Challenges Encountered by College Students using Code Switching as a Medium of Instruction: Comprehension Skills in Focus

Dyan Kiem R. Parcon *

Master of Arts in Teaching English Rizal Memorial Colleges Graduate School, Davao City, Philippines.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


While numerous studies have explored the use of code-switching as a strategy to enhance language proficiency, there is limited research specifically addressing the challenges students face when code-switching is used as a medium of instruction to improve comprehension skills. This study aims to fill that gap by providing a detailed examination of the obstacles encountered by students and assessing whether their comprehension skills are enhanced in a code-switched classroom setting. The study involved 10 undergraduate students from Santo Tomas College of Agriculture, Sciences, and Technology (STCAST) in the Philippines, representing diverse fields of study. These participants, whose first language is Filipino and second language is English, were engaged in in-depth interviews (n=6) and focus group discussions (n=4). The findings indicate that the challenges associated with code-switching include the excessive use of complex vocabulary, poor pronunciation by instructors, and abrupt language shifts. Despite these challenges, students managed to cope by actively participating in class and independently exploring new concepts. Among the six recognized functions of code-switching, the referential, phatic, and poetic functions were most commonly observed. This study provides valuable insights into the practical implications of code-switching in educational settings and suggests areas for further research and instructional improvement.

Keywords: Code-switching, language comprehension, educational challenges, multilingual education, language instruction strategies

How to Cite

Parcon, Dyan Kiem R. 2024. “Challenges Encountered by College Students Using Code Switching As a Medium of Instruction: Comprehension Skills in Focus”. Asian Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies 7 (2):269-81.


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