Ngo Bich Ngoc, Phuong Hoang Yen


Whether mother tongue should be used in EFL classroom or not is a controversial issue and has not yet reached a consensus among teachers and researchers. While some argue that the use of mother tongue inhibits language learning, others claim that it saves time and energy for both language teachers and students and enhances mutual understanding between them. Although a number of studies explore the use of mother tongue in EFL classrooms, few have been conducted to investigate how often teachers in non-English major classes code-switch, that is, change from English to mother tongue and why they do that. In such a context, the current study examined the use of code-switching by teachers in EFL classroom in a medical college in Vietnam by means of classroom observations and voice recording analysis. The findings revealed that in teaching English to nursing students in this medical college, the teachers did code-switch to a great extent for the main purpose of enhancing their students’ English comprehension and competence. Suggestions are proposed to raise EFL teachers’ awareness on how and when to code-switch so that their teaching can be optimized.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter



use of mother tongue, code-switch, functions, EFL teachers

Full Text:



Bensen, H., & Çavusoglu, Ç. (2013). Reasons For The Teachers' Uses Of Code-Switching In Adult Efl Classrooms*/Yetiskinlere Yönelik Inglizce Siniflarinda Ögretmenlerin Dil Degisimi Kullanimlarinin Sebepleri. Hasan Ali Yücel Egitim Fakültesi Dergisi, 10(2), 69.

Bergsleithner, Joara Martin. Grammar and interaction in the EFL classroom: a sociocultural study. 2002. Dissertação (Mestrado em Inglês) - Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, 2002.

Centeno-Cortés. (2004). Problem-solving Task in a Foreign Language: the Importance of the Private Verbal Thinking. International Journal of Applied Linguistic, 14, 7- 35.

Chowdhury, N. (2013). Classroom code switching of English language teachers at tertiary level: A Bangladeshi perspective. Stamford Journal of English, 7, 40-61.

Cipriani, Fabiana. Oral participation strategies in the foreign language classroom: an ethnographic account. 2001. Dissertação (Mestrado em Inglês) - Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, 2001.

Cook, V. (1991). Second Language Learning and Language Teaching. Edward Arnold/Hodder Headline Group: Melbourne.

Eldridge, J. (1996). Code-switching in a Turkish secondary school. ELT Journal, 50, 4, 303-311.

Giang, b. T. K., & Van Tuan, VU. (2017). The benefit of using code-switching in teaching english for lao students doing a course in Vietnam. Asian journal of educational research, vol, 5(1).

Habbi, M. (2017). An Investigation of Teachers’ and Students’ Attitudes towards Code Switching Implication in EFL Classroom: The Case of undergraduate students at the Department of Letters and English Language–KMUO (Doctoral dissertation).

Harmer, J. (2007). The practice of English language teaching. (4. [rev.] ed.) Harlow: Longman.

Heller M. (ed) 1988 Code-switching: Anthropological and Sociolinguistic Perspectives The Hague Mouton de Gruyter

Heredia, Roberto R. & Brown, Jeffrey M. (2005). Code-Switching. Texas A & M International University. In Strazny, Philipp (Ed.), 2005. The Encyclopedia of Linguistics. New York, Fitzroy Dearborn, Taylor & Francis Group, USA.

Johansson, S. (2014). Code-switching in the English classroom: What teachers do and what their students wish they did.

Keong, Y. C., Sardar, S. S., Mahdi, A. A. A., & Husham, I. M. (2016). English-Kurdish Code Switching of Teachers in Iraqi Primary Schools. Arab World English Journal, 7(2), 468-480.

Leoanak, S. P. P., & Amalo, B. K. (2018). Teachers’ Beliefs and Perceptions of Code Switching in English as Foreign Language Classroom. In SHS Web of Conferences (Vol. 42, p. 00034). EDP Sciences.

Malik, A. G. (2010). Code-switching: Awareness about its utility in bilingual classrooms. Bulletin of Education and Research, 32(2).

Myers-Scotton, C. (1993). Social motivations for code-switching: Evidence from Africa. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Myers-Scotton, Carol. (2001). The matrix language frame model: Developments and responses. In Jacobson (Ed.). 23- 58.

Nguyen, N. T., Grainger, P., & Carey, M. (2016). Code-switching in English language education: Voices from Vietnam. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 6(7), 1333.

Noori, A., & Rasoly, N. Afghan EFL Lecturers’ Perceptions of Code-Switching.

Schweers, W. Jr. (1999). Using L1 in the L2 classroom. In English Teaching Forum 37(2), 6-13.

Selamat J. T. (2014). Code switching in the Malaysian ESL classroom. A thesis submitted for the degree of Master of Arts (Linguistics) at the University Of Otago Dunedin New Zealand. January 2014.

Tang, J. (2002, January). Using L1 in the English classroom. In English Teaching Forum, 40(1), 36-43.

Weinreich, U. (1953). Language in Contact: Findings and Problems. New York: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Zuriah, Nurul. 2006. Metodologi Penelitian Sosial dan Pendidikan. Jakarta: Bumi Aksara.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright © 2015 - 2022. European Journal of English Language Teaching (ISSN 2501-7136) 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).