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I feel grateful to Allah the Almighty whose blessings overwhelm me. I owe thanks to many people for their help, advice, wisdom, and support through each step of this work. I am sincerely thankful to my supervisor Dr. Fatima Jaffar for her guidance, understanding, patience, and most importantly, her friendship during my graduate studies as she guided me along my educational endeavor. She was insightful and resourceful in a way that benefited my study. Also, she deployed her experience for the favor of my research. I am indebted to Professor Riyad Hussein, Professor Bader Dweik, Professor Tawfiq Yousef, Dr. Issam Kayyed, and Dr. Saleh Frehat for their help and support.
My appreciation also goes to the participants at the Modern American School. I greatly appreciate the assistance of the founder of the Modern American School, Mr. Tyseer Azamel, who supported me throughout my educational journey. Finally yet importantly, I would like to extend my gratitude and appreciation to my husband, Muhannad Al-Ayasra, for his love, encouragement and patience.
This thesis is dedicated to my beloved husband as he has always believed in me and supported me in seeking my ambitions to be the person I am today.
This study aimed at investigating The Functions of Code Switching Used by Secondary Students in English Classes. The study focused on the following questions:
1. What are the functions of code switching used by secondary students in English classes at the Modern American School?
2. How does code switching affect the linguistic aspects of language varieties among secondary students in English classes at the Modern American School?
To achieve the goals of the study, the researcher used two instruments after checking their validity and reliability and they were: classroom observations of four classes and students' questionnaire. The sample included 71 students at the Modern American School.
Statistical analysis was conducted for the collected data. The percentages and means were calculated for the questionnaires, and the lesson observations were described in words.
Results of the study revealed that some of the students use code switching in order to add a comic sense to his/her utterances, and therefore attract the interlocutors‟ attention. Despite the fact that they study at an international school, they switch codes as it is hard to find proper equivalents especially to culturally loaded terms. Also, students switch codes in order to avoid misunderstanding. Students feel comfortable and confident in using more than one language within the same discourse. However, students believe that code switching is used haphazardly and unconsciously without paying attention to the syntactic rules that govern each language.
The results elucidated different topics on which code switching takes place. The most prominent topics were religion and emotional issues.
As shown in the results, there are a variety of functions of code switching in grade 12 classes that teach English. The most dominant function was using code switching to express emotions. It is noteworthy to mention that students find it easier to use their own language when conversing with their counterparts.
According to the findings of the study, the researcher recommended that the sample may be expanded to cover different occupations and ages for the purpose of differentiating various speech communities (i.e. a group of people sharing a common language or dialect). For pedagogical purposes, the sample can be expanded to include parents and teachers along with students to cover all the domains that can affect students‟ learning environments and their linguistic behaviors, and to address the students‟ needs and their different linguistic abilities.
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Chapter One Introduction
1.0 Background of the Study
The English language has become an integral part in societies like Jordan because it is considered an international language that is used among non-native speakers around the globe in order for them to communicate effectively with each other. English in Jordan enjoys a very prestigious status as it‟s used in different domains of the society like school, work and media.
Consequently, people have developed knowledge and ability in English and so become bilinguals. Bilinguals can switch between two languages or within sentences involving phrases or words. However, there are certain factors that falter or boost the degree of bilingualism among speakers of English and Arabic. To elucidate the abovementioned manifestations, there are bountiful linguistic factors that affect the fluency and the degree of competence of English- Arabic bilinguals. In English classrooms in Jordan, the students‟ aim is to learn English by demonstrating their listening, writing, speaking, and listening skills. Yet, students resort to their native language (Arabic) in some contexts during the English language lessons. This kind of switching between languages is called “code switching”.
Muysken (2000) stated that sometimes code-switching occurs between the turns of different speakers in the conversation, or sometimes between utterances within a single turn. It can even occur within a single utterance. In order for readers to identify the reasons or functions of switching, the approaches taken by the experts in studying code-switching are very important. In addition, utterances containing code-switching are similar to those of one linguistic variety alone in terms of discourse unity. In other words, when the switching occurs within a single sentence, the elements from the two different languages generally are joined together prosodically. The linguistic variety in code switching may be different languages, dialects or style of the same language (Myers-Scotton, 1993).
Myers-Scotton (1993) further added that code-switching is either inter-sentential or intrasentential. While inter-sentential code switching involves switches from one language to the other between sentences, intra-sentential switching occurs within the same sentence, from singlemorpheme to clause level. She then introduces the terms matrix language and embedded language. In code-switching, the matrix language is the most dominant language used and the embedded language is the language that holds the lesser role.
In English language classrooms, both the English language and the first language are present and use in different activities and to different extents, by both teachers and students.
From a socio-constructionist point of view, an English language classroom is an institutional context where students and teachers construct their language use together and create practices for the use of the native language and the English language.
According to Auer (1998), in order to understand the premises for learning a foreign in a school context, one starting point is to study how the students use their languages in their interactions in institutional encounters. In the English language classrooms, students with the same first language often start conversations in the new language with very little previous knowledge of the language taught.
Constructing an orderly bilingual interaction, they establish a pattern for language use. With language learning seen as taking place during participation and as embedded in the structures of social activities, it is relevant to determine in which activities and with what methods the students construct practices for alternating between languages.
Using English in classrooms, a learner, in interaction, can gradually start to construct and shape an identity as a user of English language or the first language. Though the policy in English language institutions demands that English teachers and students use only English in teaching, the actual classroom practice might be different. Teachers and students might codeswitch to other languages for various reasons and functions.
Conversational code switching is most likely to occur compared to situational code switching as the choice of using other languages in teaching English may exist due to specific factors in the class. Hence, code switching in this particular study is the alternating use of English and Arabic in English classes by the students.
Perhaps the most concrete and in depth study on code-switching was done by Gumperz (1982) where he sub-categorizes code switching into conversational code switching and situational switching. He defines conversational code switching as the juxtaposition within the same speech exchange of passages of speech belonging to two different grammatical systems or subsystems. Conversational code switching tends to occur subconsciously as the speakers are motivated by factors within the conversation itself when it takes place. Meanwhile, situational code switching can be considered as changes in language choice due to the situation where the speakers exist. Situational switching might take place at school, work, or public gathering where the situation demands for formality of language use.
Gumperz (1982) focuses on the functions of code switching when he defines code switching as a discourse phenomenon that can generate conversational inferences. Practically, there are many functions that lead to shifting between language varieties in order to serve different communicative purposes; for instance, Gumperz‟s concepts of we-code (i.e. the language of minority) and they-code (i.e. the language of the dominant group) advocate the notion of bilinguals‟ switching for convenience to better suit a certain topic, place or role- relationship which is basically associated with claiming group membership or solidarity. According to Gumperz (1982), codes are correlating to political and cultural identity in some speech communities.
As a result, the identification of various constraints has inspired various works in syntax, morphology, and phonology. This current study begins with studies that were conducted on code switching as a field of linguistic research by reviewing theoretical and empirical investigations to code switching and how applicable they are to foreign language classrooms situations. The data was captured through using students‟ questionnaire and painstaking observations in four classrooms that teach English at the Modern American School. The research took into consideration the reasons for code switching, when code switching occurs in the classroom, and how code switching affects the linguistic aspects of language varieties in different contexts when students are engaged in conversations with their peers or teachers. The researcher ends with some comment for further investigations in code switching.
1.1 Statement of the Problem
Some code-switched constructions are well-formed in cases where the bilingual is totally aware of the morphosyntactic aspects that govern code switching. However, some code-switched discourses are ill-formed as a result of lack of awareness and knowledge of such constraints which result in language deviation of the English language.
This study is an attempt to explore why and when students code switch to Arabic. In other words, it aims at finding out the functions of code switching and the impact of code switching on the linguistic aspects of Arabic and English. This study was conducted through analyzing the functions and morphosyntactic constrains of code switching and their effect on the students‟ utterances, as well as examining the expressions that stem from code switching.
1.3 Questions of the Study
1. What are the functions of code switching used by secondary students in English classes at the Modern American School (MAS)?
2. How does code switching affect the linguistic aspects of language varieties among secondary students in English classes at the Modern American School (MAS)?
1.4 Significance of the Study
Although numerous studies have been conducted on code switching, the researcher found few of them tackle the linguistic deficiencies that may occur when bilinguals code switch in some contexts for many different reasons.
Students enter into their classrooms with varying levels of mastery of the English language. Some have excellent command of English and their native language (Arabic) in a way that allows them to produce well-formed code-switched expressions, whereas others are monolingual and have mastered just minimal repertoire of English vocabulary, so they end up with creating ill-formed constructions of code switching as this study proved the previous interpretations right. Code switching can be beneficial in the sense that it can assist educators reevaluate their methodology for teaching this growing number of individual differences in English fluency. Furthermore, this study may fill in the gap as the researcher has pointed out that the skillfulness of processing code switching in English classes highly correlates with the duration of exposure to the English language at school.
1.5. Limitations of the Study
Due to the small size of the population chosen in this research which comprises four classes of 12thgraders, the findings of this research cannot be generalized beyond the selected sample. The findings will be limited to the setting and instruments used in the current study.
1.6 Definitions of Terms
- Code Switching:
- Theoretical Definition of Code Switching: Poplack (1980) defines code switching as: “The alternation of two languages within a single discourse, sentence or constituent”.
