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Volume 7 Number 1, Spring 2010, Pages 1-393   


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An Analysis of Teachers' and Students' Perceptions of Codeswitching in Teaching Science and Mathematics in a Philippine Private High School

    Lourdes S. Abad


This descriptive analysis of two teachers' and 32 3rd Year high school students' perceptions of codeswitching during classroom instruction reports that codeswitching in Chemistry and Geometry is a resource in making knowledge more comprehensible to the students than when only English is used. Through survey questionnaires, interviews, focus group discussion and 220 minutes of class observations, the results show beneficial effects in teaching and learning of highly technical s subjects. However, this study also argues that frequent codeswitching in highly technical subjects can be detrimental to the learners because it can cause confusion in the students' understanding of difficult concepts. Moreover, this study highlights implications for the "English Only" policy for instruction that seems impractical and ineffective in countries where English is the second or foreign language. The findings present strong indications that codeswitching by teachers should not be construed as incompetence in English proficiency because codeswitching is a bilingual speaker's skill, not a disadvantage.

Keywords: perceptions, codeswitching, teaching flexibility, alternative resource, bilingual skill