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Title:An ethnographic study of English/Pilipino code-switching in bilingual classrooms in Manila
Author(s):Lim, Helen Rojas
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Tozer, Steven E.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Language and Literature
Education, Bilingual and Multicultural
Language, Linguistics
Abstract:Legislation in 1974 replaced the former all-English curriculum in Philippine schools with a dual-language curriculum, with some subjects to be taught strictly in Pilipino and others entirely in English. Many people, not understanding the phenomenon of code-switching, believe that the new policy has encouraged the mixture of English and Pilipino. But how much code-switching actually takes place in schools, and under what conditions and for what purposes? Does the elite status of English have any effect? This study analyzes classroom interaction and code-switching in two private schools in the Metro Manila area, one prestigious and one less so, to discover answers to these and other questions.
Two third-grade classrooms representing the English and the Filipino curricula were videotaped. Thirty hours of videotape were transcribed and analyzed for interaction patterns, participant structures, and the linguistic and functional characteristics of code-switching.
Analysis showed that most teacher-lead discussions followed the pattern found in U.S. classrooms. Students' tendency to respond in unison might reflect shared Austronesian cultural features found in Hawaii. The quantity of code-switching varied between schools and teachers, with more in the less prestigious schools and in Pilipino-medium classes. Almost none occurred in the English class at the more prestigious school. Students did very little switching. Teachers switched to English for classroom management, acknowledging students, and approving responses. One teacher switched into Pilipino to clarify questions. Setting or topic had no apparent effect.
Paralleling Berk-Seligson's (1986) findings for Hebrew-Spanish switching, noun phrases were most frequently switched, and there was no switching of verbs or verb phrases. Poplack's (1980) claim that fluent bilinguals would be more likely to switch smaller intrasentential constituents was not confirmed in most classes. Typological differences between Pilipino and English may constrain possibilities for switching.
This study analyzes actual classroom behavior and provides evidence for pragmatic, sociolinguistic, and linguistic factors affecting code-switching. By documenting patterns of bilingual behavior in Philippine classrooms, the study may help to resolve some of the misconceptions and controversies regarding the effects of the national bilingual policy.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Lim, Helen Rojas
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9136661
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9136661

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