Code-switching Versus Target-language-only for English as a Foreign Language: Saudi Students’ Perceptions

  •  Mazeegha A. Al Tale    
  •  Faten A. Alqahtani    


Selecting the medium of instruction to teach English as a Foreign Language (EFL) has been a controversial issue for several years. This article explores the impact of code-switching (CS) versus target-language-only (TL-only) teaching strategies on the learning and affective sustenance of EFL reading comprehension beginner students based on their perceptions. It also investigates whether there is a significant difference between the participants’ perceptions of these two teaching strategies’ possible impact on their learning and affective sustenance. Fifty-two female Saudi college students participated in the study. A questionnaire and follow-up interviews were used to collect the data. The results indicate that the participants had positive perceptions about the impact of CS on their learning and affective sustenance in the EFL reading classes as opposed to negative perceptions about TL-only instruction. The results also show that there is a significant difference between their perceptions of TL-only instruction and CS, indicating that they prefer CS to TL-only instruction in their EFL reading classes. We recommend that reading comprehension teachers for beginners utilize CS as a facilitating instructional strategy for EFL beginners to give them affective support and make the input more comprehensible.

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