another important factor that exists from many ages is religion for instance the Quran helped the spread of the Arabic language.Another recent
factor which plays an important role in developing the bilingual receptive skill, especially among children, is television; that is to say, children are attracted by some French programs particularly cartoons, so they start to imitate the characters and therefore the language used. Trade and commerce also have a great role in spreading bilingualism because they lead to the movement of people from rural areas where only one language or dialect is spoken to cities where another language is used. People from rural areas are attracted more and more by big,cities because of better conditions of life. Therefore, the linguistic outcome is an increase in bilingualism, particularly if all business is conducted in the ‘other’ language.
3.3 Types of Bilingualism
Weinreich (1968) classifies three types of bilingualism by relying on the manner in
which bilinguals store language in their brains. There are: coordinate, compound, and subordinate bilingualism. Firstly, ‘coordinate’ occurs when the person acquires each language into different contexts and the words are stored separately. Secondly, ‘compound’ occurs when the person learns both languages in the same context. Thirdly, ‘subordinate’ occurs when the person has acquired the first language, then the other one is acquired by interpretation by dominant language (cited in Namba, 2000,p.67).
As for Algeria, Mouhadjer (2002) considers it as coordinate. It results from the educational strategy and social specificity. He says that it is coordinate as children in primary schools develop two systems of meaning of words since they learn both Arabic and French. The first system is restricted to the first language and the other to the second one. In other words, languages are learned independently and separately. So the Arabic and French words will be stored independently in the brain.
4. Diglossia
Like bilingualism, diglossia is another social factor that affects language change.
According to Kaouach (2008) diglossia differs from bilingualism, in that bilingual speakers or communities have the knowledge of two different languages such as Arabic and French while diglossic communities have the knowledge of two varieties of the same language. (p.37). The term “Diglossia” was first introduced by Ferguson in 1959 in his article “Diglossia”. It is defined as “the alternate use of two or more languages for certain more or less distinct functions in certain more or less specific situations” (Stevens,1983,p.102).Therefore, it is a simple arrangement found in some societies in which two different varieties can be used at the same time. Holmes (2001) listed three conditions that should be required in a community in order to be regarded as diglossic, these conditions are:
1. Two different varieties of the same language are used in the community, one variety is high
and the other is low.
2. Those different varieties have distinct functions.
3. The high variety is not used in everyday conversations. (p.27)
4.1 Ferguson’s Classical Definition of Diglossia
Ferguson (1972) defines diglossia as being : A relatively stable language situation ,in
addition to the primary dialects of the language (which may include a standard or regional standards),

    there is a very divergent, highly codified (often grammatically more complex ) superposed variety ,the vehicle of a language and respected body of written literature, either of an earlier period or in another speech community, which is learned largely by formal education and is used for most written and formal spoken purposes but is not used by any sector of a community for ordinary conversation. (As cited in Sridhar1996, p.54) We notice that Ferguson’s definition is restricted; he states that high and low varieties should be within the same language as standard and colloquial Arabic. There is a difference between high and low varieties. The former has a grammatical and more complex system, and is used in formal situations, while the low variety is used in informal situations. Thus, diaglossia is a situation where one language variety is considered as a “High” and prestigious, and the other language variety as “Low”, and vernacular. The former, called also standard is used in education, government, media, and religion while the second one is called dialect is used in informal situation and ordinary discourse. In the case of Algeria, the high form is Modern Standard Arabic and the low is the spoken Algerian Arabic. Algerian Arabic is used at home, street, market, sometimes on radio and TV, whereas Modern Standard Arabic is used in lectures at university, sermons in mosque, political speeches and poetry. As an illustration
Ferguson gives a table suggesting the possible situations, with the indication of the variety normally used.

  • Situations:                                                                             H                                        L
    Sermon in Mosque                                                               X
    Instructions to servants,workers                                                                                  X
    Personal letter                                                                        X
    Speech in parliament                                                            X
    University lecture                                                                  X
    Conversation with family, friends, colleagues                                                          X
    News broadcast                                                                      X
    Radio                                                                                                                                 X
    Newspaper editorial                                                              X
    Caption on political cartoon                                                                                         X
    Poetry                                                                                       X
    Folk literature                                                                                                                 X

Table 1 : Illustration for Diglossic Situation (Ferguson 1959)
From this table, we observe that H and L are strictly divided according to their
functions. Thus, the H variety is employed for writing, formal speech and education. The L variety is intended for private life. It is acquired as the mother tongue and is not subjected to any normative control. However, the situation in formal education is sometimes more complicated than is indicated here. For instance, in the Arab world, formal University lectures are given in H but explanations may in a large part be given in L, especially with scientific and technical subjects. Moreover, in secondary schools, a considerable part of the teacher is taken up with explaining in L the meaning of material in H which has been presented in books, programs, etc. As the Algerian case.

