Effects of Bilingual and Code-Switching in Filipino Learns | Multilingualism | English Language

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Republic of the Philippines NUEVA VIZCAYA STATE UNIVERSITY Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya EFFECTS OF CODE-SWITCHING AND BILINGUALISM ON FILIPINO LEARNERS Sumbitted to: Dr. Remedios A. Larida Professor in Advance Grammar Submitted by: Marippple Y. Lopez William D. Magday Jr. Carlo R. Danao Ma.Eloisa S. Blanza October 21, 2011 1 Introduction: There are about 110 indigenous languages in the Philippines (McFarland, 1994); most of these languages belong to the Malayo-Polynesian category of the Austrone
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  1 Republic of the Philippines NUEVA VIZCAYA STATE UNIVERSITY Bambang, Nueva Vizcaya EFFECTS OF CODE-SWITCHINGAND BILINGUALISM ON FILIPINO LEARNERS  Sumbitted to: Dr. Remedios A. Larida Professor in Advance GrammarSubmitted by:Marippple Y. LopezWilliam D. Magday Jr.Carlo R. DanaoMa.Eloisa S. BlanzaOctober 21, 2011  2 Introduction:There are about 110 indigenous languages in the Philippines (McFarland, 1994); most of these languages belong to the Malayo-Polynesian category of the Austronesia language family.These languages are categorized by their mutual intelligibility. Because of this heterogeneity of languages, bilingualism in the Philippines has existed from the very beginning of the Philippineeducation system.At home, Filipino children are exposed to English words and concepts at a very early age.To further understand bilingualism in the Philippines, linguist Stephen Krashen distinguishesbetween language acquisition and language learning. He refers to language acquisition as thesubconscious assimilation without any awareness of knowing the rules. Thus, Filipino childrenacquire Filipino simultaneously with English (Bautista, 2004).On the other hand, language learning is a conscious process, achieved particularlythrough formal study ,thus resulting in an explicit knowledge of rules (Krashen, 1987). Therefore,English is both acquired and learned amongst native-  born Filipinos. In school, learners’vernacular is used as a medium of “transitional bilingualism” (Gonzalez, 1 996). Moreover,English is not only taught as a curricular subject but is also used as the dominant medium of instruction in History, Science and Mathematics. Thus, code-switching and borrowing is anatural occurrence in the Philippine context. Thus, code switching between Filipino and Englishas well as the borrowing of English words are born out of necessity. It is an unavoidablealternative used to teach new concepts, to introduce new ideas in curricular subjects where thesupposed medium of instruction is English. Code-Switching Code- switching is defined as the “switching back and forth of languages or varieties of  the same language, sometimes within the same utterance” (Mesthrie, Swann, Deumart & Leap, 2000).According to Gross (2006), code-switching is a complex, skilled linguistic strategy usedby bilingual speakers to convey important social meanings above and beyond the referentialcontent of an utterance. This occurs in order to conform to the interlocutor or deviate fromhim/her. The interlocutor usually determines the speaker’s choice of language variety i.e. either  to gain a sense of belonging or to create a clear boundary between the parties involved. In otherwords, code switching is a result of language adaptation in different situations.Code-switching is predominant in most bilingual societies such as the Philippines due tothe close relationship between languages. Fil- English “goes beyond the borrowing of words or  ready-made phrases; it involves switching between languages. . . [it] is standard English placedside by side with Filipino. It is the alternation of Filipino and English in the same discourse or conversation” (Gumperz, 1982). Further, Fil-English is the use of Filipino words, phrases,clauses and sentences in English discourse or vice versa. Some linguists claim, like Bautista, thatcode switching is a mode of discourse and the language of informality among middle-upperclass, college-educated, urbanized Filipinos (Bautista, 2004). Bilingualism in the Philippines Students are in contact with English on a daily basis. Although English is mostlyassociated with education, there is much more English outside school premises. Means of communication such as street signs, election posters and hazard warnings are written in English.From the day of birth, Filipinos’ medical documents are printed and expressed in English.  3 Moreover, government and legal documents i.e. birth and baptismal certificates are archived inEnglish, not to mention, job interviews and hiring which are mostly carried out in English.Numbers, most importantly, are normally expressed in English, for instance calendars, prices,times and dates. In addition, most highly regarded and well respected daily papers such as ThePhilippine Daily Inquirer  and the  Manila Times are printed in English.Some linguists argue that Fil-English code-switching is evidence of additive bilingualismwhich refers to acquiring the second language without it interfering in the acquiring of a firstlanguage. This is to explicitly say that both languages are developed simultaneously. Accordingto Bautista (2004), Fil- English is a linguistic resource in the bilingual’s repertoire. Others believe that Fil-English is evidence of subtractive bilingualism which refers to the acquiring of a secondlanguage that interferes with the acquiring of a first language. Subtractive bilingualism is alsobelieved to be evidence of transitional