PhD Candidate Hoa Pham

Committee: International Scientific Committee of Cognitive and Language Sciences
University: Curtin University
Department: Department of Education
Research Fields: codeswitching, L1 use, L2 teaching, learners’ perception ,

Publications

1 Learners’ Perceptions of Tertiary Level Teachers’ Code Switching: A Vietnamese Perspective

Authors: Hoa Pham

Abstract:

The literature on language teaching and second language acquisition has been largely driven by monolingual ideology with a common assumption that a second language (L2) is best taught and learned in the L2 only. The current study challenges this assumption by reporting learners' positive perceptions of tertiary level teachers' code switching practices in Vietnam. The findings of this study contribute to our understanding of code switching practices in language classrooms from a learners' perspective. Data were collected from student participants who were working towards a Bachelor degree in English within the English for Business Communication stream through the use of focus group interviews. The literature has documented that this method of interviewing has a number of distinct advantages over individual student interviews. For instance, group interactions generated by focus groups create a more natural environment than that of an individual interview because they include a range of communicative processes in which each individual may influence or be influenced by others - as they are in their real life. The process of interaction provides the opportunity to obtain the meanings and answers to a problem that are "socially constructed rather than individually created" leading to the capture of real-life data. The distinct feature of group interaction offered by this technique makes it a powerful means of obtaining deeper and richer data than those from individual interviews. The data generated through this study were analysed using a constant comparative approach. Overall, the students expressed positive views of this practice indicating that it is a useful teaching strategy. Teacher code switching was seen as a learning resource and a source supporting language output. This practice was perceived to promote student comprehension and to aid the learning of content and target language knowledge. This practice was also believed to scaffold the students' language production in different contexts. However, the students indicated their preference for teacher code switching to be constrained, as extensive use was believed to negatively impact on their L2 learning and trigger cognitive reliance on the L1 for L2 learning. The students also perceived that when the L1 was used to a great extent, their ability to develop as autonomous learners was negatively impacted. This study found that teacher code switching was supported in certain contexts by learners, thus suggesting that there is a need for the widespread assumption about the monolingual teaching approach to be re-considered.

Keywords: code switching, L1 use, L2 teaching, Learners’ perception

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Abstracts

2 Learners’ Perceptions of Tertiary Level Teachers’ Code Switching: A Vietnamese Perspective

Authors: Hoa Pham

Abstract:

The literature on language teaching and second language acquisition has been largely driven by monolingual ideology with a common assumption that a second language (L2) is best taught and learned in the L2 only. The current study challenges this assumption by reporting learners' positive perceptions of tertiary level teachers' code switching practices in Vietnam. The findings of this study contribute to our understanding of code switching practices in language classrooms from a learners' perspective. Data were collected from student participants who were working towards a Bachelor degree in English within the English for Business Communication stream through the use of focus group interviews. The literature has documented that this method of interviewing has a number of distinct advantages over individual student interviews. For instance, group interactions generated by focus groups create a more natural environment than that of an individual interview because they include a range of communicative processes in which each individual may influence or be influenced by others - as they are in their real life. The process of interaction provides the opportunity to obtain the meanings and answers to a problem that are "socially constructed rather than individually created" leading to the capture of real-life data. The distinct feature of group interaction offered by this technique makes it a powerful means of obtaining deeper and richer data than those from individual interviews. The data generated through this study were analysed using a constant comparative approach. Overall, the students expressed positive views of this practice indicating that it is a useful teaching strategy. Teacher code switching was seen as a learning resource and a source supporting language output. This practice was perceived to promote student comprehension and to aid the learning of content and target language knowledge. This practice was also believed to scaffold the students' language production in different contexts. However, the students indicated their preference for teacher code switching to be constrained, as extensive use was believed to negatively impact on their L2 learning and trigger cognitive reliance on the L1 for L2 learning. The students also perceived that when the L1 was used to a great extent, their ability to develop as autonomous learners was negatively impacted. This study found that teacher code switching was supported in certain contexts by learners, thus suggesting that there is a need for the widespread assumption about the monolingual teaching approach to be re-considered.

Keywords: codeswitching, L1 use, L2 teaching, learners’ perception

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1 Tertiary Level Teachers' Beliefs about Codeswitching

Authors: Hoa Pham

Abstract:

Code switching, which can be described as the use of students’ first language in second language classrooms, has long been a controversial topic in the area of language teaching and second language acquisition. While this has been widely investigated across different contexts, little empirical research has been undertaken in Vietnam. The findings of this study contribute to our understanding of bilingual discourse and code switching practices in content and language integrated classrooms, which has significant implications for language teaching and learning in general and in particular for language pedagogy at tertiary level in Vietnam. This study examines the accounts the teachers articulated for their code switching practices in content-based Business English in Vietnam. Data were collected from five teachers through the use of stimulated recall interviews facilitated by the video data to garner the teachers' cognitive reflection, and allowed them to vocalise the motivations behind their code switching behaviour in particular contexts. The literature has recommended that when participants are provided with a large amount of stimuli or cues, they will experience an original situation again in their imagination with great accuracy. This technique can also provide a valuable "insider" perspective on the phenomenon under investigation which complements the researcher’s "outsider" observation. This can create a relaxed atmosphere during the interview process, which in turn promotes the collection of rich and diverse data. Also, participants can be empowered by this technique as they can raise their own concerns and discuss instances which they find important or interesting. The data generated through this study were analysed using a constant comparative approach. The study found that the teachers indicated their support for the use of code switching in their pedagogical practices. Particularly, as a pedagogical resource, the teachers saw code switching to the L1 playing a key role in facilitating the students' comprehension of both content knowledge and the target language. They believed the use of the L1 accommodates the students' current language competence and content knowledge. They also expressed positive opinions about the role that code switching plays in stimulating students' schematic language and content knowledge, encouraging retention and interest in learning and promoting a positive affective environment in the classroom. The teachers perceived that their use of code switching to the L1 helps them meet the students' language needs and prepares them for their study in subsequent courses and addresses functional needs so that students can cope with English language use outside the classroom. Several factors shaped the teachers' perceptions of their code switching practices, including their accumulated teaching experience, their previous experience as language learners, their theoretical understanding of language teaching and learning, and their knowledge of the teaching context. Code switching was a typical phenomenon in the observed classes and was supported by the teachers in certain contexts. This study reinforces the call in the literature to recognise this practice as a useful instructional resource.

Keywords: Language Teaching, tertiary level, teacher beliefs, codeswitching

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