5.19.2012

LANGUAGE MIXING AND CODE MIXING (BALINESE, INDONESIAN, AND ENGLISH) IMPLICATION FOR EFL TEACHING AND LEARNING

INTRODUCTION
In this globalization era, almost all of the learning institutions in Indonesia teach English as foreign language (EFL) to their students. TEFL is the teaching of English as a foreign language which can take place in any country, English-speaking or non-English speaking like in Indonesia. It is not surprising that EFL is also taught in the kindergarten students. People believed that English is a language with great reach and influence so it is taught all over the world under many different circumstances. The motivation behind the move towards teaching EFL is first and foremost to improve the local students’ English language competence as mastery in the language is an asset in seeking employment in the globalised economic world. In addition, the vast amount of information is currently available in English. Thus, it is hoped that the availability of English and more exposure to the language in the classroom can contribute to the students’ English language competence, which is the key to access information in a variety of fields and also to facilitate the acquisition of knowledge.
However, In Indonesia, teaching and learning EFL are not easy jobs for both teachers and students in non-English speaking country. Specifically in Bali, people use Balinese language as their first language or mother tongue and it uses actively in their daily communication with others, especially with their relatives. Indonesian becomes their second language in which it uses in both informal and formal situation such as: school, government offices, public places etc. English is rarely found in daily communication among Balinese so it is quite hard for Balinese to acquire English completely.
In fact, nowadays, there is a condition in which people commonly mix those three languages –Balinese, Indonesian, and English- in their communication. This condition of mixing three languages which is also known as code mixing is also occurred in teaching and learning process, especially in English subject. Code-mixing is the change of one language to another within the same utterance or in the same oral/written text. It is a common phenomenon in societies in which two or more languages are used. The advantages of using code mixing are also used in English instruction. English teacher will find that it is easier to transfer materials by mixing the languages since not all students are completely able to understand the explanation in English. Students will also find easier to understand the explanation if the language used by teacher is mixed with the languages they often used such as Balinese or Indonesian. However, using code mixing in teaching English is not only give advantages to the teaching and learning process but also some disadvantages. People find that mixing the languages can give some good and bad implications to the EFL teaching and learning. It means that the condition will give implications to the EFL teaching and learning for both the better and the worse.
This paper is aimed at examining the implications of language mixing and code mixing (especially Balinese, Indonesian, and English) for EFL teaching and learning. It will be started by giving the notion of code mixing, the application of code mixing in EFL teaching and learning, and the implications of it toward the EFL teaching and learning.

CONTENTS
A. The Notion of Code Mixing
Code-mixing are well-known traits in the speech pattern of the average bilingual in any human society the world over. Code here as defined by Ayeomoni (2006) will be taken as a verbal component that can be as small as a morpheme or as comprehensive and complex as the entire system of language. It has been variously termed “code alternation”, “language mixing” or “language alternation”. Several scholars have attempted to define code-mixing. Bokamba (1989), for instance, defines that code-mixing is the embedding of various linguistic units such as affixes (bound morphemes), words (unbound morphemes), phrases and clauses from a co-operative activity where the participants, in order to infer what is intended, must reconcile what they hear with what they understand.
This paper will use the definition of code mixing suggested by Bentahila and Davies. They defined code-mixing as random alternation of two languages within a sentence. It is often used interchangeably with another term, code switching. The term “code-mixing” refers to mixing of two or more languages within a sentence while the term “code-switching” refers to mixing of two or more languages at the clause level in a discourse in a fully grammatically way (Poplack, 1980). The basic difference between code-switching and code-mixing is the composition of the elements intermingled and the arrangement of such intermingling.
While linguists who are primarily interested in the structure or form of code-mixing may have relatively little interest to separate code-mixing from code-switching, some sociolinguists have gone to great lengths to differentiate the two phenomena. For these scholars, code-switching is associated with particular pragmatic effects, discourse functions, or associations with group identity. In this tradition, the terms code-mixing or language alternation are used to describe more stable situations in which multiple languages are used without such pragmatic effects.
Code-mixing involves a number of implications in EFL teaching and learning. As previous study stated that one of the implications is that when a vocabulary item is presented to students through code-mixing, they will be able to rely on their existing morphosyntactic knowledge to use the new vocabulary for other syntactic functions (Celik, 2003). The relevant literature suggests that, there are mixed feelings towards code-mixing. A number of positive viewers have pointed out several merits of code-mixing. One benefit of this method of vocabulary presentation, as Celik (2003) describes is time; that is, both preparation and implementation of this method require a minimal amount of time. Another benefit is that, this technique does not require additional materials. As Ying (2005) contends, those who look at code-mixing from the negative perspective, see it as a disease, something to be avoided. After all, this technique does involve a number of constraints. All EFL learners in a classroom must share the same L1.