bilingualism where Filipino is still incompletely acquiredamongst learners and is inevitably replaced or interfered w ith English, the “societally dominant   language” (Lambert, 1978) in the Philippines. In addition, Fil -English is perceived by mostFilipino linguists as subtractive bilingualism. It is mocked and said to be a sign of deteriorationof English in the Philippines (Gonzalez & Sibayan, 1988). Methodology Data gathered for this study is mainly acquired through a ten-item questionnaire. Thequestionnaire was filled-in by 280 fourth-year high school students in Ormoc City, Philippines.140 public high school students and 140 private high school students respectively participated inthe survey. Conclusion and Discussion This thesis sets out to investigate attitudes towards English and Fil-English code-switching amongst 280 public and private students. The study has two separate but related aims.Firstly, it aims to find out general attitudes of the said participants towards English and Fil-English as part of a quantitative study. Secondly, it aims to gather explanations from students’ points of view regarding their attitudes towards English and Fil-English.Findings show that participants are unanimously positive towards English. English isconsciously and unconsciously preferred in all formal activities. It is also perceived as anecessity for future success. English is highly valued and perceived to be the very key to a betterfuture. According to the respondents, Filipinos code-switch because English is the language usedin school. Therefore, English is the expected language in that context. Since English is thelanguage most often used in writing and the very medium of instruction, code-switching wasborn out of necessity amongst students which eventually became the lingua franca of Filipinosdaily repertoire especially in urban areas. Since this survey was held in school, the respondentsexpect that the language in the questionnaire is English. They inquisitively and mockinglyquestion why the questionnaire is in Bisaya-based Filipino.When students were questioned regarding Fil-English code-switching, noticeably,Filipino is taken for granted. Students put more emphasis on the English language. For instance,when students were asked about “why people code - switch”, they directly pick out English from Fil- English. Fil-English is perceived as a great way to practice and master the English languagewhile Filipino is somewhat ignored. However, it may be unfair to claim that most participantstake their indigenous language for granted. Perhaps the lack of emphasis on Filipino shows someparticipants belief that they have successfully mastered their indigenous language. Therefore,  4 Filipino in Fil-English is of less importance. They probably would most likely aim to have thesame level of competence in English. Thus, code-switching is a good language learning strategy.Findings show that public and private high school students are equally positive towards English.However, the result shows a remarkable difference of attitudes amongst public school students42 and private school students towards Fil-English. Looking back to w hat Bautista’s (2004) claim that Fil-English is the language of the educated middle and upper class Filipinos. Thisclaim may have some implications but not enough bases for generalization. Nonetheless, I haveobserved that there are differences of students attitudes towards code-switching depending onwhom the code-switcher is. This difference is worth investigating in the future. Teaching implications The concept of attitudes encompasses a “psychological tendency that is expressed by evaluating a particu lar entity with some degree of favour or disfavour” (Eagly & Chaiken, 1993). Therefore looking at students’ attitudes towards English and Filipino and the hybrid version Fil -English, provides us insights useful in teaching. Students are overwhelmingly positive towardsEnglish; consequently, they strive harder to reach certain language competence and proficiencyin the said language. Moreover, they perceive English as a significant means for professional andacademic success. Unfortunately, the psychological drive to improve their Englishcommunication skills inevitably suppresses their indigenous language. As a result, they lack motivation to enrich and develop their competence in their native language.Other studies show that children learn most efficiently if the medium of instruction is thelanguage used at home (Gonzalez, 1996). Since learning is primarily mediated by language,evidently, learners learn more when they do not have to struggle with the language used inlearning. Hence, necessity-born Fil-English is a good teaching strategy to attain maximumlearning effects. Although many students recognize that English is synonymous to education, of which further down the road will bring economic success, reality proves otherwise. For some,English could be a struggle. Consequently, teaching students in subject areas such as Mathematics and Science through English may prevent students’ from learning as much as they  could. Thus, students may end up struggling with English and the learning will be diverged fromthe supposed subject areas to language learning.However, this study shows the contrary. Students do not perceive English as an elementof obstruction in learning. Therefore, English and Fil-English is accepted and actively usedwhole 43 heartedly in classroom settings. Code-switching should not be discouraged inclassrooms but should be encouraged as an effective and transitional language learning strategy.
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