- Operational Definition of Code Switching: Code switching is the co-existence of different language varieties within a single context or discourse to better communicate with interlocutors and to serve different communicative purposes in listening and speaking.
Chapter Two Review of Literature
This section constitutes two subsections; the first is a brief review of theoretical studies proposed by the scholars of this particular field, and the second section is a brief review of some related empirical studies that have been conducted.
2.1 Review of Theoretical Literature
Code switching is broadly used in linguistics and a plethora of related fields. It is an alternate use of two or more languages within the same utterance. Appel and Muysken (1987) identify approaches to code switching: psycholinguistic, linguistic or grammatical and sociolinguistic. Psycholinguistic approaches examine aspects of language capacity that enable the speakers to alternate languages, for example, these approaches tackle the abilities that are required in order to use and understand two or more languages in succession or simultaneously, or show the role that fluency plays in multilingual language processing and production. The linguistic approaches identify the grammatical rules for language alternation. In other words, the morphosyntactic constraints restrict language choice within sentences. A third approach to code switching is sociolinguistic that describes the reasons for code switching. Appel and Muysken (1987) describe a functional model of code switching to explain why speakers alternate languages. They identify six functions of code switching: referential, directive, expressive, phatic,1 metalinguistic, and poetic. Referential switches occur because of lack of knowledge in one language on a certain subject; in other words, code switching functions as a remedy for lack of capacity or facility. Directive code switching seeks to include or exclude specific addressee. The latter switching refers to one of Gumperz„s (1982) function which is addressee specification and it rather ties in the Accommodation Theory, demonstrated by Giles, Coupland, N., and Coupland, J. (1991). Expressive switching serves to express the multilingual status of the speaker. Phatic switching, which is a replica of Gumperz‟s (1982) metaphorical code switching, uses language alternation to change the tone of conversations. Metalinguistic switching occurs when speakers are willing to comment on their own language use. Finally, poetic switching occurs when speakers want to switch languages for aesthetic purposes like, making puns, tell jokes, and generate poetry using language alternation.
To illustrate the aforementioned data, code switching can be discussed from different parameters or perspectives. Code switching can be used due to social motives which are embodied by the Mayer-Scotton‟s Markedness Model and the Accommodation Theory.
Weinreich (1968) identifies three possible types of bilinguals. Coordinate bilinguals may be compared to two monolinguals with no separate, parallel systems which have separate lexicons as well as separate sets of concepts to which lexical items are mapped. For the coordinate bilinguals, words and phrases in the speaker‟s mind are all related to their own unique concepts. On the other hand, compound bilinguals are assumed to have one set of concepts. For this type of bilinguals, words and phrases in different languages are the same concepts. For subordinate bilinguals, one language is dominant over other languages, and the subordinate languages are processed through and with the help of the dominant language.
Poplack (1980) identifies three types of code switching: inter-sentential switches, intra- sentential switches, and tag switches. Tag switches include small units that are attached to larger monolingual units in the other language; in other words, it requires only a minimal integration of the two languages. To take some English examples of tags: you know, you mean are tags, for instance, se sininen talo, you know (that blue house, you know). "You know” is emblematic because it identifies a bilingual in a monolingual speech. Such expressions are automatically used because of slips of the tongue. On the other hand, Poplack (1980) indicates that the intra- sentential switching occurs within clause boundaries and requires competency in both languages in order to integrate two or more linguistic systems; whereas inter-sentential code switching occurs within the sentence barriers.
Poplack (1980) proposes the Equivalence Constraint and the Free Morpheme Constraint, defined in (1) and (2) below.
1) The Equivalence Constraint: The principle that identifies a feature which codes will tend to be switched at points where the surface structures of the languages correspond to each other. It suggests that code switching takes place in contexts where the structures of the languages map onto each other and cannot violate syntactic rules of the two languages.
2) The Free Morpheme Constraint: A switch may not occur between a bound morpheme and a lexical item unless the latter has been phonologically integrated into the language of the bound morpheme. As an illustration, speakers can switch languages after constituents that are not bound morphemes.
However, Poplack‟s constraints are not intended as simple surface-level descriptions of code switching, but as actual linguistic principles which are part of a bilingual‟s linguistic competence. The juxtaposition or collocation of the elements from the two languages cannot violate syntactic rules of each language.
Bokamba (1988) finds that “morphologically mixed utterances” in his work with Lingala and French code switching and Swahili and English code switching violate many of Poplacks‟s proposed code switching constraints.
On the other hand, Mayer-Scotton‟s (1993) Matrix Language Frame Model suggests morphosyntactic patterns of code switching and it is devised to explain intra-sentential code switching. This model identifies two types of languages engaged in code switching: the first is the matrix language, also called the host language, and the second is the embedded language or the donor. When an intra-sentential code switching occurs, the distribution of two languages is asymmetrical. The more dominant language is the matrix language, and the other one is the embedded Language. Matrix language might be identified as the first language of the speaker or the language in which the morphemes or words are more frequently used in speech. Myers- Scotton‟s (1993) criteria are more structurally based. Matrix languages provide abstract grammatical frames where embedded languages are inserted.
To illustrate the abovementioned theory, this model is based on two principles:
1) The Morpheme Order Principle: The surface morpheme order will be of the matrix language. The matrix Language and embedded language cluster consists of singly occurring embedded language lexemes and any number of matrix language morphemes, whereas the surface morpheme order, which reflects surface syntactic relations, will be that of the matrix language.
2) The System Morpheme Principle: The matrix language and embedded language cluster consists of all system morphemes which have grammatical relations external to their head constituents, which participate in the sentence‟s thematic role grid, will come from the matrix language.
In other words, the content morphemes are similar to open-class items such as, nouns, verbs, adjectives, and some prepositions. On the other hand, the system morphemes are similar to closed-class items like, plural and derivational affixes, determiners, and verbal prepositions that modify the thematic role assigned by a verb. Consequently, the grammar of the matrix language provides the grammatical frame of the sentence as a whole while the grammar of the embedded language is only used in complex insertions to determine the structure of the inserted constituent.
For more illustration, this hypothesis assumes that the matrix or host language provides the order of the morphemes and the system morphemes come from the host language. As a result, if the embedded language words do not correspond to the matrix language in terms of system and content morphemes, there will be no code switching between languages. To sum up, the host language determines the order of the component, which may be filled by items from the donor language.
Timm (1975) identifies five constraints on Spanish-English code switching, proposing that switching doesn‟t take place in the following situations:
1) Within NPs containing nouns and modifying adjectives.
2) Between negation and the negated verb.
3) Between the verb and its auxiliary.
4) Between finite verbs and their infinitival complements.
5) Between pronominal subjects and their verbs.
For more illustration, consider the following examples (Timm, 1975):
1) The students habian visto la pelicula italiana.
2) The students had visto la pelicula italiana.
(Translation: The students had seen an Italian movie.)
The switch in the second sentence seems to be ill-formed because as it has been stated above, code switching does not occur between the verb and its auxiliary. A constraint in this sense applies to a system of linguistic rules or to the form of a representation, and tries to capture a range of linguistic facts.
Myers-Scotton‟s (1993) Markedness Model analyzes identity and code choice. Each language in a speech community is associated with a particular social role, which are called participants‟ rights and obligation sets. Myers -Scotton uses the Markedness to show how speakers negotiate their identities. By speaking a particular language, a participant understands a situation, and especially the participant‟s role within the context. By using more than one language, interlocutors may start negotiation over related social roles. Myers-Scotton assumes that speakers must exchange to some extent, a mutual understanding of the social meanings of each available code. If no such norms existed, interlocutors would have no basis for understanding the significance of particular code choices.
The Markedness model is stated in the form of a principle and three maxims. The negotiation principle presents the theory‟s central claim. The first maxim is the unmarked choice which makes your code choice of the unmarked sign of the unmarked rights and obligations set in talk exchanges when you wish to establish or affirm that rights and obligations set. The marked choice maxim which makes a marked code choice establishes a new set of rights and obligations as unmarked for the current exchange. The exploratory choice maxim is used when an unmarked choice is not clear, so participants use code switching to make alternate exploratory choices as candidates for an unmarked choice and thereby as a clue for rights and obligations set which they favor. Therefore, the social meanings of language (code) choice, as well as the causes of alternation, are defined entirely in terms of participant rights and obligations.
Consequently, in her Markedness Model, Myers-Scotton (1998) claims that bilinguals might make use of code-switching into the marked language to integrate and belong to a specific group. In a classroom context, the marked language could be interpreted as learners‟ native language. Despite the different views on the use of the native language and the target language, one cannot discard the fact that in a foreign language class, most students and teachers switch between the native and target languages when interacting with each other. It is therefore of particular importance to examine what previous studies have found regarding the functions for using the native language in the foreign language classroom.
Auer (1998) argues that it is possible to account for code switching behavior without referring to external knowledge about language use required by the Markedness Model.
