Document Type : Research article


1 MA, Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Kharazmi University, Iran

2 Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics, Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Kharazmi University, Tehran., Iran


There are contradicting views about the place of L1 and code-switching (as a common phenomenon) in language classrooms. Despite the plethora of studies investigating classroom code-switching, there is a lack of research comparing trans-languaging practices of university instructors across different contexts particularly in Iranian EFL undergraduate classrooms. The purpose of this study was to examine and compare the actual practices and perceived justifications and functions of code-switching in university level language and content classes. To do so, two groups of Iranian instructors (2 males and 4 females) teaching English major content classes (i.e., Principals of Translation, Translating Journalistic Texts, and Research Methodology) and language courses (i.e., Speaking and Listening, Reading Comprehension, and Writing) were observed, their classes were recorded, and they were interviewed through the stimulated recall technique. The switches’ professed functions were qualitatively analyzed and then were categorized into three broad pedagogical functions (curriculum access, classroom management, and interpersonal relations along with their sub-functions), and, ultimately, they were counted and compared quantitatively. The findings revealed that code-switching was perceived as a goal-directed strategy which was considerably more prevalent (especially intersentential type) in content classes. The findings in this study can make contributions to the work of university instructors, language teachers, and  other educational skateholders.The purposeful and fruitful practice of judicious code-switching as a communicative teaching strategy canhelp teachers reduce students’ cognitive and affective burden while improving their comprehension and learning.


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