THE INFLUENCE OF CODE-SWITCHING AND CODE-MIXING ON LEARNING ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS


THE INFLUENCE OF CODE-SWITCHING AND CODE-MIXING ON LEARNING ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS  

ABSTRACT

This study investigated on the influence of using Code-Switching and Code-Mixing on learning English language in secondary schools in Rombo district, Tanzania. Specifically it strived to find out other causes of Code-Switching and Code-Mixing on learning English language, determine how Code-Switching and Code-Mixing contribute toward student’s success or failure in learning English language in class and examine other ways which can be used to avoid Code-Switching and Code- Mixing on learning English language in the classroom. The theoretical framework used include: theory of language acquisition like the imitation theory, Inter-language theory, and theory of active construction of grammar and Reinforcement. It also explored: theories of Code-Switching and Mixing like situational and metaphorical Switching and Nakedness. The study mainly used qualitative approach in data collection, analysis and presentation. Content analysis was used for data analysis and presentation. The findings indicate that Code-Switching and Code-Mixing influence student’s failure to learn English language, creates lack of confidence in speaking, limit students practice in speaking English language, retarded the ability of students to master English language and fail to understand and master English language. In addition, the study revealed that, teachers are the main source for Code-Switching and Code-Mixing and that more efforts be placed on training English teachers to improve their pedagogy skills.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

CERTIFICATION ii

COPYRIGHT iii

DECLARATION iv

DEDICATION v

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT vi

ABSTRACT vii

LIST OF ABBREVIATION xii

CHAPTER ONE 1

INTRODUCTION1

Background of a Research Problem1

Statement of the Problem4

Objectives of the Study5

Main Objectives5

Specific Objectives5

Research Questions6

Purpose of the Study6

Limitation of the Study6

Delimitation of the Study7

Organisation of the Thesis7

Chapter Summary8

CHAPTER TWO 10

LITERATURE REVIEW10

Introduction10

English Language in Tanzania10

English Language Subject and Education in Tanzania12

People’s Perception toward English Language13

Importance of Teaching and Learning English Language15

Challenges Faced in Teaching English Language Subject17

Code-Switching and Code-Mixing on Education and English Learners Perspective21

Reasons Why Teachers and Students Tend to Code-Mixing and Code- Switching During Teaching English Language23

Influence of Code-Switching and Code-Mixing on Learning English Language24

Theoretical Framework of the Study26

Theory of Language Acquisition27

Stage of Inter-language Development29

Theories of Code-Switching and Code-Mixing30

Empirical Studies33

Chapter Summary36

CHAPTER THREE 38

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY38

Introductions38

Research Design.38

Area of the Study38

Research Strategies40

Data Collection Tools40

Interviews40

Class Observation42

Sample and Sampling Techniques43

Selection of the Schools43

Selection of the Classes44

Selection of the Students44

Selection of the Teachers44

Validity and Reliability45

Data Analysis Procedures45

Ethical Considerations46

Chapter Summary47

CHAPTER FOUR 48

DATA ANALYSIS, PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION48

Introduction48

Reasons for Code-switching and Code-mixing on Learning English

Language 48

Language Used in Teaching English Language49

Teachers Participation on Code-switching and Code-mixing51

Students Participation on Code-switching and Code-mixing53

Reasons for Code-switching and Code-mixing56

Influence of Code-switching and Code-mixing on Students Success or

Failure in Learning English Language 60

Students and Teachers’ Perception toward the Situation of Code-switching and Code-mixing60

Association of Code-switching and Code-mixing on Learning English Language64

Students Views on Association of Code-switching and Code-mixing on Learning English Language66

Teachers’ View on Association of Code-switching and Code-mixing on Learning English Language69

Ways to Avoid Code-Switching and Code-Mixing in the Learning English Language71

Class Observation Issue72

Students’ Views on Ways to Avoid Code-Switching and Code-Mixing73

Teachers’ Views on Ways to Avoid Code-Switching and Code-Mixing75

CHAPTER FIVE 79

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS79

Introductions79

Summaries of the Major Findings79

Conclusions80

Recommendation82

Recommendation for Further Studies.82

REFERENCE 84

APPENDICES 95

LIST OF ABBREVIATION

CM Code Mixing

CS Code Switching

CS-CM Code-Switching and Code-Mixing

EL English Language

EMP English Medium Primary

EMS English Medium schools

L2 Language Two or Second Language

MOI Medium of Instruction

NGO Non-Government Organization

S/he He/ She

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Background of a Research Problem

In Tanzania, the English language is used in formal situations particularly where foreigners, who cannot understand the national language are involved. It is taught as a compulsory subject in primary education where as at the post primary education is the medium of instruction (United Republic of Tanzania website). Criper and Dodd (1984) carried a study that investigated the English proficiency level of Tanzania students. Their findings showed that the level of English proficiency among students has dropped down so drastically. Allen (2008) notes that, if one talk to Tanzanians over the age of 50 years the chances are that, they will speak and write English very well and their accent and pronunciation will be good, but today if one speak to people below the age of 50 years there is a noticeable degradation of the English language ability commensurate with their younger age.

