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To switch or not to switch: examining the code-switching practices of teachers of French as a foreign language
journal contributionposted on 2017-06-02, 02:12 authored by Gearon, Margaret
In classes where French is taught as a foreign/second language in Victorian secondary schools, a study of native and non-native speaking teachers' classroom discourse shows a preponderance of the use of English as the unmarked language. The second language, French, is used as the marked language, that is, it is rarely used purposefully, to communicate an authentic message; this, in spite of the recognised value of comprehensible input and immersion situations for successful second language learning/acquisition. However, the performance of students at the final oral examination tends to belie any adverse effects of such an approach. This study examines the code-switching practices of six teachers of French as a foreign language and attempts to describe what is actually happening in an average lesson in a Victorian secondary school classroom. It considers the development of a model for analysing the data in the light of the large amount of teacher monologue and seeks to develop an understanding of how the code-switching occurs.