B. The Application of Code Mixing in EFL Teaching and Learning
Learning English as a foreign language happens in some countries around the world. Indonesia is one country that use English lesson as one subject that taught in every school. Teaching foreign language in classroom commonly face a lot of troubles since that English language itself is foreign language for those children. For students in big city or centre of province, the use of English must be touching most aspect of their daily life. They may see advertisement, announcement, and public information in English. However, children who born and raised in rural area are rarely find those thinks written in English. This condition make the English language become a strange subject to be taught even in school when the teacher of English language may not be really fluent in using English itself.
Based on the fact above which is easily found in our daily life, teacher initiatively uses strategy to overcome this problem in their English classes. Code-mixing represents one of the strategies that EFL teachers often use to accommodate the students' level of English proficiency. Some researchers analyze the phenomenon of code-mixing by EFL teacher, especially the functions of code-mixing in English teaching classrooms nowadays. According to finding and analysis, code-switching and code-mixing can be a good device to underline the importance of a particular piece of information, whether it is a grammar role, a name or an order.
So it may be suggested that code-switching and code-mixing in language classroom is not always an obstacle in learning a language as what conventional view see it, but may be considered as a useful strategy in classroom interaction, if the purpose is to make meaning clear and to transfer the knowledge to students in an efficient way. In another word, the use of code-switching and code-mixing somehow builds a bridge from unknown to known and may be considered as an important element in language teaching when used efficiently. Meanwhile, the researcher suggested to pay-attention of using code-switching and code-mixing in excessive way because it could be result in negative influences.

Code- mixing for teaching strategy
The use of code-mixing as teaching language strategy is worldwide used by teacher especially in EFL classroom. It is because the use of code-mixing makes the students more comfort in learning English as a foreign language. When the teacher teaches the students with full English non-stop during the lesson, students will easily get bored since that the students do not understand or only understand few of the words used by the teacher. In order to make the students understand rapidly the meaning of a sentence or words, English teachers in Bali sometimes have to put one or two words in English sentence using Balinese or Bahasa. By this way, students will feel that English lesson is not a lesson that has to be afraid of, since mixing the languages is not a big problem for the teacher and it is not considered a big mistake for students. When students start to feel comfort and enjoy along the lesson, they will pay much more attention toward the lesson. Start from this condition students will love English and curious to learn more.
Code-mixing as teaching strategy may used to overcome some difficulties in teaching vocabulary and structure in EFL classes especially when the students’ difficulty is in understanding the teacher’s explanation toward the topics given. More explanation about the use of code-mixing in teaching vocabulary and structure, will be given as following