Rugemalira et al (1990) go further by commenting on class teaching of English language that, 75 percent at the early stages of secondary education is done by using Kiswahili (Rugemalira et al, 1990). Students and teachers employ Code-Switching and Code-Mixing(Hereafter CS-CM), the practice of alternating between the languages to easy communication.

Code-Switching and Code-mixing is one of the issues existing in the classroom when teachers/students teach/ learn English language (EL) in secondary schools. CS-CM is

practiced mostly among the teachers and students in classrooms when teachers teach students EL. Qorro (2002) in her work asserted that, both Kiswahili and English language were used as the languages of classroom instruction. She noted that both teachers and students engaged on CS-CM on a significant scale. For example, (during the English lesson the teacher can say “today’s topic is English pronunciation” then switches to Kiswahili “tunaenda kusoma matamshi katika lugha ya kiingereza”). The same situation applies until the end of the lesson and the same applies to students when asking questions, which implies that CS-CM is highly used by the teacher and students in schools during learning English Language teaching.

Bakar (2006) points out that, CS-CM can be used to emphasize a particular point, to substitute a word in place of an unknown word in the target language, to reinforce a request, to clarify a point, to identify identity and friendship, to ease tension and inject humour into a conversation. This situation has been observed in many African countries in which most learners speak a language other than English language. In Kenya Merrit et al (1992) show that, CS-CM between English and mother tongue in three Kenyan schools occurred when the teacher wanted to reformulate information, bring in new content and attract students’ attention.

Malekela (2004) conducted a study in Tanzania; One of the aspects assessed was the use of CS-CM. The findings revealed that CS-CM was observed in schools at different levels of education, among teachers and students from English to Kiswahili (the mother tongue of some Tanzanians). It implies that, CS-CM is not an issue at secondary level; it is also practiced at university levels, as long as lecturers and students are Tanzanians. Some teachers are aware of CS-CM in the classroom and it

happens during different teaching EL sessions (Rubagumya, 1998). According to Malekela: experienced and realistic teachers often switch from English to Kiswahili language when they realize that their students are not getting the message being conveyed in English, and this happens despite the directive that teachers should use English only when teaching EL that requires the use of English medium (Malekela, 2004).

However, Brock-Utne (2007), reports on her classroom observation conducted in Tanzania schools, clearly illustrates how students and teachers CS-CM between English language and Kiswahili language. As the teacher could ask a question in English language but students remain silent until he switched to Kiswahili language, that is, when they responded to the question. She warns that, through this situation of assisting students during lessons; ultimately retarded the pace of learning and teaching EL and prevented teachers from assisting students to extend their linguistic repertoires in English language. Also having taught through CS-CM, it becomes a problem because examinations are being written in English language.

Roy-Campbell (2001) added that, young students in schools lost their enthusiasm for learning and practicing fluency in English language in classroom through CS-CM between English and Kiswahili language. The language academicians seem to believe that, the government has failed to maintain English language as the medium of instruction during English lessons (Mazrui, 1997). Also Rwakatare cited by Mazrui (1997) during the debate on the Tanzanians budget allocation complained that, we should not raise our students to learn half English and half Kiswahili, the

situation existed through CS-CM between English and Kiswahili language during learning EL in classrooms.

Many prior researches have focused on how the English language as the medium of instruction affects academic performance. The includes: Does the medium of instruction really matter? (Roy-Compbell, 1997), Does the language of instruction affects quality of education?(Qorro, 2002). Theoretical and practical challenges in Tanzania English primary schools (Rugemalira, 2005), Mwinsheikhe (2008) conducted an in-depth study of the importance of proficiency in the medium of instruction on the part of teachers. Students perceive the level of English proficiency (Makewa et al, 2013), How education stakeholders in Tanzania express their perception and concerns regarding the use of English or Kiswahili language (Telli,2014).

However none of the available studies in Tanzania so far has studied the influence of CS-CM on learning English language subject based on secondary schools. This study therefore, strives to fill this gap and look at the influence of CS-CM on students in secondary schools in Tanzania, the focus being on Rombo District secondary schools.

