and mixing of English and Arabic among college students in Saudi Arabia
A case study of the faculty of
science and arts at Muthnab (QU)
Assistant professor: Majed
Mohamed Hasan Drbseh and Associated professor: Ariff
The goal of this research paper is to posit
some points touching the use of Code-switching and mixing of English and Arabic.
The aims of this study are to show 1- whether Arab students at Qassim
university (QU) code-switch and mix to English in their daily contacts or not,
2- why Arab students at ‘QU’ code switch and mix to English. This type of investigation
was conducted on the 20 of December, 2017. It examined
80 Arab students of different educational levels, and ages, they are at 4
levels of education at ‘QU’: First year that are taken intensive English
course, second, third and fourth level. The tool used for data collection in
this study was a questionnaire. The result has shown that most of the Arab
professors and students at ‘QU’ do code-switch and mix to English in their
conversations. Finally, the findings show that the reasons that Arab students
at ‘QU’ code-switch and mix to English refer to the lack of knowledge in English
Index Terms- Code-switching (CS), Code-mixing (CM), Qassim university (QU).
The communication between users
of different speech varieties seem in languages contact .According to Hammer
and Blanc (2000), languages in contact describe a situation where to or more
codes are used in interactions between people. Bilingualism is the
psychological state of an individual who has access to more than one linguistic
code as a means of social communication; the degree of access will vary along a
number of dimensions which are psychological, cognitive, sociolinguistic,
social psychological, social, sociological, sociolinguistic, sociocultural and
linguistic (Hammers, 1981 cited in Hammers and Blanc, 2000: 6). The study of
language in contact concentrates more on various types of language contact
situations and various forms of bilingualism. However, the major issue in
bilingualism research is code-switching and mixing, the alternative use of two
or more languages in the same conversation by bilingual speakers (Lesley and
Muysken, 1995). The study of language contact as phenomena like bilingualism
and CS/CM has increased last few years. According to (Jonsson, 2005) work
‘language contact phenomena’ was established to show different types of
language contact phenomena such as code-switching, code-mixing, and borrowings.
This concept also covers phenomena that are not counted as code-switching, for
example, loans and interference. CS and CM can be considered as a normal result
of the bilingualism which is the interaction in two or more languages. Haugen
(1956 cite in Romaine, 1995: 52) differentiate between: “switching, the
alternate use of two languages; interference, the overlapping of two languages,
or application of two systems to the same item; and integration, the use of
words or phrases from one language that have become so much a part of the other
that it cannot be called either switching or overlapping.” In 2006 Chung
indicates that meeting the complex communicative demands requires the speakers
of a community where two or more languages are used to switch from one language
to another. According to Haugen (1956), bilingual tends to use or form
sentences that have elements from both languages especially at the beginning of
the language development. It is normal for a speaker who speaks two or more
languages fluently to switch or mix between them on justness or frequently
while speaking to other people who speak the same languages. It also seems that
if a speaker spends a lot of time in a bilingual or multilingual environment,
he/she will start to switch from one language to another. The aim of this
research paper is to discuss the phenomenon of Code-switching and mixing of
English and Arabic amongst Arab students at( QU)in Saudi Arabia Likely, higher
learning institutions in Saudi Arabia have decreed the language of content
subject class rooms to English, which is the more significant of the second and foreign language in this country . The motivation is behind the moving
towards using English as a foreign and second language in teaching that most of
the people cross the Kingdom particular the young hoping and wishing to get
better jobs. Whereas, that other people need to learn English for different
reasons such as, business, education, travel, etc. This thing improve and encourage the students
who are attending and learning at Qassim University in Saudi Arabia
Code-switching and mixing can be considered as a natural product of bilinguals’
interaction in two or more languages . This sort of investigation tries to
calibrate whether Arab students at ‘QU’ code switch/mix to English and the
reasons they code switch/mix to English in daily communication. II. STATEMENT
OF PROBLEM Bilinguals are known for their ability to code-switch and mix
between the languages they speak through their conversations. The phenomenon of
code-switching and mixing are seemed in the conversations among Arab bilingual
speakers of English where they use a lot of English expressions and loanwords. Many
studies have been conducted on code-switching and mixing .On the other hand,
few studies have been done on Arabic bilingual speakers of English. Whereas,
there is a lack of information about the way of Arabic speakers of English codes
switching and mix between the two languages in daily dialogues or
conversations. Previous studies on code –switching and mixing concentrated on
the reasons why Arab bilingual code switch and mix to English. Previous studies
did not focus on the types of code-switching and mixing used by Arab bilingual.
In other words, fewer studies have been conducted at the university setting to
examine the phenomenon of codes witching and mixing among Arab bilingual. Thus,
study will investigate code-switching and mixing in a university setting, for
example, Qassim University-Almuthneb. The study will concentrate on the reasons
why Arab students at Qassim University code-switching and mixing to English in
their daily dialogue. It will also inquire the types of code-switching and
mixing used by Arab University students at ‘QU’. III. The aims of this research
paper: • To assure whether Arab students at Qassim University code- switch and
mixing to English or not. • To assure the reasons Arab University students at
Qassim University code-switching and mixing in their daily dialogues or
conversations. IV. RESEARCH QUESTIONS • Do Arab students at Qassim University (Almuthneb)
code-switch and mix to English? • What are the reasons Arab students at Qassim
University code-switch and mix to English in their daily dialogues?
