Code-switching in Iranian Elementary EFL Classrooms: An Exploratory Investigation

  •  Ehsan Rezvani    
  •  Abbass Rasekh    


This paper presents the results of a small-scale exploratory investigation of code-switching (CS) between English and Farsi by 4 Iranian English foreign language (EFL) teachers in elementary level EFL classrooms in a language school in Isfahan, Iran. Specifically, the present study aimed at exploring the syntactical identification of switches and the functions that the switches served. The data consist of field notes and scripts of audio-recordings of the teachers’ talk collected during classroom observations. The findings suggest that CS is a frequently applied strategy and a valuable resource for bilingual teachers in foreign language classrooms, and its judicious and skillful use can boost the quality of teaching. Moreover, it was found that EFL teachers in this study tended to use the learners’ L1 (i.e., Farsi) to serve a number of pedagogic and social functions, which contributed to better teacher-student classroom interaction. Implications may be drawn for language teacher education programs and for further research on systematic investigation into actual classroom practices.

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