Statement of the Problem

The influence of CS-CM on learning EL in secondary schools in Tanzania, specifically in Rombo District, is a crucial study because little has been documented so far. Studies carried out in Tanzania show that, inadequacies in learning EL were

unable to rectify the problem by the time students reach university (Mwapachu cited by Rabin, 2011) CS-CM on secondary students in Tanzania has also been documented as one of the most common reasons for students learning poor and ungrammatical English language which results to produce teachers who teach students ungrammatical English language in secondary schools (Qorro, 2002). If the issue of CS-CM will not be studied seriously, it deserves attentions so that secondary school students can advance linguistically. However little has been done as CS-CM still exists; this instigated the researcher to undertake this study particularly to understand how CS-CM between English and Kiswahili language affects the learning of EL in secondary schools in Tanzania, using Rombo District as a case study.

Objectives of the Study

Main Objectives

To determine the influence of Code-Switching and Code-Mixing between English and Kiswahili language in learning of English language subject for secondary schools in Rombo District.

Specific Objectives

The specific objectives of the study are:

i) To find out the reasons for Code-Switching and Code-Mixing in the learning English language in secondary schools in Rombo District.

ii) To determine how Code-Switching and Code-Mixing contribute toward students’ success or failure on learning English language.

iii) To examine ways can be used to avoid Code-Switching and Code-Mixing in learning English language.

Research Questions

Based on the specific objectives and the study’s overall objectives, the following research questions guided the study:

i) Why do teachers and students engage into Code-Switching and Code-mixing during the English language lessons?

ii) In what way does Code-Switching and Code-Mixing contribute students’ success or failure on learning English language in secondary schools?

iii) What ways could be used to avoid Code-Switching and Code-Mixing during the learning of English language?

Purpose of the Study.

By focusing on the teacher- students interaction that takes place in teaching and learning English language, this study will contribute information to the present literature on the influence of Code-Switching and Code-Mixing in the learning of English language in secondary schools. Furthermore, the study will contribute to ways which can be used to teach English language with ought code-switching and code-mixing in secondary schools in Tanzania using Rombo District as a case study.

Limitation of the Study

This study has been limited to three secondary schools due to time limit. Also at school B (the name, given by the researcher) the academic master was reluctant to

allow him to conduct class observations because he perceived this to be an assessment. Therefore it took the researcher some time to explain on the purpose of the study and the way observations were to be conducted, after that he permitted the researcher to proceed with the study.

Delimitation of the Study

This study investigated on the influence of Code-Switching and Code-Mixing of learning English language in secondary schools, mostly in three secondary schools located in Rombo District of Kilimanjaro Region. Six English teachers from three secondary schools, six students for each school participated on the study. In all a total of 24 individuals from three secondary schools participated for interviews in this study. Also six class observations were conducted during teaching the English language, in each school 2 class observations took place.

Organisation of the Thesis

This study is organised into five chapters. Chapter one presents the introduction which describes the background of the problem, statement of the problem and purpose of the study. The chapter also outlines the main objective and specific objectives of the study and the research questions. And then delineates the limitations that were experienced during this study. Lastly is delimitation, organization of the study and summary of the chapter one.

Chapter two discusses the literature review where by English language in Tanzania, English subject and education in Tanzania, people’s perception towards the English

language and importance of teaching and learning English language. Challenges faced oi teaching the English language, code-switching and code-mixing in education and English learners’ perspective also are discussed. The chapter addresses the issues of why teachers and students tend to code-switch and code-mix during teaching and learning the English language. Furthermore, this chapter addresses the theoretical framework of the study. Theory of language acquisition and theory of code- switching and code-mixing are also discussed. Finally there are related studies and summary of chapter two.

Chapter three is concerned with the research methodology of the study. The chapter describes the research design, area of the study and research strategies used in this study. The data collection techniques, sample and sampling techniques used in this study, data analysis procedure and ethical considerations were addressed.

Chapter four is concerned presentation, discussion and interpretation of the findings; this was done in view of the specific research objectives guiding the study.

Lastly, chapter five presents summary of the findings and recommendations for further studies.

Chapter Summary

This chapter has given a brief presentation of the background of a study and statement of the problem. The chapter further presents objective of the study where main objective and specific objectives were outlined. It also examined the purpose of

conducting the study, limitation of the study, delimitation and lastly is the organization of the thesis, as this study is organized into five chapters.

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THE INFLUENCE OF CODE-SWITCHING AND CODE-MIXING ON LEARNING ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN SECONDARY SCHOOLS



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