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Code Switching

In multilingual or bilingual community, code switching is not an extraordinary phenomenon but it is norm (Namba, 2001:66). Code switching has been defined in a number of ways by different researcher based on the point of view of their researches (Yletyinen, 2004:7).

Code Switching

According to Auer (1998:3), code switching is related to and indicative of group membership in particular types of bilingual speech communities, such that regularities of the alternating use of two or more languages within one conversation may vary considerable degree between speech communities.

Code switching has been defined as alternating use of two or more languages on the word, phrase, clause, or sentence level (Valdes-Fallis, 1978:6). Code switching can be happened in same utterance or conversation (Grosjean in Yletyinen, 2004:8). Hudson (1983:56) calls code switching, ‘use of different varieties by single speaker’.

Depending on his research, Poplack (1980:208) states that ‘code switching is the alternation of two languages within a single discourse, sentence or constituent’.

Gumperz (1982:59) has defined code switching as ‘the juxtaposition within the same speech exchange of passages of speech belonging to two grammatical systems or subsystems’.
Based on the definitions above can be sum up that code switching is alternating use of two or more languages on the word, phrase, clause and sentence in same utterance or conversation by bilingual (multilingual).

Code Switching Versus Borrowing

Gumperz (1982: 66) states that borrowing means introducing single word items or idiomatic phrases from one language to another; furthermore, these words are integrated into the grammatical system of the borrowing language. In contrast, code switching is a juxtaposition of two varieties which operate under two distinct grammatical systems.

According to Poplack and Sankoff in Romaine (1989:144), in general the preference between codes switching versus borrowing is typologically determined. Conflicting typologies are more likely to result in nonce borrowing; on the other hand, similar typologies will be conductive to equivalence-based code switching.

Poplack (1980:208) proposes three types of criteria to determine the status of non-native items in bilingual discourse: phonological, morphological and syntactic integration. Later Poplack discarded phonological integration due to its variable nature and since then this intermediary category has been identified as nonce borrowings. Nonce borrowings are morphologically and syntactically integrated and they may or may not show phonological integration (Botztepe 2003:6).

Code Switching Versus Code Mixing

The distinction of code switching and code mixing can be seen from the alternation. Code switching occurs when two or more languages exist in a conversation, while code mixing occurs when the morpheme or word insert to sentence boundaries. Besides, code mixing only occurs in intra-sentential, different with code switching that can occurs in inter-sentence boundaries.

On the other hand, code switching and code mixing serve the same function. Among the prominent function is identity marking (Sridhar, 1996:58), it means the speaker may use particular code to signal a specific type of identity.

Types of Code Switching

Different researchers assume different types of code switching. According to Poplack (1980:230) there are three types of code switching based on the nature of juncture where language change takes place as following below:

a. Inter-sentential Switching

This type takes place between sentences, the switch occurs at a clause or sentence boundary where its clause or sentence is in different languages (Romaine, 1989:112). Here an example of inter-sentential code switching for Spanish/English discourse:

Sometimes I’ll start a sentence in Spanish y terming en español [sic] (‘and finish in Spanish’). (Poplack, 1980:219)

This type of switching requires the least integration as code switching happens between sentences. (Yletyinen, 2004:14). This type also may take place between turns.

b. Tag-Switching

In a tag switching, a tag in one language is inserted into an utterance which is otherwise entirely in other language. Tag switching requires only little integration of the two languages (Yletyinen, 2004:14). An example of tag-switching for Indonesian-English discourse is:

I could understand que (that) you don’t know how to speak Spanish. ¿verdad? (right?) (Poplack, 1980:221)

According to Poplack (1980:214), the insertion of a tag to an utterance has virtually no ramifications for the rest of the sentence. This is because tags have no syntactic constraints, they can be moved freely, and they can be inserted almost anywhere in a discourse without violating any grammatical rules.   

c. Intra-sentential Switching

In intra code switching, code switching occurs within a clause or sentence boundary. This type requires a lot of integration and is usually associated with the most fluent bilinguals (Poplack, 1980:215). This type also involves the greatest syntactic risk as words or phrases from another language are inserted into the first language within one sentence or utterance (Yletyinen 2004: 15).