4.2 Fishman’s Extended Definition of Diglossia
After Ferguson (1959) introduced for the first time the term ‘diglossia’ in sociolinguistic;
some linguists, psychologists and sociologists treated this phenomenon in another way of
thinking relating diglossia not only to the Arab world or to the other cases mentioned by
Ferguson, but also to bilingual societies. Fishman (1971) extends his definition of diglossia to include any society, in which there is a use of two or more varieties in different situations (cited in Hudson, 1999). To evoke languages in contact phenomena, the term bilingualism was for a long time alone and available. Thus, it was used for describing the use of twodistinct languages by an individual for specific purposes. However, significant considerations joined the two concepts bilingualism and diglossia and made the distinction of the social aspect. In essence, the Algerian linguistic situation is known by its complexity. It is diglossic, which is characterized by the use of spoken Algerian Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic; bilingualism, the use of Arabic and French; and even multilingual; the use of Arabic, French and Berber. The Algerians have the choice to select any variety at any time. As a result, Algerians develop a form of mixing between all these varieties. That is they can use words and expressions in Arabic, French, Berber within the same sentence. The Theoretical Background of Code-Switching
1. Definition of Code-Switching
When two populations come into contact, their social and cultural activities will certainly influence each other. In many bilingual speech communities, persons who have some knowledge of the other language get used to switch between the two. Therefore, it is an inevitable consequence of either bilingualism or multilingualism.
The term code-switching is used extensively in linguistics. The term “code” is
synonymous with “language” or “speech variety” (Jakobson, Fant & Halle 1952). “Code” is
preferred to “language” or “dialect” because of the problem of clearly delimiting “language” and “dialect”. Therefore, “code” is used as a cover term for “language”, “dialect”, “slang”, “sociolect” etc. “Code-switching” is commonly defined as the alternating use of two or more codes in the same conversational event. Gumperz (1982) sees code-switching as “The juxtaposition within the same speech exchange of passages belonging to different grammatical systems or subsystems” (p 59). In this definition, Gumperz sees code-switching as a phenomenon where the interlocutor passes from one language to another or from one variety of the same language to another i.e. He insists on the fact that code-switching occurs not only between languages, but also between dialects of the same language. An earlier definition of code switching dates back to Weinreich (1974) “Languages in contact” where she defined bilingual people as “individuals who switch from one language to the other according to appropriate changing in speech situation .Thus, code-switching is defined as the use of two or more linguistic varieties in the same conversation or interaction. The switch may be only in one word or for longer stretches of speech” (p.1). According to Alvarez (2003), code-switching is an alternation of languages that occurs during bilingual conversations in which participants have at least one language in common. Code-Switching in the opinion of Wei (2000) is when bilinguals share the same languages; changes from first language (L1) to second language (L2) can be present in conversations. Moreover, it is often used as a communicative strategy to convey linguistic and social information. In fact many definitions are given to code-switching. We shall hence forth use the term code-switching to refer to the use of two languages within a single conversation, exchange or utterance. The result is an utterance or interaction, of which some parts are clearly in one of the bilingual’s languages and other in the other language. Hence, in the field of education, code-switching is a widely observed phenomenon especially in the classes of diglossic communities which have two or more distinct languages. It can either be used by the teachers of the English language or the learners.
2. Types of Code-Switching
The speaker uses personal strategies when switching related to the setting, situation, and
the event. Gumperz and Blom (1971) analyzed the meaning of choice between the two
languages or varieties that are switched by studying its nature. Therefore, they made a
distinction between two types of code-switching; one as a situational code switching and the other as metaphorical code-switching.
2.1. Situational Code-Switching
When two or more languages exist in a community, speakers frequently choose between
them according to the situation they are in. That is to say, the occurrence of code-switching is related to the situation of the conversation where a speaker may switch codes or varieties to suit a new situation or to create another situation. The participants in the conversation often come from different social backgrounds. Thus, the speakers shift from one language to another to achieve some goals as to invite someone to the conversation or even exclude another participant from the conversation, or just to show their social status. In fact, they have to take many considerations. The first thing to be taken into account is which language will be understood by the addressee. Of course speakers choose the language that the participant can understand. Hudson (1999) states: “In bilingual communities, language choice depends on the circumstances and thus choice is controlled by social rules which members of the community learn from their experience and which become part of their total linguistic knowledge”.( p.52) He further adds: why should a whole community bothers to learn different languages, when just one would fulfill their communicative needs? In other words, if everyone in Sauris knows standard Italian, why do not they stick to it all the time and let the local German and Italian dialects disappear. The answer is simply that “Standard Italian would just fill wrong at home”. Thus, each language has its social function which no other language could fulfill, and it is the situation that decides which language to be used. This type of switching is called situational code-switching, because the change is in response to a shift in situation including topics, places, kinds of activities persons and purposes.
