Code-Switching and English Language: A Linguistic Study in the Saudi Perspective

Ali Mohammed Alqarni


There are several interpretations of code-switching. Some teachers encourage EFL learners to apply it as they believe it helps them acquire and comprehend the target language. This study investigates in three different settings the code-switching behaviors of 10 Saudi students, the association between the participants' degree of English proficiency and their employment of code-switching. It also investigates how the context affects code-switching behaviors by examining the various types of code-switch as well as how code-switchers perceive it. The study's qualitative methodology involved interviewing the participants and use of checklist to analyze their responses.  Results show the participants with high English proficiency levels, did not like to switch codes. Additionally, while the minority of participants claimed they did not code-switch in the Saudi context, the remaining individuals claimed they did so in each of the three settings. However, the study found that among the participants, one word (noun) was the form of code-switch that was used the most frequently. Finally, the study demonstrated that even though all individuals occasionally switched codes, they all had unfavorable perceptions of it. The study suggests that teachers should regulate code-switching in different contexts.

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World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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