The Challenge of Code Mixing and Code Switching:

By Dalal Aboel Seoud
Submitted to Session P2630 (Using Media to Overcome Challenges, 2011 Annual Meeting
LCD Projector without Audio;
One of the challenges facing students studying Arabic as a foreign language is the diaglossic sociolinguistic situation where native speakers use code mixing and code switching of different levels of the language. Consequently, students become culturally shocked as they find out they are facing multilayered levels of code switching and code mixing of the language. Ryding (1991) says that this frustrates students and discourages them from continuing studying the language. Ironically enough, this code switching/mixing situation is not reflected in their classes; which concentrate on either Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) or on Colloquial.
Speaking of this language phenomena, this paper concentrates on three of Badawi’s five levels of Arabic language, namely, (a) MSA; the language of newspaper and modern literature, (b) Colloquial of the educated, which is a combination of MSA and Colloquial and is used as a prestigious form of the spoken dialect suitable for speaking in formal settings and about important issues, and finally, (c) enlighted Colloquial, used by literates in daily situations. The researcher believes that as students become confident in using these three levels, they will be able to manage successfully with the code mixing as well be aware of the other two varieties.
The researcher, therefore, has analyzed the language of a number of T.V. talk show scripts characterized by using Colloquial of the educated, for the purpose of supplying students with some key points for using this language level, as well as making them aware of the differences between the three levels of language considered. The researcher has also designed three different “hands on” tasks, using an authentic newspaper article, to train students on code mixing and switching in different social situations, to deal with the problems faced in diaglossic situations.