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An exploratory study on perspectives of Vietnamese experienced teachers and student teachers toward teachers’ code-switching

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Cam Nguyen, Nhung Van Vu Duy 


There have existed different perspectives on teachers’ use of code-switching (CS) in sec-ond/foreign language (L2) classrooms. While some suggest teachers’ exclusive use of L2 in L2 classrooms, others argue that teachers’ switching to first language (L1) can have val-uable contributions to L2 teaching. Also, little research has examined student teachers’ perspectives on this issue even though student teaching experience plays a significant role in teacher education programmes. This exploratory qualitative study aims to compare the perspectives of student teachers and experienced teachers toward CS use in teaching Eng-lish as a foreign language (EFL) in Vietnam. Data were gathered through semi-structured interviews with fourteen Vietnamese EFL student teachers and experienced teachers. The findings revealed that all student teachers and experienced teachers had positive attitudes toward CS. In line with previous research, CS was reported to be employed for several different pedagogical functions in L2 classrooms, such as explaining grammar points, clar-ifying difficult concepts, checking students’ comprehension, and dealing with students’ misbehaviours. In addition, apart from the previously reported benefits of CS, such as facilitating students’ comprehension, saving time, motivating students, and accommodating students’ low English proficiency levels, the student teachers in this study also maintained that CS could help them address their anxiety in delivering instructions while the experi-enced teachers believed that CS could help them deal with their lack of confidence about their pronunciation and avoid students’ judgements. Based on the findings, this paper suggests that CS could be considered as an instructional strategy and EFL teacher education programs in Vietnam should consider incorporating training on teachers’ CS use to im-prove their awareness and confidence.



Code-switching, English as a foreign language, Teachers, Student teachers, Perspectives

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Cambridge Open-Review Educational Research e-Journal (CORERJ)

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Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

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