Code switch has become a widespread phenomenon among students

In Malaysia, Malay linguistic communication or Bahasa Melayu is the state ‘s first linguistic communication while English is the 2nd linguistic communication. As 2nd linguistic communication it has its ain impact on the Malayan society particularly in communicating between people. Nowadays conversations held between two people or in a group are no longer utilizing Malay linguistic communication wholly. Most Malaysians prefer to import some of the English words to finish their sentences during conversation. Some English words like so, if, because, after, etc have been used by many Malaysian. Today, it is observed that more and more adolescents are blending the two linguistic communications together.

Code- switch phenomenon has widely spread among people in Malaysia. Besides, the phenomenon has become more popular among the urban society in this millenary epoch. Because it is so popular, people from assorted degrees invariably use it in assorted occasions. From my observation, about all immature people in this state would code exchange while discoursing among themselves. They besides code exchange in any and every state of affairss such as in categories, eating houses, libraries and others. Assorted words from English are being used in mundane conversation but they are non utilizing English linguistic communication wholly and because the phenomenon has become really popular among Malaysians it has raised my involvement to carry on a research on it. I decided to concentrate my survey on pupils of my college, MARA College Seremban. Thus, I come out with my research inquiry “ Code-switching: Why has it become a widespread phenomenon among pupils of MARA College Seremban? .

MARA College Seremban is situated in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia. Its pupils are presently undergoing International Baccalaureate Programme and Cambridge Advanced Level Programme for two old ages and most of the topics learnt are chiefly in English.

Therefore, the medium of instructions is English. Presently, this college offers foundation programmes for pupils under MARA scholarship who are prosecuting their survey in Medicine, Dentistry, Biotechnology, Engineering, Accountancy, Teaching English as Second Language, and Teaching in Mathematics and Sciences to assorted universities in Australia, New Zealand, India and Czech Republic.

In my research, I have conducted a study to pupils of MARA College Seremban to happen out the figure of pupils who normally code-switch in day-to-day conversations. I have besides interviewed several pupils to acquire their personal positions about this phenomenon. Besides that, I besides studied factors that contribute to code shift, grounds why pupils like to code switch and how the pupils perceive the phenomenon among the society. I have prepared questionnaires to 30 pupils in this college, age scope between 19-20 old ages old. Through the questionnaires, I was able to gets replies for my research. I have included the historical background about the English linguistic communication in Malaysia and defined the term ‘code-switching ‘ for farther understanding about the constitution of English linguistic communication in Malaysia ; and the codification switch phenomena. Besides, in order to place the utilizations of English words in mundane conversations I have prepared several illustrations of every twenty-four hours conversation among Malaysians that involved codification shift.

Finally, through the research done, I was able to do a decision at the terminal of this essay.


English was foremost introduced in this state during the colonial authorization over Malaya 53 old ages ago before Malaysia obtained its independency in 1957. British authorization had caused several missional schools to be built in several topographic points in Malaya ( Baskaran, 2002a ) . From pre-Independence yearss to post-Independence times, English medium schools were the first effort at instruction, other than the spiritual schools for the local Malay ( Baskaran, 2002b ) . As such, English became a desired linguistic communication with the Malay linguistic communication, and all other slangs, taking a back place as eloquence in the linguistic communication would about vouch a authorities place ( Normala, n.d. ) .

After the colonial epoch in Malaysia ended, the instruction of English is continued by the authorities of Malaysia. The instruction system in Malaysia respects English as the 2nd of import linguistic communication that should be learnt in schools. Therefore, the outgrowth of many persons who are bilingual started since the pre independency twelvemonth of Malaya. Now, as the national instruction system in Malaysia make it compulsory for every school in Malaysia to learn Malay as the first linguistic communication and English as the 2nd linguistic communication. The instruction of these two linguistic communications has caused a phenomenon known as code-switching to happen among Malayan. As more people are bilingual, they really prefer to blend the two linguistic communications in many occasions. In this research, I will concentrate on pupils of MARA College Seremban.


Laura ( 2004a, p.5 ) writes that:

‘Code shift is the usage of words and constructions from more than one linguistic communication or lingual assortment by the same talker within the same address state of affairs, conversation or vocalization. There are two different types of codification exchanging mentioned by which is colloquial code-switching and situational code-switching. Conversional code-switching is the usage of two linguistic communications by the same talker within the same address event and situational code-switching as linguistic communication alternation by the same talker in different address state of affairss, though the talker ‘s vocalizations within each state of affairs are monolingual. ‘

Laura ( 2004b, p.11 ) states code-switches were used for grounds other than merely to make full lexical spreads.