Numerous studies concentrated on the social factors that play an important role in code switching. Gumperz (1992) states that code switching signals contextual information equivalent to the monolingual setting and conveyed through prosody, lexical or syntactic processes. Moreover, he describes some common functions of metaphorical code switching, a type of conversational code switching. Metaphorical code switching involves shifts in the status of speakers or the aspects of identity emphasis, but is not associated with changes in topic or other linguistic situations in order to evoke a certain mood with respect to the other speakers. In other words, metaphorical code switching depends on the use of two language varieties within a single social setting. Also, Gumperz clarifies the distinction between situational and conversational code switching. In situational code switching, language alternation is used to accommodate a change in specific settings, topics, or participants. On the other hand, the conversational code switching is considered as shifting from one language to another within a single conversation whether the topic or setting of the conversation has changed or not.
According to Auer (1998), metaphorical code switching is not predictable, but it is open to the individual speaker's decision unlike the situational code switching.
In addition, Gumperz (1982) identifies six major functions for conversational code switching; (a) Code switching can be used to indicate that the speaker is quoting another speaker (quotation) (b) Speakers may switch to specify their addressee (addressee specification) (c) Speakers may switch because of emotional associations with different languages, or because specific expressions come to mind more readily in language that in another (interjection) (d)
Speakers may repeat the same content in each of their languages in order to clarify or emphasize a certain message (reiteration) (e) The main content is expressed in a language while extra detail is rendered in another to provide emphasis through linguistic contrast (message qualification) (f) Certain languages in speakers‟ repertoire can be used to express objective facts, whereas others are associated with subjective opinion (personalization vs. objectivization).
Students also use code-switching in the classroom. Although students may use code switching unconsciously, code switching serves functional perspectives such as: equivalence, floor holding, reiteration, and conflict control. (Eldridge, 1996)
In case of equivalence, the students make use of the native equivalent of a certain lexical item in the target language; therefore, he/she code switches to his/her mother tongue. This process is correlated with the deficiency in linguistic competence of the target language, which makes the student use the native lexical item when he/she does not have competence for using the target language explanation for a particular lexical item. As a result, equivalence functions as a defensive mechanism for students as it allows him/her to continue communication by bridging the gaps resulted from foreign language incompetence. To avoid gaps in communication which result from the lack of fluency in the target language, the learners use code switching for floor holding.
Brown (2006) also illuminates the role of code switching. One is when it “serves a referential function by compensating for the speaker‟s lack of knowledge in one language” (Brown, 2006, p.508). It can also be used to engage or detach a listener; it can state that the speaker has a multiple cultural identity by switching from one language to another.
In some cases, code switching is situational and appears due to “the status of the interlocutor, the setting of the conversation, or the topic of the conversation” (Brown, 2006, p.508). Brown draws on research by Blom and Gumperz (1972) when saying that “code switching is a complex, skilled linguistic strategy used by bilinguals to convey important social meanings above and beyond the referential content of an utterance” (Brown, 2006, p.509). According to Sert (2005), during a conversation in the target language, the students fill the stopgaps with the use of the native language. Nevertheless, the students performing code switching for floor holding face a problem in recalling the appropriate target language structure or lexicon. This mechanism affects negatively on learning a foreign language because it leads to loss of fluency on the long run.
Eldridge (1996) points out that messages are reinforced, emphasized or clarified where the message has already been transmitted in one code, but not understood. In this respect, the message of the target language is reiterated by the student in his/her native language through which the learner tries to give the meaning by utilizing the repetition technique. Students reiterate to transfer the meaning exactly in the target language, or to show that the content is completely grasped.
According to Eldridge (1996), code switching is a kind of negative transfer and as he states that students must try hard to minimize its use so as to maximize the exposure to and use of the target language in the classroom. Seemingly, he is against using the native language in the classroom because it undermines the learning process of the target language and he commends that learners should be exposed to the target language to better serve and secure the goal of teaching a foreign language.
In contrast, Brown (2006) seems to be in favor with the idea of using the native language in order to facilitate the process of learning in the classroom and harmonize different capacities regarding language competency.
Skinner (1985) is one of those people who believed that abandoning the native language use may appear undesirable in the process of learning the native language. He believed that since the learners‟ thoughts and ideas are already developed in the first language, doing away with students‟ first languages may impede the learners‟ process of conceptualization which is basically based on their native language.
There are some reasons why researchers are against the use of the native language in the classroom. One reason they put on the table is that the use of the target language makes the classroom seem more real and credible. Another reason is that in a multilingual class where there may be different first languages, it seems quite impossible to take into account of all of them (Cook, 2002).
On the other hand, the use of the native language in the classroom serves different functions. Cook (2002) advocates the use of the native language in the classroom. He believes that the use of the native language in the class cannot be all interfering and detrimental, but it has some positive point. He claims that grammar can be explained through using the native language because meaning can be conveyed more clearly. The classroom can be managed more easily. The native language is the infrastructure of learning the target language. Code switching is a strategy to render the intended meaning. In this case, code switching is used to avoid misunderstanding (Sert, 2005)
The tendency towards using this functional role of code switching may vary according to the students‟ needs, intention, and purposes. In addition, the lack of some culturally equivalent lexis between the native and target languages, which may possibly lead to violating the transference of the intended meaning, results in code switching of conflict control.
In contrast, Skiba (1997) is one of the proponents for using the code switching in the classroom as it works as a supporting element in situations where code switching is used due to an incapability of expression whether it is informational or social interaction. Also, Cook (2002) advocated the usage of code switching as he suggests that if the native language is always present in the learners‟ mind, its role in the classroom might have positive effects on learning and teaching as “a way of conveying the target language meaning,” “a short- cut for explaining tasks, tests, etc.,” “a way of explaining grammar,” and “practicing using the native language such as code-switching” (2002, p. 59). The native language could have a role of metalinguistic framework for a better understanding of the target language. For more illustration, Cook (2002) tackles the subject matter, considering multilingual classrooms in saying that performing code switching in classes which do not share the same native language may create problems as some of the students (though few in number) will somewhat be marginalized. So, at this point, it may be suggested that the students should share the same native language if code switching will be applied in instruction. However, some classroom code switching can be explained by the Communication Accommodation Theory introduced by Giles, Coupland, N., and Coupland, J. (1991). According to the Accommodation Theory, speakers vary their use of different language varieties to express solidarity with or social distance from their interlocutors. The Accommodation Theory states that speakers adapt their language use and deliberately vary their language as a tool for communicative purposes in various speech communities in order to reinforce interpersonal relationships. Consequently, students, as well as teachers, in certain situations choose to adapt their language to better suit the current interaction; in other words, directive switching serves to include or exclude specific conversational participant by using either a speaker‟s preferred or dispreferred language choice. Such switching can be convergent when speakers use the preferred of their interlocutors, or divergent which result in creating distance between the interlocutor and hearer because of dispreferred choices. On the other hand, the switch is unconscious when the student wants to communicate with another student on a personal level by shifting to the native language of the classroom. Switching codes to fit the topic is a function of code switching that is widely used in the second or foreign language learning environment to optimize learning processes.
Furthermore, learners use their native language to communicate between one another and by doing so they get an understandable response if the other learners have the same or a different perception of the received information. All of this is done so that the learners‟ can negotiate meaning in a simplified way and thus help their own learning process (Simon, 2001). According to Simon (2001), switching back to the native language provides the learner with a natural opportunity to retreat to a secure zone of language use and that the functions of code-switching have a close connection to the speech situations and interpersonal relationships that affect them.
According to Sert (2005), code switching can be used for self-expression and it is a way of modifying language for the sake of personal intentions. It is also used to establish a sort of intimacy among members of a bilingual community. In this respect, code switching is a tool for creating linguistic solidarity especially between individuals who share the same cultural identity. Piasecka (1988) suggests a list of situations where teachers use the students‟ native language in ESL classrooms in Poland including classroom management, language analysis, presentation of grammar, phonological and spelling rules, explanation and correction of errors, discussions on cultural issues, assessment of comprehension, and personal contact.
According to Weinreich (1968), when students are unable to conceive an appropriate word within a limited amount of time, code-switching, in some cases, allows them to express themselves more fluidly. He describes the effect of language contact on languages and the activities of bilingual speech communities. It is suggested that bilinguals possess two separate linguistic varieties which they employ on separate occasions.
According to Hymes (1962), there were four basic functions of code-switching:
First, expressive function suggests that students use code switching to express emotions. Second, directive function is used in a situation where a speaker wants to direct someone. This function can get the listeners‟ attention. Third, metalinguistic function is utilized to include the definition of terms, paraphrasing others‟ words, and some metaphors. The next function is poetic function. It means that during the conversation, the speaker inserts some jokes, stories; some poetic quotations into English- based conversations to add a sense of humor. According to Chen‟s (2003) explanations, referential function has the following categories. The first one is terms that lack readily available in the other languages. The second one is terms that lack semantically appropriate words in other languages. The final one is that terms with which the speakers are more familiar in the native language than in the target language. The New Concurrent Approach, described in Jacobson (1981), advocates a principled functional distribution of languages in content courses taught bilingually in the U.S. In this approach, teachers must monitor their language use to ensure that code switching would serve different pedagogical purposes. In this respect, switches take place in response to specific educational, linguistic, and social prompts.
Muysken (2000) distinguished two main code switching patterns: insertion and alternation. Insertion is characterized by insertion of lexical items or entire constituent from one language into morphosyntactic mold or structure from the other language.
