Functions of code switching in multilingual classrooms

Suzanne Rose, Ondene van Dulm


The research reported in this paper focuses on the functions of code switching between English and Afrikaans in the classroom interactions of a secondary school in the Western Cape. The data comprising audio recordings of classroom interactions are analysed within the framework of Myers-Scotton’s (1993a) Markedness Model, according to which there are four types of code switching, namely marked, unmarked, sequential unmarked, and exploratory code switching. Within each of these types of code switching, a number of specific functions of code switching in the classrooms observed are identified, such as expansion, clarification, and identity marking. The study concludes that the Markedness Model offers a useful framework within which to analyse types of code switching, and that code switching has a specific functional role to play within multicultural and multilingual classrooms.

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ISSN 2224-0012 (online); ISSN 0259-2312 (print)

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