Most pupils in Malaysia have the ability to pass on bilingually. Therefore, the codification shift will happen between these two linguistic communications. Roberto and Jeffrey ( n.d. ) besides states that

‘Speakers of more than one linguistic communication ( e.g. , bilinguals ) are known for their ability to code-switch or blend their linguistic communications during communicating. Traditionally, code-switching has been viewed as a scheme to counterbalance for lessened linguistic communication proficiency. The premiss behind this theory is that bilinguals code-switch because they do non cognize either linguistic communication wholly. This statement is besides known as semi-lingualism, which underscores the impression that bilinguals “ about ” talk both linguistic communications right. ‘


Graph: Factors that cause pupils of MARA to code-switch in day-to-day conversations.

The graph saloon described ‘Factors that influenced the pupils of MARA College Seremban to code-switch in mundane conversations ‘ .

The first saloon showed per centum of pupil influence by their friends to code- switch in day-to-day conversations. The saloon showed that, 100 per centum or all the pupils agree that equal force per unit area influenced them to code-switched during their conversations. ‘Friends ‘ is one of the major factors that influence the MARA College Seremban pupils to code-switch during conversations. Friends are people who the young person interact with most of the times.

Friends can be considered to be the most influential elements in the young person universe. Therefore, the young person is affected by the civilization adopted among their friends.

The 2nd saloon displayed that about 73.3 per centum agreed that their ain involvement brought them to code-switch during speaking with others whereas another 26.7 per centum disagreed. Several people are interested to code-switch in their conversations with others. They find the linguistic communication interesting to them so they use it in multiple conversations with people. They believed that by rehearsing they could better so they practised utilizing several English words and they usually include the words when talking with others. In my sentiment, self involvement is a thrust from oneself without the influence of others to analyze and understand the foreign linguistic communication that is English.

The 3rd saloon presented that 66.7 per centum disagreed English stuffs caused them to code-switch when speech production. However, 33.3 per centum admitted that English stuffs have caused them to code-switch. Through reading, one can happen many new words and people who read English stuffs such as English novels or magazines everyday will happen more new words through their reading. Thus, many like to utilize these words in their mundane conversations. Most of them believed that reading English stuffs made them to talk more appropriate English with less grammatical mistakes hence, they speak it wholly instead than code-switch.

For the 4th saloon, it displayed that about half of the pupils agreed that they are affected by English films, television series, dramas etc to code-switch when talking while the other half disagreed. English films, play and series influence their viewing audiences from assorted facets. Students are attracted to their manner of speech production and mimicked them in their day-to-day conversation. Students would happen miming the histrions or actresses merriment and

entertaining. This is the manner that it may act upon the pupils to move or utilize certain words in their day-to-day conversation.

However, other pupils said they are non affected by the English films as the speech pattern is difficult to follow and pupils barely pronounce words like the US or British do. Besides, they watch films for amusement so they did non set much attending to the words in the duologues among the histrions.

The 5th saloon, described about 46.7 per centum of pupils agreed that advertizements act upon them to code-switch in day-to-day conversations whereas 53.3 per centums of them disagreed. Many advertizements in Malaysia use mix lucifer linguistic communication to advance their merchandises and ware. The advertizement usage English with Malay linguistic communication to make their publicities as for illustration ‘Indah Water ‘ . This trade name name belongs to a company in Malaysia. They used the word ‘Indah ‘ in Malay and ‘Water ‘ in English. Students would read the advertizements or watch it on telecasting and the words or sentence used in the advertizement would be captured by their heads particularly tricky words. Many would utilize the words when talking with people therefore agreed that advertisement act upon them to code-switch. Whereas there are pupils who feel that advertizement would non impact them as the advertizement promotes trade names non words. They would retrieve merely the trade names non the words used during the advertizements.

The 6th saloon, presented that 50 per centums of the pupils agreed that household influenced them to code-switch when speaking with others, while the other half of the pupils disagreed. Conversation in a mix of linguistic communications such as Malay and English among household members influence the young person to talk the same manner. Youth spend a batch of their clip with household members. The linguistic communication used by the household members most likely affects the

pupils. Therefore, the manner they speak would follow the manner their household members speak because the clip spent with household members is much longer than clip spent with other people.

