Minh Nguyen Binh La

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Code-switching in foreign language classrooms is a common phenomenon that has captured interests of researchers worldwide over the past decades. The lack of studies about code-switching in legal English teaching and learning in Vietnam gives rise to this current research. The study aimed to investigate code-switching practices of teachers in legal English classes at a university in Vietnam and examine their perceptions of their own teaching practices. Three legal English lecturers at Hanoi Law University participated in the study. Teachers’ classroom observations and interviews were used as methods of data collection. The findings from classroom observations indicate that first language (L1), Vietnamese, was occasionally employed by teachers to serve different purposes: subject access, classroom management and interpersonal relationships. Inter-sentential code-switching predominates intra-sentential and tag switching. The results from teacher interviews shed light on various underlying reasons for teachers’ L1 use. The outcomes also reveal some mismatches between teachers’ actual practices and their beliefs regarding code-switching for elicitation, recapitulation, and interpersonal relationships. Several suggestions for implementing teacher training programs on the effective strategic use of L1 in L2 instructions, for teachers’ practices and for further research are addressed in the present study.


code-switching, teachers’ practices, teachers’ beliefs, legal English, L1

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