2.2. Conversational Code-Switching
Gumperz (1982) defines conversational switching as “the language switch relates here to
particular kinds of topics or subject matters rather than to change in social situation”. (p.162). The semantic effect of the metaphorical switching depends on the existence of regular relationships between variables and social situations of the type just discussed. The context in which one of a set of alternates is regularly used becomes part of its meaning, so that when this form is then employed in a context where it is normal; it brings in some of the flavor of this original setting. Gumperz (1986) adds that “Metaphorical code switching where alternation enriches a situation, allowing for allusion to more than one social relationship within the situation…metaphorical code-switching involves only a change in topical emphasis”( p.409). This means that in metaphorical code-switching the speaker may shift from one language to another during the same conversation and talking about the same topic and without change of situation which is the case of the situational code-switching. Gumperz (1972) explains that: “by conversational code-switching, I refer to the juxtaposition of passages of speech belonging to two different grammatical systems within the same exchange. Most frequently the alternative takes the form of two subsequent sentences, as when a speaker uses a second language either to reiterate his message or to reply to someone else’s statement” (p.163). Therefore, it is a type of switching which takes place with the same conversation participants, situation and sometimes even the topic. This switching has stylistic or textual functions as signaling a quotation, marking emphasis, changing a tone from the serious to the chronic (Sridhar, 1996,p.56).Moreover, Conversational code-switching can be defined as case where bilingual speakers talking to other bilinguals and change their language without any change in the situation. (Hudson, 1999, p. 52-53).
3. Reasons for Using Code-Switching
Code-switching is an everyday reality in everyday place where more than one language
is used in everyday conversations. Languages are used to fulfill some specific functions. For instance, people use language to establish social relationships or to exchange information as similar to code-switching which is seen to serve different functions especially the communicative ones. Trudgill (2000) stated that “The same speaker uses different linguistic varieties in different situations and for different purposes”.( p.81).One of the prominent reasons for using code switching is to fulfill the interpersonal functions of communication and it is used to convey both social and linguistic meanings. The below examples by Gumperz (1982) illustrate where code switching serves to convey the mentioned earlier meanings (social and linguistic ). These examples are the following:
-To appeal to the literate.
-To appeal to the illiterate.
-To convey precise meaning.
-To ease communication, i.e., utilizing the shortest and the easiest route.
-To capture attention, i.e., stylistic, emphatic, emotional.
-To emphasize a point.
-To communicate more effectively.
-To identify with a particular group.
-To close the status gap.
-To establish goodwill and support. (p. 144)
4. Forms of Code-Switching
Bilinguals often switch between their languages in the middle of a conversation. These
code-switches may take place between or within sentences including words, phrases and even parts of words. Thus, according to the syntactic structures of alternating segments, codeswitching may be tag, inter-sentential, intra-sentential and intra- word switching.
4.1. Tag Switching
It is a switching in which certain set of phrases in one language are inserted into an
utterance in another language.
4.2. Intersentential and Intrasentential Code-Switching
Intersentential code-switching relates to the switches between sentences, i.e. the
language switch is done at sentence boundaries. It occurs in conversations of fluent bilingual speakers. Intrasentential code switching relates to the switches within sentences, i.e, the alternation is done in the middle of sentences. (Lipski, 1985, p.5). intra-sentential switching involves the switch of different types that occur within the clause or the sentence (Meyers-Scotton, 1993).However, Inter-Sentential code switching is known as Mechanical Switching. It occurs unconsciously, fills in unavailable words of the speakers’ mother tongue. Some researchers prefer to call this type of code-switching ‘code-mixing’. The latter takes place where speakers are unable to remember a given word, but they are able to recall that word in a different language. Inter-Sentential switching: The switch occurs outside the sentence or the clause level.In other words, the switching occurs at a clause or a sentence boundaries. This type may also occur between the speakers turn ( Romaine, 1989; Myer-sctton, 1993; Hoffman, 1991). Here is the example from Puerto Rican bilingual Spanish/English which is given by Poplack in Romaine (1989) “Sometimes I start a sentence in English and finish in Spanish”.(p.123).
4.3. Intra-Word Switching
It is a switching in which a change occurs within a word boundary. For example,
“Shoppa” is an English word (Shop) with the Panjabi plural ending.
