Code-switching, Pedagogy and Transformation: Teachers' Perceptions of the Dynamics of Code-switching and Bilingual Identity
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
The author has plans to publish papers drawn from the research within this thesis
This thesis presents the findings from a qualitative investigation into teachers’ use of code-switching in bilingual classrooms in Wales. The results of the 2001 census show a slight increase in the proportion of Welsh speakers in Wales, to 21%. This change, combined with increasing governmental support for the Welsh language, suggests that we may now be entering a period of stable Welsh-English bilingualism for those who speak Welsh. This study builds upon previous research into teachers’ use of code-switching by investigating 6 teachers’ perceptions of code-switching during the research period. It is proposed that teachers’ perceptions and awareness of their bilingual identity, examined through case studies have a central role in the decisions made in the bilingual classroom. Synthesising various approaches to code-switching provides educators with an overview of code-switching and its implications for instruction and the classroom as a community. This study makes an important contribution to the understanding of the dynamics of code-switching at classroom level rather than syntactic level, as there is very little research into the bilingual teaching interface in Wales. Ideally, the findings will contribute to the debate on multilingual practice as a natural and effective means of language teaching as well as a force for intercultural understanding. The author is interested in exploring how far and in what ways teachers are aware of the benefits of code-switching and to raise awareness of the relationship between code choice and wider social factors. The study has two main objectives. Firstly, to investigate how far teachers employ code-switching as a strategy and their reasons for doing so. Secondly, to explore how far, and in what ways, these teachers’ identities undergo a process of transformation as a result of their experiences of the research process. The study provides a number of useful insights into the dynamic interplay between code-switching and learning as a legitimate way of using a shared language to scaffold pupils’ learning. A range of teachers’ perceptions of code-switching were detected and the significance of these findings are discussed. The study provides an insight into perceptions of the functions and rationale for code-switching from a teacher’s perspective, which may contribute to the multilingual turn debate and have pedagogical implications.
EdD in TESOL