Code-Mixing as a Bilingual Instructional Strategy

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This study investigated code-mixing practices, specifically the use of L2 (English) in an L1 (Chinese) class in a U.S. bilingual program. Our findings indicate that the code-mixing practices made and prompted by the teacher served five pedagogical functions: (a) to enhance students’ bilingualism and bilingual learning, (b) to review and consolidate content taught in the ESL and all-English classes, (c) to facilitate cross-linguistic transfer, (d) to increase understanding of home and U.S. cultures, and (e) to foster an understanding of cross-cultural differences. In particular, these functions encompass lexical, cross-cultural, and cross-linguistic dimensions. Findings suggest that strategic use of code-mixing of bilinguals’ L1 and L2 in instruction may enhance students’ bilingual development and maximize their learning efficacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-326
Number of pages16
JournalBilingual Research Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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