5. Code-Switching and Other Concepts
5.1. Code-Switching Vs Diglossia
Diglossia is another social factor that affects language. Thus, Code-switching should be
differentiated from diglossia which is defined by as two varieties of the same system that
coexist together. Therefore, it is the use of two different languages or varieties of the same language for different set of functions. In the formal situation, the speaker uses the high variety or the academic one whereas in the informal situations, the speaker is using the low variety or in another term the dialectal one. Therefore, the use of both language varieties is made consciously. However, in code-switching situations the speaker may shift between the varieties in the same situation. For example, in Algeria MSA is the national and official language, and it is always used in formal situations, however Spoken Algerian Arabic is used in informal situations. In diglossic settings, the choice of which language will be used is not free. In contrast, it is governed by social rules. That is to say, diglossia is socially imposed, however code-switching is a phenomenon where a person has the choice to decide when, why, and how to make code-switching (Bullock and Toribio, 2000, p. 6). Moreover, in diglossic situations people are aware that they are moving from the H to the L variety and vice- versa; however code-switching seems to be unconscious. (Sridhar, 1996, p 57).
5.2.Code-Switching Vs Code-Mixing
There is often a confusion concerning the use of code-switching and code-mixing; so
people sometimes use both concepts to denote the same practice. However, code-mixing is used to denote the formal linguistic properties of a specific language contact phenomenon, whereas code- switching is used to denote the actual spoken usage of multilingual speakers. Moreover code-switching does not need the interaction of the grammatical rules of the other language in the speech, whereas code-mixing does. As it occurs in the following example from Kinshasa Lingala and French.
a) N a ke- I kimwenza . Je reviens dans une heure.
I – go- I-last. Kimwenza. I will come back in one hour.
I have gone to kimwenza. I will come back in an hour.
b) Mobali na yo a-telepho-. aka yo deux foix par jour Spouse of you he telephone- Hab you times per day. Your husband calls you twice a day. For Bokamba (1988),”a” in the example is a demonstration of code-switching simply as there is no interaction of the grammatical rules between the two languages (inter-sentential switching). On the other hand, example” b” is a demonstration of code-mixing because there is a clear interaction of the grammatical rules of Lingala and French language. The French verb “telephone” reveals the characteristics of Lingala morphology of SV. He adds the prefix “a” in order to refer to “mobali na yo” and the marker “aka” to refer to the present tense. (p.24) (Cited in Ahmed- Sid,2008, p.61-62)
According to Baylon (1996) the difference between code-switching and code-mixing is: in
C.S. the change of codes or varieties is associated with the attitude, the intensity of emotion and the different types of emotions. However, code-mixing refers to the transfer of somelinguistic units from one code to another by taking into account some functional rules. Thus, code mixing is related to the linguistic side while code switching is related to the psychological side.
So that, code-switching is the shift between two or more languages between sentences
and even within the sentence itself. It involves the changing of situation, topic and participant. (Corder, 1973, p. 56). However, code-mixing is the mixing of two or more languages within a sentence, and can be an insertion of a word or phrase, but without the changing of topic.
Sridhar and Sridhar (in Mckay Lee S. & Hornberger, 1996, p. 57) define code-mixing as “the transition from using linguistic units (words, phrases, clauses) of one language to using those of another within a single sentence”. They note that code-mixing is distinct from codeswitching in that it occurs in a single sentence, what Gumperz calls “intra-sentential” codeswitching. The practice of code-mixing which is drawn from competence of the languages that are mixed suggests however that this competence is not stored or processed separately.
On the other hand, both code-switching and code-mixing may respond to some
conversational strategies. Each of them fills in its functions as joking for example or making a  discourse emphasis ( Calvet, 1996). There are other writers who reject the distinction between code-switching and codemixing. Hill and Hill (1980) for example, use the terms interchangeably without seeing any difference between them. They claim that “There is no satisfactory way to draw a neat boundary between the two phenomena (code-switching and code-changing)”. (p.122).
The sociolinguistic situation of the Algerian society consists of a rich diversity of
languages and language varieties that consequently shows the presence of these languages or varieties which manifest in the Algerian people conversations in general and the Algerian learners in particular. They often communicate using the existing languages and language varieties side by side without being conscious of that. This linguistic situation results from the use of different sociolinguistic concepts. Therefore, the use of code-switching in the case of specific sociolinguistic context serves the speakers to attain their different objectives as to show social status or exclude a participant from a conversation, and develop the interaction between the members of the community. Hence, the use of code-switching keeps and facilitates communication. It is a useful and important mean of developing interaction between the members of the same society and at the same time enriching their languages repertoire and their capacity in communicating easily.


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