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    Accomplishing multilingual lessons: code-switching in South African rural classrooms

    Ramadiro, Brian (2017) Accomplishing multilingual lessons: code-switching in South African rural classrooms. Doctoral thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    This study examines code-switching (CS) practices in South African rural classrooms. In particular, it studies isiXhosa, isiMpondo and English CS in Mpondoland. Its central question investigates whether or not a Conversation Analytic (CA) approach to bi/multilingual talk is a viable methodological and theoretical framework with which to explain classroom multilingualism in whole-class formats of interaction. The study examines CS practices in English Second Language (L2) and English L2-medium content lessons in two secondary schools. It draws primarily on close analysis of transcripts, but also on ethnographic knowledge of the setting, participant observation, teacher interviews, and quantitative techniques to explore the following questions: How is CS used to accomplish lessons? Can a CA approach explain observed CS practices? How is classroom bi/multilingual talk similar to and different from ordinary conversation? To what extent can observed practices be explained in terms of classroom type, viz., English-language vs. English L2-medium Social Science vs. English L2-medium Technology classroom? To what extent can patterns of CS be explained in terms of individual differences in teachers’ communicative styles and attitudes to CS? The study finds that lessons are accomplished in five patterns of language use, viz., separate/divergent bilingualism, convergent bilingualism, mixed/flexible multilingualism, isiXhosa-isiMpondo-only, and English-only. It concludes that although CA is a powerful approach for discovering how participants orient to different varieties used in classrooms and therefore for establishing what counts as language and CS in interaction, it is not, on its own, an adequate methodological and theoretical framework with which to explain what goes in multilingual classrooms. This is because the multilingual practices of classroom participants cannot be satisfactorily interpreted without reference to extra-sequential factors such as institutional goals, the roles of participants, and the broader sociolinguistic context in which their practices are embedded.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 17 May 2017 15:17
    Last Modified: 13 Jun 2021 15:35


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