Here is an example of intra-sentential code switching between English and Spanish:

Why make Carol sentarse atras pa’ que (sit in the back so) everybody has to move pa’ que se salga (for her to get out)? (Poplack, 1980:214)

Apart from mixing within clause or sentence boundary, intra-sentential switching can include mixing within word boundaries (Romaine 1989: 113). For example, an English word may get a Finnish inflection as in   simplekin where –kin is a Finnish inflection meaning ‘also’.

According to Blom and Gumperz’s theory (1972:116), there are two types based on the distinction when applied to style shifting as following below:

a. Situational switching

Situational switching occurs when a language is changed according to the situation. The speaker speaks one language in one situation and another in a different one. For example, teachers deliver formal lectures in the standard dialect (i.e. Indonesian), but if they want to encourage open the discussion, then they will shift to local dialect (i.e Sundanesse). It assumes a direct relationship between the social situation and language choice (Boztepe, 2002:11).

b. Metaphorical switching

Metaphorical switching occurs when a language is changed according to the topic. In other words, the language switch here relates to particular kinds of topics or subject matter rather than to change in social situation. Characteristically, the situations in question allow for the enactment of two or more different relationships among the same set of individuals.  For example, while greeting teachers use English, conversation about the mathematics material occurred in Indonesian.

Klavans and Joshi and other researchers, posited that code switching involved a “frame” or “matrix” into which elements of another language could be embedded. Based on this concept, Myers-Scotton and his colleagues have formulated an elaborated grammatical model which is called ‘Matrix Language Frame’ model (Gardner-Chloros, 2009:100).

Myers-Scotton and Jake (1995:265) states ‘code switching is the claim that the two languages involved do not participate equally’. They also wrote that:

One language, which the researchers call the matrix language (ML), is more dominant in ways crucial to language production. This language sets the grammatical frame in the unit of analysis. The other language(s) is referred to as the embedded language (EL). However, both languages are “on” at all times during bilingual production; the difference is a matter of activation level. (Myers-Scotton and Jake, 1995:265-266)

There are three principles of ‘Matrix Language Framework’ model as following below:

a)    The Morpheme Order Principle
In ML+EL constituents consisting of singly occurring EL lexemes and any number of ML morphemes, surface morpheme order (reflecting surface syntactic relations) will be that of the ML.
b)    The System Morpheme Principle
In ML+EL constituents, all system morphemes that have grammatical relations external to their head constituent (i.e. participate in the sentence’s thematic role grid) will come from the ML
c)    The Blocking Hypothesis
In ML + constituents, a blocking filter blocks any EL content morpheme which is not congruent with the ML with respect to three levels of abstraction regarding sub categorization.
(Myers-Scotton in Boztepe, 2002)

The first principle shows that the matrix language determines the order of the elements in ML + EL constituents. The second principle requires the function morpheme that can only be drawn from the matrix language. The blocking hypothesis restricts the role of the embedded language even more by allowing only certain embedded language content morphemes to occur in mixed constituents.

Based on the statements above, the writer used Poplack’ theory and Blum  and Gumperz’s theory and ‘Matrix Language Frame’ model to analyze the types of code switching occurred at eight bilingual class at SMPT Ar-Risalah while mathematics teaching and learning process.

Functions of Code Switching

There are different categories of the functions of code switching such as Gumperz’s (1982) functions of code switching and Auer’s (1998) functions of discourse-related and participant-related code switching will be introduced and their relevance to classroom research will be discussed.

a. Conversational Functions of Code Switching

Gumperz (1982:59) defined that conversational code switching is ‘the juxtaposition within the same speech exchange of passages of speech belonging to two different grammatical systems or subsystems’. This means that two languages can occur within one utterance or between utterances. Gumperz (1982:59) assumes that code switching is seen as something happening in a conversation. In this case, as the part of conversational code switching, Gumperz (1982:75-84) suggests a number of conversational functions of code switching. They are as following below:

1. Quotations

Gumperz (1982, 75:76) shows that code switching has relevance in terms of direct and reported speech. It means that code switching has function as quotation. For example:

Slovenian-German. From an informal business discussion among neighbouring farmers, called to discuss the sharing of farm machinery. The speaker is reporting on a conversation with a German speaking businessman:
Pa prawe (then he said) wen er sinit colt gib isi nit (if he does not pay for it, I will not give it).                   
(Gumperz, 1982:76)

However, Gumperz (1982:82) notes that not all speakers are being quoted the quotation in the language they normally use.

