Codeswitching, use of two languages in one speech event, is a natural phenomenon in multilingual and bilingual societies. This practice is common in Pakistani society as well – people speak in two or more than two languages in service encounters, social encounters, in radio programmes, on television talk shows. All the people with competence in two or three languages make use of these languages whenever and wherever they interact with other people. The same bilingual practices are carried over to educational settings despite the fact that most educational institutions (at primary, secondary and especially at the tertiary level) do not encourage codeswitching in classrooms. In fact, this practice is prohibited in a large number of educational institutions. It has been observed that due to the students’ lack of communicative competence in, teachers sometimes resort to the use the mainstream language to facilitate learning in some classrooms. That is the reason that codeswitching between English and Urdu (or any other language) takes place in nearly all classrooms in Pakistan. For example, it has been observed and recorded at certain universities that teachers and students both ‘construct knowledge’ in Urdu and English. This paper
describes and analyses a few patterns of codeswitching in such classrooms and tries to explore some possible reasons and outcomes this sociolinguistic phenomenon.
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Copyright (c) 2014 Prof. Dr. Kaleem Raza Khan