According to Trudgill (2000), speakers use code switching for manipulation or influential purposes. Also, interlocutors switch codes to define the situation as they wish and convey the intended meaning and personal intention.
2.2 Review of Empirical Literature
Blom and Gumperz (1972) studied code switching between dialects in Hemnesberget, a small village in Northern Norway, to examine the verbal behavior in this village and they came up with the conclusion that there are formal and informal functions of dialect switching played in various social settings and events, yet this code switching was chiefly concerned with the analysis of conversational events and the role of switching in composition of a speech situation. Two Hindi dialects were compared in Hemnesberget; Bokmal which is marked as standard, and Ranamal which is marked as local. The use of the local dialect appeared in frequent interaction with neighbors. In contrast, the use of the standard dialect was prominent in more formal communication like lectures. However, the verbal repertoire was identified in social and linguistic terms. The linguistic disaggregation of dialect and standard was conditioned by social factors.
Zentella (1981) studied bilingual education among Puerto-Rican community in the U.S.
She suggests that studies of code switching must take into account the speakers‟ age, sex, speech style, and in-group membership status due to their significance in influencing code switching behavior. She reported that in her long-term participant study of the linguistic practices of el bloque, a Puerto-Rican community in el barrio of East Harlem, children could be observed to speak English with each other while shifting to Spanish unlike their elders as illustrated in the recorded exchange. For these children, Spanish and English together constitute their linguistic competence in a singular sense, and their linguistic performance would influence primarily English or Spanish, as required by the “observables” or operators of speech situation, e.g. topics, specific setting, and participants. Zentella (1981) noticed that setting, topic, and degree of competence are considered important factors that have an impact on code switching. It is also common in such communities that as bilingual speakers interact in bilingual mode, they will extend this ability to alternating languages in unchanged speech situations. Her data confirm that bilinguals older than five years old tended to speak as they were spoken to. Also she suggests that older children may also speak their own preferred language if they know that their addressee share that particular language. Zentella (1981) distinguished three types of factors for code switching:
1) “On the spot” factors: these are related to the observables of interaction such as the topic, the psychological setting, and the children‟s addressee, whom they tend to accommodate in their language choice. Changes in these factors can lead to code switching.
2) “In the head” factors: these are not directly observable but they appear when the speaker makes language choices that are meant to achieve his/her communicative intentions. “Crutching” trigged by the memory loss for words and “footing” such as the change of the speaker‟s role are included to strategize communicative purposes.
3) “Out of mouth” factors: these pertain to the linguistic cognition about phonological and syntactic boundaries on code switching.
Dweik (1986) conducted a study that aimed at focusing on the problems that secondary Jordanian students encounter. He chose a sample of 120 students from three schools in Hebron, Jerusalem and El-Karak to answer the questionnaire. The results indicated that some teachers present the material in Arabic as they are not fluent enough in English in their oral expression. Dweik concluded that an action plan in teaching English in Jordan should be brought into effect, and that it should include the teachers' qualification, the students' motivation, the curriculum design and the teaching methods.
In his study of German learners of English in a bilingual German school, Butzkamm (1988) found the students' native language works as a conversational lubricant which allows the conversation to flow smoothly and effortlessly. In the class he observed, German was not used for social purposes but for educational ones as students switched from German to English principally to ask for terms they needed in order to participate in a class discussion. The students' native language was used only as a dictionary and made teaching more efficient as students could easily learn the words they needed to express themselves clearly. He suggested that teachers consider students' native language a natural shortcut to learning that should be used when necessary instead of avoiding code switching in class entirely.
Various studies have been conducted in order to investigate the role of the first language in EFL classrooms. Polio and Duff (1994) examined recordings of the foreign language classes to determine why English was used in these classes in the U.S.A. The researchers identified eight categories of English use in the classroom: vocabulary, grammar, instructions, classroom management, maintaining consistency, translating the unfamiliar target language vocabulary, overcoming deficiencies in student comprehension, and interaction effect concerning students‟ use of English. The function of code switching corresponds to one of the code switching types identified by Gumperz (1992) although the names are quite different. What Polio and Duff (1994) call solidarity, Gumperz refers to as personalization; in both concepts, speakers change language in order to express empathy with their interlocutors.
Canagarajah (1995) described the languages used in Jaffna, the capital city of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, for various functions, such as giving directions, managing discipline, giving commands, reviewing content and requesting assistance. Canagarajah (1995) found different micro-functions that dealt with issues in the classroom and macro-functions which had connection to issues outside the classroom. These functions were further divided into two categories: classroom management and content transmission. Under classroom management functions, the consideration of how code switching facilitates the teachers and students to control classroom interactions systematically and efficiently was under scrutiny and examination. Content transmission means the fact that code switching can aid in the effectiveness of the lesson content and language skills which have been specified in the curriculum. Classroom management functions were: opening the class, negotiating directions, requesting help, managing discipline, teacher encouragement, teacher compliments, teacher‟s commands, teacher admonitions or warnings, mitigation, pleading and unofficial interactions. Content transmission functional categories were: review, definition, explanation, negotiating cultural relevance, parallel translation and unofficial student collaboration. Macro- functions tackled socio-educational situations where students were trained for the social and communicative life outside school, since bilingualism persists through code switching in Jaffna. The use of English in the classroom was used for formal and official implications, which means that Tamil is used for extra-pedagogical purposes, for example, for discussing personal matters. Canagarajah‟s study furthermore shows how English and the mother tongue, Tamil, were used in different situations. There were some general patterns in the classrooms: English was used in interactions dealing with the lesson content while Tamil was used for personal or unofficial interactions. In other words, English is only reserved for interactions that are demanded by the textbook and lesson. Findings revealed that the mother tongue is the less formal language while English is used in a more formal way. Moreover, Canagarajah (1995) found out in his study that English was the code which symbolized formality, impersonality, detachment and alienness whereas Tamil symbolized informality and personalization.
In his study of African high school, Adendorff (1993) studied English-Zulu code switching among Zulu-speaking teachers and their learners by investigating the functions of code switching in three high school classrooms, as well as, during school assembly. He reported that code switching from English to Zulu during an English lesson was used by the teachers not only for academic reasons but also in order to maintain solidarity in the classroom. Regarding code switching for academic reasons, the first function of such switching, identified by Adendorff (1993), was that of sustaining learners‟ understanding of the subject matter. In this case, an English teacher may switch between English and Zulu in order to explain a poem to his learners. A second function of code switching, identified by Adendorff (1993), was to aid learners explain the subject matter. Furthermore, code switching was used by English teachers in order to provoke learners in an attempt to involve them in the discussion of the poem. Adendorff stated that code switching to Zulu met academic purposes. Also, code switching was also used for social reasons like, gaining credibility from the learners. According to Adendorff (1993), code switching from English to Zulu was also used as a means of exercising classroom management. On the whole, Adendorff (1996) found that teachers and students used code switching for communicative reasons which enabled them to achieve both educational and social targets. He came up with the conclusion that English was the official language of instruction, but Zulu, the teachers, and students‟ first language, was used to serve social functions like expressing solidarity with students, managing the classroom as well as encouraging students through expressions of praises.
Anton and DiCamilla (1998) conducted qualitative analyses of students‟ interaction during pair work and came up with the conclusion that the learners‟ native language plays a significant role and serves certain psychological, semantic, and social needs. For more illustration, Learners used their native language in order to accomplish tasks together. Every student contributed his/her own grammatical and lexical knowledge to produce a written text. Furthermore, the native language is used by students to assign different tasks among learners. The researchers concluded that code switching was used for strategization and it serves to decide how to solve problems and to retain their focus on the task. Psychologically, the native language was used as a source of comfort in order for the learners to be engaged in personal speeches that are self- directed.
Hussein (1999) conducted a study on Jordanian university students' attitudes towards code switching to find out when and why they code-switch and the most frequent English expressions that they use in Arabic utterances. The questionnaire he used displayed that the students had negative and positive attitudes towards code switching with English in Arabic utterances. The results indicated that students used code switching with English for many of reasons. The most important reason was the lack of Arabic equivalents for English terms or expressions. Finally, there was a frequent use of a variety of English expressions.
Flyman-Mattsson, A. and Burenhult-Mattsson, N. (1999) set out their study from a series of video recordings which are supplemented by back-up audio recordings of classroom interaction between teachers and Swedish students who learn French as a second language. They concluded the following reasons:
(a) Linguistic insecurity: Since the task of the teacher is to transmit knowledge of a foreign language onto the students, it is not appropriate to use words for which the teacher will have to switch code to be able to control. This might damage the students‟ confidence in the teacher‟s proficiency of the foreign language. A possible solution for the teacher might, therefore, be to avoid words s/he does not control or quite simply restructure the utterance.
(b) Topic switch: the teacher used code switching to accommodate a topic, for instance, that certain aspects of foreign language teaching such as grammar instruction are preferably expressed in the mother tongue of the students. In these cases, the students' attention is directed to the new knowledge by making use of code switching and accordingly they make use of the native tongue. At this point it may be suggested that a bridge from known (the native language) to unknown (the target language content) was constructed in order to transfer the new content and meaning is made clear in this way.
(c) Affective functions: they serve for expression of emotions. Code switching was used by the teacher in order to establish solidarity and intimacy with the students. In this sense, one may speak of the contribution of code switching for creating a supportive language environment in the classroom. This is not always a conscious process on part of the teacher.
