Codeswitching in University English-Medium Classes: Asian Perspectives

Edited by: Roger Barnard, James McLellan

Related Formats:
Hardback, Ebook(PDF), Ebook(EPUB)
Multilingual Matters
Number of pages:
210mm x 148mm

Request an inspection copy

Price: £29.95
Price: $39.95
Price: €34.95

In the complex, multilingual societies of the 21st century, codeswitching is an everyday occurrence, and yet the use of students' first language in the English language classroom has been consistently discouraged by teachers and educational policy-makers. This volume begins by examining current theoretical work on codeswitching and then proceeds to examine the convergence and divergence between university language teachers' beliefs about codeswitching and their classroom practice. Each chapter investigates the extent of, and motivations for, codeswitching in one or two particular contexts, and the interactive and pedagogical functions for which alternative languages are used. Many teachers, and policy-makers, in schools as well as universities, may rethink existing 'English-only' policies in the light of the findings reported in this book.

Barnard and McLellan have brought together a group of rigorous empirical investigations of one of the most overlooked and undertheorized aspects of second-language classrooms, namely the use of the first language and the practice of codeswitching in the second-language classroom. This collection of studies done across Asia should be read by applied linguists, language teachers at all levels, and particularly educational policy-makers who currently assert that there is no place in the classroom for codeswitching and the students' first language.

Barnard and McLellan's co-edited book is not only timely but also highly relevant. As the English language becomes a medium of instruction across many more campus classrooms in Asia, this book – with its many careful analyses of rich data and evidence – will turn readers towards reshaping their beliefs and practices regarding instructional strategies in multilingual settings. The book begs the question: can bilingual code-switching become an immense tool for teaching and learning in the Asian context and the 21st century?

This book makes an important contribution in providing interesting examples from a variety of contexts including some that are vastly under-reported in the literature. This volume will appeal to teachers and researchers in EFL who want to understand more about the role of codeswitching in Asian university contexts as well as to language policymakers within those contexts. The book will also serve as a useful resource for students of applied linguistics, particularly those with an interest in codeswitching but also those interested more widely in comparing the impact of native and non-native speaking teachers of EFL, the implementation of English as a lingua franca and possibly also bilingual education.

The Asian Journal of Applied Linguistics Vol. 2 No. 1, 2015

This volume has much to offer those teaching in English-only policy environments and for those researching classroom codeswitching in higher education. Its unique case-study/commentator format is interesting to read and facilitates cross-case comparison. Overall, Codeweitching in University English-Medium Classes: Asian Perspectives is a must-read for anyone interested in classroom codeswitching across diverse contexts.


Journal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Education, 3:1 (2015), 161-163.

We should celebrate the wealth of fresh data that is presented, material that certainly adds to our knowledge about the extent of codeswitching practices in a wide range of English-medium classes in Asia, some of the reasons why this codeswitching occurs, and the attitudes of various teachers and their students towards the practice of codeswitching. Indeed, all the chapters in the book are packed full of data, many offering numerical analysis of the extent of codeswitching and the reasons for it occurring, and most chapters include detailed examples of actual codeswitching occurring in the classroom.

Southeast Asia: A Multidisciplinary Journal, Vol 14, 2014, pp 36–38

Roger Barnard is an Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. His recent publications include Researching Language Teacher Cognition and Practice (2012, edited with Anne Burns) and Creating Classroom Communities of Learning (2009, edited with Maria Torres-Guzman).

James McLellan is a Senior Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at Universiti Brunei Darussalam. His recent publications include Code Switching in Malaysia (2009, edited with M.K. David, S. Rafik-Galea and Ain Nadzimah Abdullah ).


Transcription conventions

Roger Barnard and James McLellan: Introduction

Ernesto Macaro: Overview: Where Should we be Going with Classroom Codeswitching Research?

1. Ching-yi Tien and David C.S. Li: Codeswitching in a University in Taiwan

2. Lili Tian and Claudia Kunschak: Codeswitching in two Chinese Universities

3. Simon Humphries and Richmond Stroupe: Codeswitching in two Japanese Contexts

4. Chamaipak Tayjasanant and Matthew G. Robinson: Codeswitching in Universities in Thailand and Bhutan

5. Le Van Canh and Fuad Abdul Hamied: Codeswitching in Universities in Vietnam and Indonesia

6. Noor Azam Haji-Othman, Hajah Zurinah Haji Ya'akub, Liyana Ghani, Hajah Suciyati Haji Sulaiman, Saidai Haji Hitam Ain Nadzimah Abdullah and Chan Swee Heng: Codeswitching in Universities in Brunei Darussalam and Malaysia

7. Kenneth Ong Keng Wee, Lawrence Jun Zhang and Isabel Pefianco Martin: Codeswitching in Universities in Singapore and the Philippines

8. Moyra Sweetnam Evans, Ha Rim Lee and Hyun-Ju Kim: Codeswitching by Korean Students in New Zealand and Lecturers in Korea

9. Andy Kirkpatrick: Afterword

Postgraduate, Research / Professional
« Back