Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Applied Linguistics

First Advisor

Punske, Jeffrey


The present study observed the use of educational code-switching to the L1 (Arabic) among six Arabic EFL teachers at Majmaah University, in Saudi Arabia. It used an a priori set of purposes based on Creswell (2003) and derived categories to examine the linguistic, social, and class management purposes behind code-switching. The instrument consisted of two parts: a demographic questionnaire and an audio recorder used in conjunction with a classroom observation sheet. Although some studies have suggested that educational code-switching to the L1 in EFL classrooms is an unconscious act (e.g., Moghadam, Abdul Samad, & Shahraki, 2012), the present study's results concluded the reverse: that the use of educational code-switching could be interpreted as an intentional practice among teachers in EFL classrooms. The results provided a more in-depth understanding of the use of educational code-switching to the L1 (Arabic). They agreed with previous studies that have found such code-switching to be very common among EFL teachers. Although participants displayed different linguistic, social, and class management purposes, analysis of the data revealed that certain purposes were more common than others, with linguistic purposes being far more common than social, class management, or other purposes. The most common linguistic purpose was to explain new words, and for class management was to clarify activities/exercises. Only two purposes, to engage in small talk with students and to connect between sentences, could not be categorized into one of the three main types.




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