Dinh Ngoc Linh Nhi, Pham Thi Hong Nhung


Teaching English has never been easy especially for countries where English is a foreign language. It becomes more challenging if the learners are primary students because their English proficiency is low. Therefore, primary teachers are required to have appropriate teaching methods for them. Code-switching is considered one of teaching methods which is adopted by primary teachers frequently in the classroom. It not only assists teachers in teaching but also in classroom management effectively. Thus, research is conducted to find out functions of CS as well as to the reasons why primary English teachers use it in their classroom. This research is qualitative research. The participants of this study are English teachers who are teaching at primary schools in the Mekong Delta. The instruments of this study were observation, audio-recording, and interview. The results showed that CS was actually used a lot by primary English teachers in their classroom. However, code-switching serve their teaching most. Teachers also admitted that it provided great support for them in teaching such as helping students understand the lesson better and saving time. This study is expected to benefit EFL teachers, especially those who are teaching English for primary schools in general and for young learners in particular. Furthermore, it enables primary EFL teachers to have insights into the functions of CS as well as when it is used in teaching practices. In addition, primary EFL teachers are expected to have critical thinking of the CS and make suitable choices in applying CS effectively.

Article visualizations:

Hit counter


English, code-switching, mother tongue, EFL classrooms, function, reason

Full Text:



Ahmad, B. H., & Jusoff, K. (2009). Teachers’ code-switching in classroom Instructions for low English proficient learners. English Language Teaching, 2(2), 49–55.

Burns, A. (1999). Collaborative action research for English language teachers. Cambridge University Press.

Çavuşoğlu, Ç., & Bostanci, H. (2013). Reasons for the teachers’ uses of code-switching in adult EFL classrooms. Hasan Ali Yücel Eğitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 2, 69–82.

Cook, G. (1989). Discourse. OUP Oxford.

Duta, N., Panisoara, G., & Panisoara, I.-O. (2015). The effective communication in teaching. Diagnostic study regarding the academic learning motivation to students. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 186, 1007–1012.

Fareed, M., Humayun, S., & Akhtar, H. (2016). English language teachers’ code-switching in class: ESL learners’ perceptions. Journal of Education & Social Sciences, 4.

Gardner-Chloros, P. (2009). Code-switching. Cambridge University Press.

Glaser, K. (2018). Enhancing the role of pragmatics in primary English teacher training. An International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 45, 119–131.

Irmayani, I., & Rachmajanti, S. (2017). Lexical features of teacher talk in English classrooms in senior high schools. Dinamika Ilmu, 17(1).

Kayaoğlu, M. (2012). The use of mother tongue in foreign language teaching from teachers’ practice and perspective. Pamukkale University Journal of Education, 32, 25–35.

Kim, H.-J. (2015). The use and perception of codeswitching among teachers and students. 5(1), 34–51.

Littlewood, W., & Yu, B. (2011). First language and target language in the foreign language classroom. Language Teaching, 44(1), 64–77.

MacSwan, J. (2014). A minimalist approach to intrasentential code switching. Routledge.

Memon, N., Altaf, S., & Khuwaja, Prof. Dr. N. A. (2016). The functions of code switching in ESL classrooms of Sindh university. International Research Journal of Arts and Humanities, 44.

Milroy, L., Muysken, P., & Muysken, B. A. S. F. M. in the I. for G. L. P. (1995). One speaker, two languages: Cross-disciplinary perspectives on code-switching. Cambridge University Press.

Moghadam, S. H., Samad, A. A., & Shahraki, E. R. (2012). Code Switching as a Medium of Instruction in an EFL Classroom. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 2(11), 2219–2225.

Moore, D. (2002). Code-switching and learning in the classroom. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 5(5), 279–293.

Newton, L. D. (2002). Teaching for understanding across the primary curriculum. Multilingual Matters.

Obaidullah, M. (2016). Code switching in EFL classrooms: A Bangladeshi perspective. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 6, 924.

Penfield, J., & Ornstein-Galicia, J. L. (1985). Chicano English: An ethnic contact dialect. John Benjamins Publishing.

Qian, X., Tian, G., & Wang, Q. (2009). Codeswitching in the primary EFL classroom in China – two case studies. System, 37(4), 719–730.

Rezaee, M., & Farahian, M. (2012). An exploration of discourse in an EFL classroom: Teacher talk. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 47, 1237–1241.

Schmidt, A. (2014). Between The Languages: Code-Switching in Bilingual Communication. Anchor Academic Publishing (aap_verlag).

Skutnabb-Kangas, T. (1981). Bilingualism Or Not: The Education of Minorities. Multilingual Matters.

Walsh, S. (2013). Classroom discourse and teacher development. Edinburgh University Press.

Weizheng, Z. (2019). Teacher-student interaction in EFL classroom in China: Communication accommodation theory perspective. English Language Teaching, 12(12), 99.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright © 2015 - 2023. European Journal of Foreign Language Teaching (ISSN 2537-1754) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing GroupAll rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms.

All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).