The concluding saloon showed that 90 per centum of undergraduates agreed that the norm of the society influenced them to code-switch in day-to-day conversations. Merely 10 per centum of the undergraduates disagreed. Most Malaysians normally code-switch or have their conversations in mix- lucifer linguistic communication and it can besides lend to the usage of mix- lucifer linguistic communication among the childs in Malaysia. Almost all the correspondence agreed that it is the norm of society that influences them to talk mix-match linguistic communication. The use of mix-match linguistic communication has become a norm among grownups, adolescents and even kids. The use has spread widely that people assumed it to be a natural behavior among them. Therefore, the childs are besides following this tendency as their friends and people populating around them are talking the mix lucifer linguistic communication. Normally, Malay young person will blend English and Malay words together in their conversation as it has become natural to them.


Pie chart: Number of pupils of MARA College Seremban who code-switch in day-to-day conversation.

The pie chart above showed the figure of pupils of MARA College Seremban who code-switch in their mundane conversations.

From the pie chart, it is observed that 87 per centum of the pupils often code-switch in their conversations while merely 13 percent rarely code- switch the words in their conversations. From the consequences, pupils from this college extremely code- switch when pass oning with friends and instructors in the college, household members while at place, or in any other state of affairss.


Graph Percentage of pupils of MARA College Seremban that code- switch ( with English words ) in day-to-day conversations.

I besides compare the conversation between the pupils and their equals, instructors, and household members to demo to whom the pupils code-switch largely. The saloon charts showed the per centum of pupils in the three classs.

First, about 99 per centum codification -switch when speaking with their friends while merely one per centum of the pupils did non.

Second, about 70 per centum of pupils code- switch in mundane conversations with their instructors while 30 per centums of pupils did non.

And thirdly, it shows that about 50 per centums of the pupils code-switch when discoursing with household members.

From the consequences, pupils from this college most likely code -switch during informal negotiations with friends such as in group treatments, chew the fating, or dish the dirting. In some state of affairss, sometimes pupils spontaneously code -switch in group meetings or informal events among pupils. Therefore, pupils showed great involvement to utilize English words with friends because they feel it is common phenomena for them.

Sometimes pupils prefer to utilize simple English words which are really short and easy to articulate to finish their conversation.

Most of the pupils felt comfy to code -switch when holding conversations with instructors. This shows that code-switching tendency has become common among the pupils and instructors and one of the ways pupils can pass on with instructors to discourse or to speak about their surveies or to show their sentiments during categories or other state of affairss.

In my sentiment, most pupils prefer to code -switch when speaking with instructors because they felt shy to talk proper English. This is because, they are non good exposed to English speech production environment and English is non their female parent lingua but most pupils learnt English through their surveies. In English categories, Malay pupils normally are really diffident to talk English during English categories because outside of English category they use more Malay words.

Bahiyah Abdul Hamid ( 1992 ) had besides made some several decision out of her pupils behaviour in categories:

“ It can be concluded that their silence is due to several possible grounds which are they do n’t cognize the reply or replies to inquiries asked, they lack the necessary linguistic communication to pass on efficaciously in the English linguistic communication and therefore happen it hard to state what they can non yet say at all, they feel insecure about their degree of English and prefer to state small or nil at all for fright that their errors would do their schoolmates or teacher laugh at or look down on them, they find it hard to rapidly exchange from their female parent lingua, or another linguistic communication that they can pass on efficaciously in, to the English linguistic communication. And they are following the appropriate and extremely acceptable cultural behavior of demoing regard. ”

For those pupils who did non code -switch during their conversations with their instructors it may be because they prefer to utilize a more formal linguistic communication or speak with proper use of the linguistic communication. Code -switch would affect words from Malay and English and most likely the sentence construction has a batch of grammatical mistakes.

Among household members most pupils would normally be speaking in the linguistic communication of their mother-tongue. The ground they prefer to talk in Malay is because they are used to the linguistic communication since their childhood. Priming is the term used to depict the phenomenon that prior exposure to something influences subsequent responses to the same or related things ( Alessandro G, 2009a ) . Language can be primed, so that exposure to a lingual characteristic in

influences subsequent velocity of reacting to that characteristic, frequently called the reaction clip or response latency ( Alessandro G, 2009b ) . However, some households ‘ members speak with today tendency which most people favour to code-switch during their conversations. The sentence construction will alter when English words are used to replace words in the female parent lingua linguistic communication.


This is an illustration of a day-to-day conversation between pupils in the college. There are four pupils ; Anis, Hafiz, Kamarudin, and Aziz. They were be aftering to analyze at National Library on weekends. The duologues between friends were held in Malay and English linguistic communications.



Ani: Jom pergi National Librarythis weekend!

Ani: Let ‘s travel to National Library this weekend!

