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Title: Bilingual Code Switching Patterns in Libyan Arabic-English School-Aged Children: A Study of Linguistic and Communicative Competence
Authors: Mahmud, Gada
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: The aim of this study was to investigate language use in school-aged Arabic-English bilingual children growing up in the UK. Specifically, the main focus was to examine how bilingual children’s linguistic and communicative competence is reflected through their use of code switching in their interactions with other bilingual speakers. 30 children of Libyan families living aged between 8 and 11 were recruited for this study and were audio recorded while interacting with their friends in a Libyan Arabic school context, and with members of their families at home. Standardized language tests in both languages and sociolinguistic questionnaires were used to measure language competence, language use and the social context underpinning the children’s language development. All the children had been living in the UK since their early childhood and were fluent in both languages but were English-dominant. All of the parents had good command of English and positive attitudes towards their children’s bilingualism but preferred their children to use Arabic at home. Analyses of the children’s code switches revealed advanced levels of linguistic and communicative competence. This was exhibited through the children’s ability to alternate between the two codes without violating their syntactic or morphological constraints; it also showed in the way the children capitalized on their combined repertoire to index particular social and/or pragmatic motivations during their interactions with their interlocutors, enhancing their communicative strategies. The study makes an original contribution to the grammatical study of code switching, presenting results from two languages rarely looked at in combination; it also adds to existing research demonstrating the positive contribution of CS to bilingual discourse strategies.
Description: Ph. D. Thesis.
Appears in Collections:School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences

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