(d) Socializing functions: when teachers turned to the students‟ first language to signal friendship and solidarity as the teacher greeted /welcomed the students arrive.
(e) Repetitive functions: when the teachers wanted to convey the same message in both languages for clarity, they used code switching in order to transfer the necessary knowledge for the students. Following the instruction in target language, the teacher code switched to native language in order to clarify meaning, and thereby stressed the importance of the foreign language content for efficient comprehension.
However, the tendency to repeat the instruction in the native language may lead to some desired student behaviors. A learner who is sure that the instruction in foreign language will be followed by a native language translation may lose interest in listening to the former instruction which will have negative academic consequences, as the student is exposed to foreign language discourse in a limited way.
Cashman (2005) examined social identities and code switching in bilingual talk-in- interaction. The data included conversations which took place in a senior citizens program, the participants of which were of varying backgrounds. The concept of identity was dealt with from a conversation analytic perspective. Cashman's study code switching serves functions of showing group membership and either resisting or accepting group membership ascribed by some other participant.
Cashman found that the participants talked into being social structure, social identities and linguistic identities. The social structures she found were the superiority of English and the lack of power and prestige of Spanish. Social identities were related to ethnic identity, e.g. Anglo, Chicana, or to the role a person takes in interaction, e.g. facilitator, which means a bilingual who helps monolingual English speakers to understand the Spanish remarks made by a bilingual. In the classroom, it showed different kind of identities is a relevant function, too. The teacher may move in and out of the role of the teacher.
Nawafleh (2008) also discussed the way people in Jordan communicate using different dialects especially colloquial Jordanian. People use different dialects to mark their identity that embodies their cultural, ethnic, social, economic, and religious backgrounds. He conducted a study which aimed to illuminate the way people in Jordan communicate and the phenomenon of code switching between English and Jordanian Arabic, looking at the process of communication as an identity defining patterns from which we can trace the cultural, ethnic, social, economic and even religious factors. He concluded that the phenomenon of code-switching is mutable and can lead to some serious mutations in the Arabic language, and that such changes may cause Arabic to lose its aesthetics as it has powerful meanings and expressive capacities. Momenian and Samar (2011) conducted a study on functions of code-switching among Iranian advanced and elementary teachers and students. 60 Iranian students and 30 Iranian teachers were selected to come up with the data of this study which were sought through two sets of questionnaires, one for the teachers and the other for the students. Findings revealed that female students would rather code-switch more than male students for reasons like, finding equivalents, commenting on the task, participating in group work, taking the floor and putting emphasis on the utterance. The reasons for male students were showing loyalty to their native language, adding a comic sense on their utterance, adding color to the utterance and code switching when the topic under discussion is demanding. The reason why female students resorted to Persian in order to find the equivalent was because they felt comfortable to use code switching to resume their conversations. On the other hand, the reasons why male students did not code-switch as much as female students as they found it degrading and a sign of lack of power.
Taweel and Btoosh (2011) investigated the issue of code-switching, particularly, intra- sentential switches, that is, mixing within an utterance. The sample of this study came from the responses of eight bilingual Jordanian Arabic-English students pursuing their higher education at Arizona State University. Participants were asked to do a questionnaire that focused on syntactic aspects of Arabic and English code switching. Findings showed that participants did not accept switching into another language after a grammatical morpheme. The more the morpheme is dependent on the following lexical item, the less language switching is acceptable. The study also revealed that the participant‟s general attitude towards code-switching and the period of time she/he has been exposed to language switching influence his/her evaluation and acceptance of utterances featuring code-switching.
In conclusion, the review of previous empirical literature enriched the present research with fundamental data on which the results of this study were based. Many of these studies focus was on code switching between different languages and is not necessarily restricted to English-Arabic code switching. Scrutinizing through previous studies, the researcher found out that native language is the most significant variable affecting the functional distribution of languages in the classroom among students as they code switch for educational, social, and psychological purposes like, explaining lessons, casting humor, praising, giving instructions, expressing emotions, showing solidarity and intimacy, and avoiding misunderstanding. The theoretical and experimental reviews inspired the researcher to generate well-structured and standard-based questionnaires and observation checklists. Finally, this study is distinctive from any other studies as it examines ill-formed and well-formed code-switched expressions and it builds up relationships between these kinds of expressions and the duration of exposure to the target language and thereby how this affects the linguistic aspects of code switching.
Canagarajah‟s study (1995) is the closest to the current research because the results of both researches were in alignment.
Chapter Three Method and Procedure
This chapter provides a glimpse on the methodology used in this study. It gives information about the population, the sample and the selection of participants. It also describes the validity and reliability of the instruments and finally it elucidates the steps and stages used in the study and concludes with data analysis.
3.1 Method of the Study
To answer the above questions, two ways of data collection were conducted; a students‟ questionnaire and observation checklists. The students‟ questionnaire was developed and distributed to senior students at the Modern American School. The researcher analyzed the functions of code switching by using the data collected from the students‟ questionnaires and the observation checklists and she based new findings on previous studies to generate new disciplinary study. As a result, the morphosyntactic theories were handled in this research through discussing Poplack‟s Models and Mayer-Scotton‟s Matrix Language Frame Model. This research is a qualitative study that peruses the functions of code switching used by secondary students in English classes. Consequently, the data were captured in order to achieve the objectives of the study through using students‟ questionnaire, and lesson observation checklists.
3.2 Population and Sample of the Study
The population of the current study consisted of students from different geographical backgrounds. The age of the participants ranges from 17-19 years. The participants share good knowledge of the English language at the Modern American School in four different classrooms that teach English. The sample is a purposive one as the participants were chosen on grounds of convenience and on the basis of availability. The involvement on the part of the researcher added value to this study as it clarified and disambiguated some features that could be overlooked in classrooms that were observed.
3.2.1 Selection of the Subjects
The students' sample was drawn on purpose and consisted of 71 senior students who study at the Modern American School. They were asked to respond to a questionnaire. Their English teacher distributed the questionnaire to them. The students' sample consisted of 34 female students and 37 male students, as shown in Table (1).
Students' Sample According to Gender
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In the target sample, it was noticed that 8.45% of the students are joining the ESL Program. These types of classes teach English as a second language which means that the curriculum is totally different from that of grade 12.
This sample was distinctive because it covered different nationalities as shown below in Table (2).
As shown below, the diversity of nationalities is quite obvious. Most of the students are Jordanian with a percentage of 31.34%. Yet, the Iraqi students are in the second place as they got the percentage of 20.89%. Also, the American students are in the third place with a percentage of 17.91%. Other nationalities are minorities as Palestinian and Libyan students constitute 4.47%, Emirati and Canadian students are 2.98%. Last but not least, Chinese, Lebanese, Russian, Malaysian, Brazilian, Indian, Bosnian, Saudi Arabian, New Zealander, and British students are 1.49% of the total number of 67 students. Unfortunately, four students skipped this question.
Students’ Sample According to Nationality
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Students were distributed according to their age as revealed in Table (3) below.
Students’ Sample According to Age
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According to the information tabulated above, only 7.04% of the students are 19 years old, and the rest are 17-18 years old with a percentage of 92.96%.
To verify their fluency, students‟ sample was divided according to their scores in TOEFL / IELTS as shown in Table (4).
Students’ Sample According to their English Test Scores in TOEFL / IELTS
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As shown above, 5.63% of the students scored (40-50) in TOEFL or (5.5-6) in IELTS. Moreover, 19.72% of the students scored 60-70 in TOEFL or (6.5-7) in IELTS. In contrast, 9.86% of the learners got a score of 80-90 in TOEFL or (7.5-8) in IELTS which marks their competency in the English language. The high achievers were 8.45%. On the other hand, some students haven‟t taken the test and they were 56.34%.
Also, the students were classified according to the number of years they spent at the Modern American School (MAS) as Table (5) reveals.
Number of years the students spent at the Modern American School
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It is noticeable that the highest percentage goes to the students who spent 1-5 years at the Modern American School (MAS) with a percentage of 45.71%. However, 32.86% of the students spent 6-10 years at MAS. Finally, 21.43% of the students spent over 10 years at MAS. It‟s worth mentioning that one student skipped this question in the questionnaire.
Two instruments were used in this study: an observation checklist, and students' questionnaire. Each one was followed by its validity and reliability procedures.
Rating Scale questions calculate a weighted average based on the weight assigned to each answer choice. The rating average is calculated as follows, where:
w = weight of answer choice, and x = response count for answer choice
illustration not visible in this excerpt…etc. and divided by the total number of the respondents
3.3.1 Observation Checklists
Monitoring a sample of grade 12 students in four classrooms at the Modern American School provided the researcher with an opportunity to determine the reasons for using well- formed constructions when they code switch and contrasted them with other small proportion of students who construct ill-formed utterances. Moreover, it clarified why and when students switch codes. In addition, it shed the light on the readiness of using code switching on specific occasions (See Appendix C, p.77). The observation consists of three sections; the first section tackled the potentiality of operating code switching while students were exposed to the English language through watching a movie on Animal Farm for 30 minutes. It consisted of 10 questions which were asked in Arabic to examine their skillfulness of using code witching accurately. The second observation checklist focused on why and when code switching took place. The second observation tool consisted of 12 items which were created to observe why 12th graders at MAS use code switching in the English class. In addition, the third section was utilized to cite plethora of well-formed or ill-formed utterances which were not consistent with the morphosyntactic constraints of both English and Arabic languages whether they were related or not to the subject of the lesson.