Significance of the research paper •the results of the research paper will be
particularly important for their possibility in creating a better understanding
of the code switching and mixing phenomenon amongst Arab bilingual. •The
researcher, moreover, believes this study will make a simple assistance in
filling the gap of the lack of studies in the domain of the bilingualism,
especially in code-switching and mixing of Arabic bilingual of English. • The
results will contribute to both L1 and ELS/EFL teachers’ understanding of
language use and communication among Arab University students. • Last one, it
is expected that the results of this study will help in second language
acquisition investigation or research on the use of the second language. This
means the study will share in the SLA literature on the problem of
code-switching and mixing. V. DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS Code-switching occurs when
a speaker alternates between two or more languages, or language varieties, in
the context of a single conversation. According to Grosjean (1982)
code-switching is the alternate use of two or more languages in the same
utterance, and this can be in a form of a single word, or a phrase, or a sentence/s.
In 1998, Spolsky verifies code-switching as the phenomenon which occurs when
bilingual switch between two common languages they share in the middle of a
conversation, and the switch takes place between or within sentences, involving
phrases, words, or even parts of words. Code-switching, in this investigation,
is defined as the phenomenon where bilingual change words, phrases, and
sentences of one language by another languages. Code-mixing Code -mixing is assign
to the mixing of two or more languages or language varieties in speech. The
terms code-mixing are used to describe more stable situations in which many
languages are used without any pragmatic effects. According to Alvarez (1998)
the formal code mixing should be treated as distinct from code-switching,
defined in pragmatic or discourse terms. Bilingualism refers to “the state
of a linguistic community in which two languages are in contact with the result
that two codes can be used in the same interaction and that a number of
individuals are bilinguals” (Hammers and Blanc, 2000: 6). In (1994)
Mohanty says that bilingualism through defining the bilingual person, who is
the one with an ability to meet the communicative demands of him/her and of the
society by interacting with the other speakers in normal circumstances in two
or more languages. The previous study on bilingualism said that proficient
bilingual speakers employ code-switching and mixing in their speeches for
different purposes and at different levels. Bloomfield (1933) explains
bilingualism as having the control of two languages equivalent to the native.
Indicating to Haugen (1953) and Suleiman (1981): Bilingualism usually occurs
within some particular social setting. Bilingualism amongst Arabs There is a
large number of Arabs who live outside Arab countries. Those Arab people are at
most bilingual, but their language choice varies from the first generation and
the second generation who were born outside Arab countries and did not acquire
the Arabic basics. Among Arab Immigrants in India CS/CM were observed as
phenomena in the informant’s speech in settings such as home, friendship, and
university. The study found that CS/CM is used among the informants as a
strategy in communication. But the motivations for switching and mixing in the informant’s
speech are limited for some people in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The
bilingualism phenomena in Jordan is appeared by the use of hundreds of English
loanwords and expressions (Hazaymeh, 2004; Kailani, 1994). Since many
Jordanians are bilingual in English, they prefer to code switch and mix towards
English in fields as work, education and general conversation. Hazaymeh also
told that recent cultural contacts with the English-speaking countries have
introduced many aspects of English culture and English loanwords into Arabic in
the Jordanian society. Cultural contacts have been established by various means
such as education, technology, trade, sports, media, and communications. Consequently,
many Jordanians have been encouraged to learn English and become bilingual.
Hazaymeh also indicates that Jordanians of different social backgrounds and
ages like to code switch to English, using English words and expressions in
their daily interactions because of many reasons, for example as a sign of
knowing English and as a symbol of social prestige. VII. FOCUS ON THE REASONS
FOR CODE-SWITCHING AND MIXING For several years, code-switching and mixing
researchers have trying to find a reason for code-switching and mixing. Researcher
such as Gumperz (1982) and Auer (1984) have explained code-switching as one of
a number of discourse cues (both verbal and nonverbal) that help signal and
interpret interlocutor’s intentions. While the interest of other researchers,
was to describe the morpho-syntactical constraints in inter-sentential
switching focusing on the position or location in a sentence where code
switching and mixing would be allowed. VIII. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND SAMPLING the
research method has used in this study was quantitative. The method have
employed in this research paper to collect data from some learners, Arab University
students at ‘QU’ Almuthneb in Saudi Arabia. The sample included Arab students
from different ages, and level of education. This held with Arab students at
“QU”. The participants are students who enrolled at different level of
education, for instance first year, second, third and fourth year at “QU”.
SAMPLES One eighty Arab students have participated and, were chosen through
random sampling, using a list of all Arab students names gained from the
undergraduate Programme Departments at (QU). The sample included Arab students
of different ages 18, 24, 28 and 32 who are enrolled at 4 levels of education,
first year, second, third and fourth year at Qassim University (QU). The
students were Arab bilingual of English; they speak Arabic as their mother
tongue, including many varieties, and English as a second language. They are
enrolled in different programmes at ‘QU’. A total of eighty questionnaires were
distributed of which 76 were returned; the return rate was more than 90%. Moreover,
only 71 of them were analysed.
It has been recognized in the literature of
CS/CM that this phenomenon is universal in the bilingual and multilingual
countries; but, the reasons for this phenomenon differ between countries. CS/CM
has been observed in the daily discussion of Arab students at ‘QU’. Arab
students at ‘QU’ are mostly bilingual and they tend to code switch/mix towards
Arabic and English in their speech. This study has found that the majority of
Arab University students at QU’ do code-switch/mix to English in their daily
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