Kamarudin: Bila precisely?

Kamarudin: When precisely?

Hafiz: Hari Sabtu or Sunday?

Hafiz: Saturday or Sunday?

Ani: Sunday? tutup tak silap.

Ani: Sunday? The library is closed if I ‘m non mistaken.

Hafiz: My auntkata Isnin baru tutup.

Hafiz: My aunt said it closes on Monday.

Aziz: Tak bolehlah, vacationing with household.

Aziz: I ca n’t travel, I ‘m on vacation with my household.

Based on the duologues, there are many grounds that cause the pupils to code-switched. Through my research, I have discovered 10 grounds as to why pupils code-switch in their day-to-day conversations.

Graph Student ‘s ground to code-switch in day-to-day conversation

The saloon chart displayed the per centum of the pupils ‘ grounds to code-switch in day-to-day conversations.

Most pupils wanted to hold conversations with others and they prefer to utilize simple English words such as English concurrences ; so, so, but to code-switch because they are easy to articulate and most people understand the use of these words in the sentence construction.

They besides believed that utilizing English words in conversation can heighten their assurance when speaking with others particularly with instructors and friends. Besides, English words are used by people to emphasize points that are more apprehensible in the English linguistic communication or to accurately depict the points because sometimes they could non happen the right word with the same significance from the mother- lingua linguistic communication.

Several pupils like to derive attending from others. They used English words when talking with assorted people so that he or she is noticed by people to hold his or her manner of speaking. Besides, some pupils love to articulate the English words harmonizing to their favorite Hollywood or English creative persons so the words sound more interesting. Students besides believed that they look more educated when utilizing English words during conversations whether in college or outside the college.

Talking in the mix of the two linguistic communications could besides shut the position spread between two people because it makes their conversations less formal with schoolmates, household members, and lectors.


Graph Students perceptual experience toward the code-switch phenomena.

The pie chart above displayed the pupils ‘ perceptual experiences towards the code-switching phenomena in day-to-day conversation.

About 60 per centum of the pupils have good perceptual experience toward the phenomena. They believed that code-switching in conversations encourage them to utilize English words more often in conversation so that they become used to the words and finally they can talk in full English sentence. In add-on, they feel more confident when holding conversation with people because code-switching make a individual expression more educated in forepart of people. Student feel much better when code-switching in conversation because the can talk swimmingly as they care less about their grammar.

However, about 40 per centum of the pupils have negative mentality about this phenomena. They think that discoursing to others utilizing mono-language is much better than code-switching. Peoples who are talking to others in Malay have proper sentence construction when speech production. A figure of pupils expressed that the mother-tongue linguistic communication will shortly be tarnished when more English words are used in conversations. They besides believed that utilizing mother -tongue linguistic communication is really demoing that they are proud of their nationality.


Based on the consequences, there are found to be at least seven influential factors that cause pupils of MARA College Seremban to code-switch in their day-to-day conversations which are equals force per unit area, self- involvement, English stuffs, English films ; play series etc, advertizements, household members and the norm of the society. The most influential is peer force per unit area followed by norms of the society and self- involvement. The least influential factor is English stuffs. The pupils are greatly affected by people around them including friends and society that they lived in. If the society promotes the speech production tendencies, people around them will spontaneously follow the tendency.

Most pupils often code-switch in their day-to-day conversations. The tendency has blended into the society. It is besides accepted by most pupils and it is normal to code-switch in informal conversations. The conversations are believed to do them friendlier and less formal when talking with others.

The consequences besides showed that pupils code-switch with friends, instructors and household members. The do it most with friends as they are closer to them and besides they are more feel more comfy with them. Students besides code-switch when speaking to instructors because they spend clip during categories and treatment because they could non happen the right word to utilize. In the household among household members, pupils do non code – exchange so much. They usuakky speak to one another in their female parent lingua linguistic communication.

There are several grounds as to why pupils prefer to code-switch in mundane conversations. Several pupils said they want to articulate the words like the Hollywood creative person, shut the position spread, doing the conversation less formal and simple etc, as mentioned earlier in my essay.

The code-switching phenomenon has widely spread among the pupils in the college and besides among today ‘s young person. Some see this as positive while others see it as negative. So, is code-switching a positive phenomena to pupils or possibly to the young person? Obviously, most people accept the phenomena. Does that intend it code-switching benefits them during conversations? Can code-switching be accepted as a new sort of a linguistic communication or is it seen to stain the linguistic communications involved? I think we should look at this phenomenon earnestly as it would impact the linguistic communication form of the following coevalss.

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