18.104.22.168 Validity of the Classroom Observation Checklists
The observation checklists were sent to a panel of experts whose participation was requested for establishing the content validity of the three observation checklists (See Appendix B, p.74). The panel commented on the content of the checklist items and the researcher modified and updated them upon their request.
22.214.171.124 Reliability of the Classroom Observation Checklists
To establish the reliability of the observation checklists, a teacher who was not part of the main sample and his four classes of grade 11 were selected to be observed. After a week, it was administrated again for the second time and the results showed stability in the answers.
3.3.2 Students’ Questionnaire
The questionnaire consisted of two sections; the first one was structured to elicit personalrelated data, check the frequency of code switching, and investigate the functions of code switching. It comprises 12 questions whereas the second section was constructed to verify subject-related data which are necessary to realize when and why secondary students codeswitch and analyze the effect of the linguistic aspects of language varieties of code switching. It is made of 10 questions. (See Appendix D, p.81).
126.96.36.199 Validity of the Questionnaire
The questionnaire was dispersed to a panel of experts, whose participation was requested for establishing content validity of the questionnaire. The panel was asked to review and check its convenience. Some changes were made in the wording of some statements and a few statements were eliminated. The final copy of the questionnaire was updated and distributed to the participants of the study.
188.8.131.52 Reliability of the Questionnaire
The questionnaire was piloted to check its reliability. Ten students who were not part of the main samples were selected to respond to the questionnaire. After one week, it was administrated again for the second time and the results showed stability in the answers.
3.4 Research Procedures
1) The research procedures began with a review of theoretical and empirical studies related to the topic of investigation for the purpose of establishing the instruments of the current study and to set the research procedures.
2) The researcher constructed the students' questionnaire and the observation checklists and checked their validity and reliability by a panel of experts.
3) The researcher obtained a letter of permission from Middle East University to facilitate the process of researching (See Appendix A, pp.73).
4) The researcher selected the sample to apply on it the instruments of the study. The instruments were applied during the first two weeks of April (1st - 15th), 2014.
5) Questions were answered by the students.
6) After the data were collected, the researcher categorized and analyzed them by tabulating the data and calculated their means and percentages.
7) The items of the observation checklists were analyzed and described.
8) Results were discussed and recommendations were suggested.
Chapter Four Results of the Study
This chapter reports the findings of the two questions raised by the study. The questions are:
1. What are the functions of code switching used by secondary students in English classes at MAS?
2. How does code switching affect the linguistic aspects of language varieties among secondary students in English classes at MAS?
The findings of the questionnaire are described, narrated and illustrated in charts. The chapter concludes with the analysis of the observations.
4.1 Results of Question One
What are the functions of code switching used by secondary students in English classes at MAS?
A sample of 71 students at the Modern American School responded to the questionnaire. Results of the first question are shown in Table (6).
Percentages and Means for the Students’ Questionnaire
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The responses of the first statement show that 8.45% of the students strongly agree, In contrast, 28.17% of the students strongly disagree. However, 16.90% of the students were not certain if the statement addresses real situations or not.
The responses of the second statement show that 18.31% of the students agree while 28.17% of the students disagree with the statement. Yet, 22.54% of the students were uncertain.
The responses of the third statements reveal that 28.57% agree but 21.43% disagree with the statement.
The responses of the fourth statement uncover the fact that 37.14% of the students agree that students code switch because it‟s hard to proper English equivalent, whereas, only 10% of the students disagree with the statement.
The responses of the fifth statement display that 43.66% of the students agree with the notion that code switching is used to avoid misunderstanding. In contrast, 12.68% of the students strongly disagree with this idea.
The responses of the sixth statement show that 20.59% of the students agree that code switching is used to mark rank while 29.41% of the students disagree with the statement. Yet, 19.12% of the students were uncertain if the statement is true or not.
Referring to the seventh statement, the tabulated information shows that 32.39% of the students are alleviated when using two languages simultaneously. Yet, 9.86% of the students strongly disagree with the idea that students feel placated if they use English and Arabic at the same time.
The responses of the eighth statement show that 30.99% were uncertain if students violate the syntactic rules of both English and Arabic. On the other hand, 33.80% of the students refute the notion of third grammar of code switching.
Referring to the ninth statement, the tabulated information shows that 38.39% of the students are not sure if they pay attention to the grammar used when the switch codes. Yet, 22.86% of the students agree with the idea that students don‟t pay attention to the grammar used when they use code switching.
The responses to the last statement show that 43.66% of the respondents agree with the idea that code switching is a haphazard process and it occurs spontaneously while 11.27% of the students disagree with this idea. Again, 19.72% of the students are not sure if this statement is true or not.
Summary of results in Table (6) shows that statement four ranks first in terms of its mean which is (3.62) while statement eight ranks last; its mean is (2.42).
The figure (1) below describes the languages which students use to communicate with their peers.
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Figure (1): The languages Which Students Use to Communicate with Their Peers at MAS
In accordance with the figure above, 12.68% of the students use English with their peers while 14.08% of the students use Arabic to address each other. Yet, the highest rate goes to the students who use both English and Arabic to communicate with each other with a percentage of 73.24%.
On the other hand, figure (2) below shows that 50.70% of the students use English with their English teachers while 43.66% use both English and Arabic to address their English teacher. Furthermore, the lowest range goes to the students who use Arabic with their English teacher with a percentage of 5.63%.
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Figure (2): The Languages Which Students Use to Communicate with Their English Teacher at MAS
To sum up, the results reveal that students use both English and Arabic with their classmates as means of communication as it ranks first with a percentage of 73.24%, but they use English less frequently to communicate with their counterparts as it ranks last with the percentage of 12.68%.
On the contrary, students use English most commonly with their English teacher with a percentage of 50.70%. In contrast, students rarely use Arabic with their English teacher in the classroom with a percentage of 5.63%.
The researcher has taken the frequency of using code switching in to her account to see how often code switching is used in the classroom as shown in Table (7) below
Percentages and Means of the Frequency of Code Switching at School with Other Students and Their English Teacher
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As shown in table (7) above, 19.72% of the students always switch codes with other students whereas 28.17% of the students often use code switching with their peers. However, 33.80% of the students sometimes resort to code switching while conversing with other students. In contrast, only 5.63% of the students switch codes to interact with other students; in other words, English is the dominant language when these students interact with each other.
On the other hand, only 2.86% of the students always use code switching to interact with their English teacher whereas 21.43% of the students never use code switching with their English teacher. However, 14.29% of the students often use code switching with their English teacher. Yet, 34.29% of the students occasionally switch codes to interact with their English teacher.
In conclusion, the results in Table (7) show that statement one ranks first in terms of its mean which is (3.44) while statement two ranks last; its mean is (2.43).
Figure (3) reveals the topics on which students used code switching.
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Figure (3): The Topics on Which Students Code Switch
This figure shows that 25% of the students use code switching to talk about politics, but 42.19% of the students use code switching to discuss religious issues. On the other hand, 65.63% of the students switch codes to talk about personal issues. Yet, 43.75% of the students use code switching to argue social matters. Furthermore, 23.44 of the learners switch codes to discuss educational issues in their discourses. Finally, 42.19% of the students resort to code switching as a lubricant factor to facilitate discussing issues that are relevant to emotions.
The bottom line is that students use code switching mainly to discuss personal issues which rank first with a percentage of 65.63% and social issues as they rank second with a percentage of 43.75%. On the other hand, politics and educational issues are marginalized with a percentage of 25% and 23.44% respectively.
According to figure (4), there are different functions of code switching that characterize why and when twelfth graders use code switching at MAS.
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Figure (4): The Functions of Code Switching According to the Students
Students use code switching in the classroom basically to accomplish different tasks and to serve specific goals. Furthermore, code switching is used to better communicate with other students or their English teacher and to avoid fluctuating and acting hesitantly. However, the functions in the figure are organized according to a climatic order that shows the degree of importance.
In accordance to the above figure, the first and sixth items are equal in percentage which is 40%. Hence, 40% of the students use code switching to express personal emotions and they find it easier for them to use their own language in conversations. Nevertheless, 13.85% of the students use code switching to have some privacy with their interlocutors. In contrast, 15.38% of the students switch codes to show intimacy while 38.46% of them use code switching to avoid possible misunderstanding. 33.85% of the students use code switching to reiterate discourses or messages in order to add emphasis.
Also, code switching is used to fill in the stopgaps as 30.77% of the learners switch codes to serve this purpose. However, 29.23% of the students use code switching as they do not know the English words that can substitute for some Arabic words. This leads to the fact that some students lack the competency of the English language. Yet, 38.46%% of the learners switch from English to Arabic due to the fact that some words cannot be rendered because they are culturally loaded which means that there are no similar words in the English language.