2. Addressee specification

Code switching can be used in addressee specification which means that by employing code switching a person can direct his/her message to one of possible addressees (Gumperz 1982: 77). For example:

Slovenian-German. Informal conversation about the weather in a village home (a strong wind is blowing and there is a danger of rain and of the fruit being blown off the trees):
A    : [speaking to B] Nceabs prisu, vo kisu vaitar (it will not come,it   will pass by).
B    : [speaking to A] Ya ki tdkd nafidsan zapkamd pa ydzid ciu stom ygpastrano (it is so overloaded with apples and the entire tree is bent already).
B    : [continues turning to C sitting apart] Regan vert so ain vint is drausan (it will rain it is so windy outside) 
(Gumperz, 1982:77)

Romaine in Yletyinen (2004:17) states that addressee specification can be used with monolinguals (accommodate to monolingual speakers by switching to the language they know) and with bilinguals (the addressee is invited to participate in the conversation).

In addition, in this function, code switching to a language no one else in the group understands apart from the speaker and his/her addressee can be used to exclude someone while conversation occurring.

3. Interjections

In many cases, code switching serves to mark an interjection or sentence filler (Gumperz, 1982:77). For example:

Spanish-English. Chicano professionals saying goodbye, and after having been introduced by a third participant, talking briefly:
A    : Well, I'm glad I met you.
B    : Andale pues (O.K. swell). And do come again. Mm?
(Gumperz, 1982:77)

In this function, Romaine in Yletyinen (2004:17) states that this function is similar to tag switching.

4. Reiteration

Gumperz (1982:78) states that reiteration occurs when a message in one language is repeated in the other language. It may serve to clarify what has just been said but often it also carries additional meanings in that it amplifies or emphasizes the message. The example is following below:

Hindi-English. Father in India calling to his son, who was learning to  swim in a swimming pool:
Baju-me jao beta, andar mat (go to the side son, not inside). Keep to the side. (Gumperz, 1982:78)

5. Message qualification

Message qualification means qualifying something that has been previously said. Here is an example of this which involves Spanish and English code switching:

We've got all ... all these kids here right now. Los que estan ya
criados aqui, no los que estan recien venidos de Mexico(those that have been born here, not the ones that have just arrived from
Mexico). They all understood English.
(Gumperz, 1982:79)

6. Personalization Versus Objectification

According to Gumperz (1982: 80),

The language contrast of personalization vs. objectification relates to things such as: the distinction between talk about action and talk as action, the degree of speaker involvement in, or distance from, a message, whether a statement reflects personal opinion or knowledge, whether it refers to specific instances or has the authority of generally known fact.

Here is the example that can describe the explanation above:

Slovenian-German, Austrian village farmers making plans for sharing machinery and dealing with problems that might come up:
A    : Aid mormaya tokonadrite (O.K. let us do it like this) dann von etwas is,nogust (then if something happens, O.K.fine). Fa tote gax wikolna (if sometimes the motor must be rewound) kost sibn oxthundert siling (itcostsseven or eighthundred shillings).
B    : Ja ja payo donar tau (O.K., O.K. then the money is there) [later in the same discussion:]
A    : Yes sak leta dim oli nter (I put in oil every year). Kost virzen siling (it costs fourteen shillings).
A is talking about the suggestion what the group should do. Then,  a  person shift to German upon mentioning a possible problem.  Gumperz argues that the shifting to German gives the air of objective factuality to the cost figures quoted.
(Gumperz, 1982:80)

b. Discourse-Related and Participant-Related Code Switching

According to Auer (1998:4), there are two function of code switching. They are as following below:

1. Discourse-related code switching

Discourse-related code switching is “the use of code-switching to organise the conversation by contributing to the interactional meaning of a particular utterance” (Auer, 1998:4). For example, speaker A inquires the time in English but when he does not get an answer, just silence, he switches to Indonesian by asking the same question which results in speaker B. In this function, the new language prototypically evokes a new ‘frame’ or ‘footing’ for the interaction, which means that the new language is accepted and shared by all the speakers (Auer 1998: 8). Besides, in this function the participants search for an account for ‘why that language now?’ within the development of the conversation.

