An investigation into the role of codeswitching in classroom interaction in Transkei junior secondary schools.
Gila, Bruella N.
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This study investigates the role of codeswitching in classroom interactions involving teachers and pupils in Transkei Junior Secondary schools. Codeswitching practices, the alternate use by teachers in these schools of two languages within the same speech event, bear most of the characteristics of bilingual communication. These characteristics include the use of lexical items, phrases and grammatical structure of one language in an utterance that is predominantly in another language. Data gathered from the schools shows that codeswitching is used to perform both academic and social functions in the classroom. As an academic tool, codeswitching functions to clarify, emphasize and to repeat the main points of the lesson, while its social function is to create interpersonal relationships in the classroom. Also, it is used by the teachers to symbolize power relations between them and their pupils. The analysis also reveals that codeswitching phenomena occur in the following forms: intersententially and intrasententially. Intersentential codeswitching occurs most frequently in the utterances of the teachers. Attitudes towards codeswitching as a classroom practice are also discussed in this thesis. Finally, the implications of classroom codeswitching for educators and teaching are also examined. This study suggests that codeswitching is the inevitable outgrowth of two languages coming into contact.