In conclusion, the functions need to be re-prioritized in accordance with the recent results shown in figure (4). In other words, the new framework of the functions of code switching according to the twelfth graders at MAS is as follows:
First, code switching is mainly used to express emotions and to make students feel more comfortable as it‟s easier for them to use their own language. Second, code switching is also used to avoid misunderstanding and to overcome the glitches that there are no similar English equivalents. Third, code switching is used to fill in stopgaps which hinder the conversation between interlocutors. Fourth, students switch codes in order to emphasize a certain message because they didn‟t understand the message in English from the first place or because he/she is willing to illuminate that this message is of significance. Fifth, due to the fact that some learners are not fluent in English, they resort to code switching as they do not know the English words for specific words in Arabic. Sixth, students use code switching to convey some kind of intimacy among speakers. Finally, code switching is deployed to have some privacy when conversing with other interlocutors. According to the results, code switching takes place spontaneously without thinking.
In the classroom, students use code switching to communicate with their classmates more than they employ it to interact with their English teacher.
4.2 Results of Question Two
How does code switching affect the linguistic aspects of language varieties among secondary students in English classes at MAS?
The researcher observed four English classes during a week at the Modern American School to detect ill-formed and well-formed constructions for 55 minutes each lesson. Students were presenting their final projects on The Canterbury Tales and the researcher tabulated information in Table (8) and (9):
Examples of Ill-Formed Expressions
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Examples of Well-Formed Expressions
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As noted above, some students restricted themselves with the morphosyntactic constraints of both languages as they were totally aware of these restrains because they are fluent and showed an excellent command of English, and therefore established well-formed constructions due to the fact they merge or map languages onto each other when the underlying grammar structure fits both languages. In contrast, other students were totally ignorant of the syntactic rules that govern the two languages as they lacked the competency in the English language. In this respect, students committed syntactic mistakes as they disregarded spontaneously the grammatical rules of each code. They did not use code switching when the underlying structure of English and Arabic match each other. To illustrate the abovementioned manifestations, Table (8) shows well-formed utterances that do not violate the morphosyntactic rules of both English and Arabic. Five male students and three female students uttered well-formed expressions and it is worth mentioning that five students spent 1-5 years at this school, two students spent 6-10 years at MAS, and one spent more than 10 years at school.
Whereas Table (9) considers ill-formed expressions in the sense that they did not apply any morphosyntactic rules which govern both English and Arabic. In this respect, this situation resulted in a morphosyntactic deviation and abnormality in both languages. Three male students and one female student constructed five ill-formed expressions and it is worth mentioning that all of them spent 1-5 years at MAS.
On the whole, ill-formed expressions show that speakers are not fluent or proficient in the English language. On the other hand, students who make well-formed utterances reveal their virtuosity when they switch codes for different purposes whether it‟s done deliberately or not. Also, numbers show that female students use code switching properly compared to the number of the male students. Also, the number of years students spent at MAS affects their fluency and proficiency as shown above; in other words, the more years one spends at the Modern American School, the fluent and proficient he/she will be in the English language. Finally, sixty students did not use code switching when they presented their projects as they are very fluent and competent in English.
In conclusion, there is a strong relationship between the number of years spent at MAS, which indicates the time of exposure to the target language, and the effectiveness of using the syntactic rules of both languages without violating any morphosyntactic constraints when code switching takes place. In other words, students become more aware of using code switching properly regarding the linguistic aspects if he/she is exposed to English longer time than any other students in grade 12. Also, the female students used code switching less frequently than the male students. Consequently, the female students avoid code switching as much as possible compared to the male students to show their fluency in English as code switching marks lack of mastery in the English language in their opinion, so they withstand any problems that float without resorting to code switching.
4.3 Analysis of the Classroom Observations
The second observation tool are checklists designed to record the functionality and effectiveness of code switching in the classroom. The researcher observed four different English classes for grade twelve in a week. All of which dealt with grammar. The observation took 55 minutes.
In the first lesson, students‟ capacity of the language varies; as a result, they were exposed to different instructions to meet all individuals‟ needs. The teacher used English all the time, but two students were constantly switching from English to Arabic in the following cases:
1. To ask questions.
2. To ask the teacher about non-related matters.
3. To discuss non-lesson related matters with a student or the teacher.
4. To develop their communication skills competence.
5. To enhance interaction in class.
6. To talk about their own problems.
However, eight students didn‟t use code switching at all; instead they used English to communicate with their English teacher.
In the second class, the researcher witnessed different individual abilities and again the teacher used different instructions to address all needs available in the classroom.
Seven students used code switching often for communicative purposes and they were as follows:
1. To ask the teacher about non-lesson related matters.
2. To discuss non-lesson related matters with a student or the teacher.
3. To discuss classroom events.
On the other hand, ten students were rather alleviated as they did not use code switching at any point even when they discussed an event that is not related to the subject matter.
In the third lesson, it was evident that this class includes students who do not have the proficiency in English because they were unable to communicate in the English language properly. Six of them participated in the ESL program (i.e. Teaching English as a Second Language). As they do not have the potentiality to speak English appropriately, they avoided code switching by using translation largely.
Furthermore, five students used code switching to serve the following purposes:
1. Using Arabic expressions as a substitute for an English word or sentence
2. To ask the teacher questions about non-lesson.
3. To ask the teacher questions about lesson related matter.
4. To develop their communication skills competence.
5. To enhance interaction in class.
6. To explain the meaning of difficult reading passages as grammar is taught inductively.
Finally, it was observed that all of the students are high achievers and are characterized with multiple nationalities across the globe. Hence code switching was not evident as the respondents have an excellent command of English.
The last observation tool was based on watching a movie about Animal Farm for thirty minutes, simultaneously the researcher asked questions in Arabic which were related and not related to the movie in 3 minutes intervals and the students wrote their responses on a blank paper by marking yes, no, or I don‟t understand. This observation was examined to detect the virtuosity of the students in terms of operating code switching effectively and accurately (i.e. observables).
The results showed that all students in the four classes were perplexed and showed confusion when it comes to the first question as they did not accept that the topic of the question did not tie in the topic of the movie.
However, Table (10) below shows the results regarding this observation tool.
The Percentages of the Movie Observation Checklist
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Basically, the researcher concentrated on the students who did not understand the questions as it indicated that they cannot operate code switching properly for different reasons.
As a result, 1.75% of the students did not respond to the first question, whereas the number augmented regarding the second and third questions with percentages of 3.51% and 8.77%.
However, in the fourth question, the percentage inflated again with a percentage of 5.26%. In contrast, the percentage dropped down in the fifth question with a percentage of 1.82%. As shown in table (10), the number of the students who did not understand the question increased with a percentage of 3.51%. The percentages fluctuated in the sixth, seventh and eighth questions between 1.75% and 3.51%. The ninth question recoded the highest percentage of 17.54% as the last two questions were related to the subject matter but asked in Arabic. This situation caused confusion and distraction so that students did not comprehend or grasp the last two questions duly. 5.26% of the students did not understand the last question. It‟s notable that 47.37% of the students answered the ninth question incorrectly due to the fact that they did not grasp the question as it was asked in a different language from the movie. Also, 28.07% of the students were mistaken when it came to the tenth questions. In contrast, 35.09% of the respondents answered the ninth question correctly and 66.67% of the students also answered the tenth question correctly.
Chapter Five Discussion and Recommendations
This chapter consists of a summary and a discussion of the findings of the two research questions. It also premises the new findings on previously conducted studies and theories that were reviewed. The chapter concludes with recommendations and suggestions for future research.
5.1 Discussion of the Findings of Question One
What are the functions of code switching used by secondary students in English classes at the Modern American School (MAS)?
The results displayed in the previous chapter showed that students have different social, linguistic, and psychological motives for using code switching as shown in Table (6), p.44. Based on high percentages, items 7, 4, 10, 5 show that students agree with the concept that it is comfortable to use two languages within the same discourses with a percentage of 32.39%. 37.14% found that it‟s hard for them to find proper English equivalents especially those which hold connotative or metaphorical meanings. In addition, 43.66% of students believe that code switching is performed unconsciously or in an arbitrary way and 43.66% use code switching to avoid misunderstanding. These statements align with Hussein (1999), Trudgill (2000), Polio and Duff (1994), Simon (2001), Cook (2002), and Sert (2005).
Based on percentages, item 9 shows that 38.57% students are not certain if learners are aware of the grammar used in code switching which is an indication that code switching occurs spontaneously and naturally in some cases. Based on low percentages, items 3, 2, 6, 1, 8 show that 21.43% disagree that students code switch to add sense of humor to their utterances. This is antithetical to Hymes‟s functions (1962). Also, 28.17% of the students are strongly against the idea that code switching is used to express identity. This concept does not tie in Nawafleh‟s findings (2008), Polio and Duff‟s study (1994) and Mayer-Scotton Markedness Model (1983). It confirms the Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT) by Giles, Coupland, N., and Coupland, J. (1991) and Cook‟s metalinguistic framework (2002). 29.41% of the students strongly refuted that code switching is used to mark high education or to compensate the deficiency in English. Basically, that does not comply with Bader‟s study (1980), and Eldridge (1996). 33.80% strongly disagree with the idea that code switching may violate morphosyntactic rules. This item is in line with Timm‟s five constraints (1975), Poplack‟s constraints (1980), and Mayer-Scotton‟s Matrix Language Frame Model (1993).