2. Participant-related code switching

Auer (1998:8) states that participant-related code switching results in “more or less persistent phases of divergent language choices”. In this function participants search for an account within the individual who performs this switching, or his or her co-participants.

Based on the statements above, the writer concludes that discourse-related code switching is oriented in speaker whereas participant-related code switching is oriented in listener.

Reasons of Code Switching

Based on his research, Crystal in Shan Shan (2009:58) states that there are a number of possible reasons for the switching from one language to another are following below:

  1. The speaker can not express himself or herself by using one language, so he or she switches to other language. This type occurs when the speaker tired, upset, or distracted of some extent.
  2. The speaker switches to another language usually to express his/her solidarity with a particular social group. This type occurs when the speaker want to exclude others who do not speak the second language from a conversation.
  3. The speaker switches to another language in order to convey his/her attitude to the listener. For example, the speaker who speaks one language can adjust his/her tone of his/her language to match a perceived level of formality thereby communicating their attitudes.

The study of code switching reasons was carried out by Margana (2004:523), who dealt with code switching between Indonesian-English in classroom communication at junior high school in Yogyakarta. He documented four reasons that motivated code switching. They were as following below:

  1. To smoothen the interaction.
  2. To facilitate students to understand the English material.
  3. To maintain the continuity of interaction.
  4. To make English language teaching more effective.

Based on the statements above can be sum up that there are many reasons that motivate the speaker to use code switching such as speaker’s proficiency, the topic, and the situation that the conversation occurred.

Code Switching in Bilingual Classroom

Generally speaking, bilingual education involves the use two or more languages as the instructional media for teaching not only in English teaching but also in non-English teaching. The bilingual class, in turn, various according to the type of program of it is which they are a part, the specific structure for dual instructional process.

Bolander (2008:23) who conducted study on code switching in Swedish-English classroom stated that the teacher’s use of code switching has a clear impact on the students and motivates students to use English as the target language. In order to know the grammatical constrain of code switching, she also said that code switching tended to be more on the sentence or clause level, while code-switching on the word level only occurred at a few occasions (Bolander, 2008:25).

Adendorff (1993,388-406) who conducted study on code switching at English and non-English lessons in high school teachers and students in KwaZulu-Natal stated that switches into Zulu during the biology lesson appear to have rather different functions from those evident in English lesson, Zulu is doubly significant because Zulu concurrently serves social functions on the teacher’s part. It is used by the teacher to express the implicit encouragement to the students. Unlike the biology and English lesson, in geography lesson shows the teacher’s heavier reliance on Zulu to accomplish social objectives. Those implicate that there are different teacher’s functions while using code switching in different lessons.

Merritt et al in Yletyinen (2004:21-25) have studied primary schools in Kenya and their aim was to make observations on how teachers used several languages during teaching and how they used code switching in the classrooms. Although the study was conducted in a bilingual setting, their results can be applied to foreign language classrooms as well since the findings described code switching in classrooms.

De Mejía and Lin in Gardner-Chloros (2009:159) give extensive examples of the use of code switching in bilingual school situations, the first in Colombia in private English–Spanish immersion schools where code switching is accepted, and the second in Anglo–Chinese secondary schools in Hong Kong where it is officially frowned on, but is nevertheless flourishing. In multilingual Singapore, code switching is also an important tool for children in the learning process. Both positive and negative views of code switching in education have been expressed.

Margana (2004:522) states that the teacher and the students use trilingual such as English, Javanese, and Indonesian in English language classroom. It means that the employment of more than one language would be likelier to lead speakers to code switch from one language to another language. Based on the study, he also states there are many reasons for using code switching in classroom interaction such as to smoothen the interaction, to facilitate students to understand the material, to maintain the continuity of interaction and to make the learning process more effective. Other reasons also has given by Juniardi and Rohiyatussakinah (2009), based on their study in bilingual class at SMAN I Banten, There are reasons the teacher and the students apply code switching, namely class policy use English as subject matter, for express secret, angrily and bore, and last for qualified massage.


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