The results of figures (1) and (2), pp. (47-48) show that students use English, Arabic or both to communicate with their classmates or their English teacher. According to the highest percentage, figure (1), p.47 reveals that 73.24% of the students use code switching to communicate with their peers. The lowest percentage in figure (1), p.47 shows that 12.68% use only English to interact with their peers.
In contrast, figure (2), p. 48 shows that 50.70% of the students, which is the highest percentage, use mainly English to interact with their English teacher and the lowest percentage, which is 5.63%, indicates that Arabic is seldom used as means of communication between the students and their English teacher. However, 43.66% of the students use code switching to interact with their English teacher. In conclusion, the results show that students switch codes to specify their addressees because they speak as they are spoken to (addressee specification).
These results tie in Butzkama‟s study (1998), Canagarajah‟s study (1995), Gumperz‟s functions (1992), and Zentella‟s study (1996).
According to figure (3), p. 50, the highest percentage, which is 65.63%, indicates that students mainly use code switching to discuss personal issues. Based on the lowest percentage, which is 23.44%, students occasionally use code switching to discuss educational or pedagogical issues.
These results contradict the New Concurrent Approach, described by Jacobson (1981), which advocates using code switching to serve pedagogical issues. Yet, they are consistent with Sert‟s theory (2005) which assumes that code switching is utilized to express personal intentions. Furthermore, the results align with Canagarajah‟s study (1995) which conveys that English is used to discuss matters that are related to textbooks or the lesson while Tamil is used to express personal intentions. Also, these results comply with Gumperz‟s functions (1992) as one of the functions states that code switching is associated with expressing subjective opinions.
However, figure (4), p. 51 shows that 40% is the highest percentage and thereby determines that students use code switching to express personal emotions and that students find it easier to use their own language. On the other hand, 13.85% of the students, which is the lowest percentage, believe that students switch codes to have privacy.
These results tie in Skiba‟s theory (1997) which proposes that code switching is used as a supporting element in situations where they feel incapable of expressing themselves using a forign language, Brown (2006), Simon (2001), and Hymes (1962).
Finally, Table (7), p.49 shows that 33.80%, which is the highest percentage, sometimes use code switching with other students while 34.29% of the 12 graders, which is considered the peak of percentages, occasionally use code switching with their English teacher in the classroom. Based on the lowest percentages in both items, 5.63% never use code switching with their classmates while 2.86% always use code switching with their English teacher in the classroom.
The above results indicate that students use code switching more frequently with their peers than using it with their English teacher at school.
The above statement ties in Adendorff‟s study (1996) which claim that English, the target language, is used for official situations, like addressing teachers and Zulu, the native language, is used to express solidarity and in-group membership.
5.2 Discussion of the Findings of Question Two
How does code switching affect the linguistic aspects of language varieties among secondary students in English classes at the Modern American School (MAS)?
Tables (8) and (9), pp. (53-54) show that the years spent at the Modern American School play an important role in determining the level of fluency in English and the degree of virtuosity to using code switching in English classes. The analysis shows that 84.50% did not use code switching to present their projects; in fact, they used only English to convey their messages and they spent more than 10 years at MAS. Yet, 5.63% constructed ill-formed constructions as they lack knowledge in the structure and the morphosyntactic rules of the English language, due to the fact that they spent 1-5 years at MAS which was not enough for them to master the English language as those who spent longer time at that school. Constructing well-formed expressions requires fluency in both languages, English and Arabic. The latter evident proved its credibility because 11.26% used well-formed expressions that did not violate the syntactic rules of both languages due to the fact that they have been exposed to the language longer time than those who constructed ill-formed expressions. 2.81% spent 6-10 years at MAS and 1.40 % spent more than ten years at MAS.
The above manifestations prove that students must be exposed to the English language for long periods of time in order to become compound bilinguals and master the English language, which facilitate using well-formed expressions of code switching that abide morphosyntactic rules of both languages.
The results of this study correspond to Eldridge‟s hypothesis (1996) which assumes that code exposure to the target language may optimize the learning process of this language. Also, Poplack‟s constraints (1980) and Timm‟s constraints (1975) tie in the results of this study, and they are considered as the infrastructure of the findings of this research. Also, students used unconsciously the principles of Mayer‟s Scotton‟s (1993) to produce well-formed expressions of code switching.
Data obtained indicated that students use code switching because it is easier to use their own language, and they feel more comfortable when they use two languages within the same discourse, therefore they use code switching to avoid misunderstanding, express emotions, fill in stopgaps, and discuss personal issues. Despite the fact that they study at an international school, they code switch as it is hard to find proper equivalents when it comes to culturally loaded terms. Also, students code switch in order to avoid misunderstanding. Students believe that code switching is used haphazardly and unconsciously without paying attention to the syntactic rules that govern each language. Basically, the production of well-formed utterances of code switching requires fluency and mastery in both languages. Consequently, the main factor to attain fluency is to be exposed to the target language, which is English, for a long period of time.
The results elucidated that students use code switching to express personal opinions, express emotions, and discuss religious aspects.
This study disproves the fact that code switching is used to express in-group membership; in fact, it is used to specify and mark addressee‟s status.
5.4 Recommendations and Suggestions for Future Research
On the bases of the results of this study, the researcher proposes a number of points to be taken into consideration by other researchers:
The study may be expanded to cover different regions in Jordan. The sample may include the different occupations and ages for the purpose of differentiating various speech communities (i.e. a group of people sharing a common language or dialect), For pedagogical purposes, the sample can be expanded to include parents and teachers along with students to study all the domains that can affect students‟ learning environments and their linguistic behaviors, and to address the students‟ needs and their different linguistic abilities.
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Middle East University Permission Letter
Dear Mr. Tayser Al Zamel, the founder of the Modern American School, I am writing to ask your permission to conduct research at your school for a study entitled “The Functions of Code Switching Used by Secondary Students in English Classes.”
This research is being conducted by Shereen Abu Hait from the Middle East University as part of the fulfillment of the Master of Arts in English Language and Literature.
The study has been approved by the Middle East University Committee and, as part of that approval process; I am required to obtain permission to distribute a questionnaire to senior students. The aim of this study is to investigate the functions of code switching and the impact of code switching on the linguistic aspects of language varieties.
If you are willing to be involved would you please sign the form below that acknowledges that you have read the explanatory statement, you understand the nature of the study being conducted, and you give permission for the research to be conducted.
Shereen Abu Hait
An MA graduate student at the Middle East University
Panel of specialists and Validation letters
1. Professor Bader Dweik - Middle East University - Linguistics
2. Professor Riyad Hussein - University of Jordan - Linguistics
3. Professor Yousef Tawfiq - Middle East University - Literature
4. Professor Saleh Frehat - Al Israa University - Methodology\Education.
5. Professor Issam Kayyed - Al Israa University - Linguistics
My name is Shereen Abu Hait and I am an MA student at the Middle East University. For the purpose of fulfilling my master‟s degree requirements, I am conducting a study on “The Functions of Code Switching Used by Secondary Students in English Classes”, supervised by Professor Fatima Jaffar. The data collected will be used to identify the functions of code switching and the impact of code switching on the linguistic aspects of Arabic and English.
As you are specialized and expert, you are cordially asked for your assistance in checking the suitability of my instruments by commenting on the attached questionnaire and observation forms in the way you find beneficial to meet the goals of my study and if they measure what they are supposed to measure.
The observation consists of three sections; the first section tackles the potentiality of operating code switching while students are exposed to the English language through watching a movie on Animal Farm. In addition, the second part will be utilized to cite plethora of Arabic expressions used in English classes whether they are related or not to the subject of the lesson and whether they are governed by the language constraints of English and Arabic or not in order to analyze morphosyntactic constraints of code switching. The third observation tool will be used to record factors for using code switching in English classes performed by the students. The questionnaire consists of two sections; the first one is structured to elicit personal-related data, check the frequency of code switching, and investigate the functions of code switching whereas the second section is constructed to verify subject-related data which are necessary to realize when and why secondary students code-switch and analyze the effect of the linguistic aspects of language varieties of code switching.
Thank you for taking the time to validate the instruments of my study in my educational endeavor. Your cooperation is highly appreciated.
Shereen Abu Hait
Classroom Observation Checklist
The observation is based on a situation where secondary students will be watching a movie on
Animal Farm by George Orwell for (30) minutes during their English classes and simultaneously will be responding to questions irrelevant to the movie displayed in class. Furthermore, questions will be asked at intervals. While asking Yes/No questions in Arabic, students write their responses on a separate sheet. This experiment enables the researcher to distinguish the differentiation of code switching potentiality among students.
This observation is to peruse whether code switching takes place spontaneously or not and consequently add value to the current study.
The following questions will be asked while the movie is being displayed in class:
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While observing, the researcher takes down notes to cite examples of well-formed or illformed utterances which are not consistent with the morphosyntactic constraints of both English and Arabic languages
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Students’ Questionnaire Section One:
Please fill in the blanks or circle the right answer:
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Please tick the option next to the statement which reflects your point of view
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1 Metalinguistics is the branch of linguistics that studies language and its relationship to other cultural behaviors. It is the study of dialogue relationships between units of speech communication as manifestations and enactments of co-existence. (Cook, 2002)
- Quote paper
- Shereen Abu Hait (Author), 2014, The Functions of Code Switching Used by Secondary Students in English Classes, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/316522