The use of code-mixing in teaching vocabulary
The use of code-mixing usually appears when teacher has to introduce new target vocabulary items. Code mixing involves the use of L1 or L2 words in foreign language utterances. \. Further, it is found that even the precise bilingual have to drawn on vocabulary from one language while speaking another. This may be taken to indicate that vocabulary is organized the way synonym and antonym is organized in one’s L1. The example of the use of code-mixing in learning vocabulary
1. First step: to get meaning of words and meaning of paragraph
For getting word meaning
“Table is meja” while the teacher point at the table
“Students look at to your book page 19, mengerti?”
“You are a smart student. Pintar reading and writing in English”
“Bupati is leader in regency. His name is Bapak Bagiada.
“In Sukawati, we can find so many togog”
“Anak luh nganggon skirt, anak muani nganggon short”
“Girl memakai ribbon on hair, she is beautiful.
In this examples teacher uses L1 word in purpose to make a student get the meaning for the next English word. We can see in the (2) example, the elementary student does not know about the meaning of ‘leader’. By putting word bupati and bapak, we can hope that they will understand that meaning of ‘leader’, since that they know Bapak Bagiada is the leader of Buleleng.
For getting paragraph meaning
“A lot of accident happens in road. Of course, there as some reasons for this, one of this may be that the law in our country is so lemah. However, another reason may be because the driver is punyah after drinking alcohol, and the bigger problem arise when the officer takut to report it to his boss”
“People can easily terpengaruh by other people. Since that in school we meet a lot of friends. We have to be selektif in choosing friend. School must be a good lingkungan for the students”
In this example we use code-mixing to make the student understand the whole meaning of the context that has been discussed. It is not important that they have to understand every single word in it. They only need to grab the meaning and understand it in a whole. Like the example (1), by looking at the words lemah, punyah, and takut while consider other words (law, officer, alcohol, etc) we can hope that they will get the meaning of the paragraph.
2. Second step: to discuss the topic
When they understand the topic given previously, for example, “Road Accident” topic, they will be able to discuss that topic in group. Along this process, teacher has to pay much more attention to listen their discussion in order to know how they are going to talk about it and how many target lexical items that they use. When this discussion happen and the student start questioning about what an English word for lemah, punyah and takut, or what the synonym for them, teacher then have to ask them to look at it on their dictionary. This condition will stimulate students to be curious and active in finding new vocabulary.
3. Third step: to write their own writing
After students get the meaning of paragraph and discuss it, they have to be able to write their own writing in a same topic with the topic that previously given. For example, “Road Accident”, let them read it silently. Then ask them to write their own paragraph just like the “Road Accident” paragraph. The aim of this activity is to make sure that the students really get the message and able to use the target lexical items in English even able to use the synonym of them.
By the explanation and example above, clearly that code-mixing is an effective strategy for teaching new vocabulary. Since that students enrich by a lot of vocabularies, they will able to develop their skill in writing, reading, listening and speaking. Since that code-mixing is available used in English class (as long as it is not too much) students will be braver to express their idea trough writing or speaking. They will understand that in some cases or in a certain occasion, they are allowed to mix their language into L1 and L2 languages as well as foreign language. However, code-mixing has to use wisely in order to avoid the redundant use of it. Teacher has to explain that the use of code-mixing is not totally wrong, but to be a fluent user of foreign language, they have to avoid the use of code-mixing unless they forget the meaning in English. Students in this case, have to know that the use of code-mixing in English lesson is not bad, but it is also not good if they use it too often.

C. The Implications of Code Mixing in EFL Teaching and Learning

CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS
A. Conclusions
From the discussion above, we can conclude that:
1. Code-mixing are well-known traits in the speech pattern of the average bilingual in any human society the world over. According to Bentahila and Davies (1983) code-mixing is the random alternation of two languages within a sentence.
2. Code mixing can be used as a strategy to teach English as Foreign Language (EFL) especially in teaching vocabulary to the students. The use of code-mixing makes the students more comfort in learning EFL. It can be taught through three steps, such as: get meaning of words and meaning of paragraph, discuss the topic, and write their own writing. It is believed that this strategy will give advantage to the students’ mastery of vocabulary.
3. Code-mixing involves a number of implications in EFL teaching and learning.

B. Suggestions
There are some suggestions that can be given for the reader while applying code mixing in teaching English to the students:
1. Make an agreement with your students about the use of code-mixing in their English class and by time you have a role to reduce that amount to few words only
2. Use code-mixing strategy in certain condition only. For example when you think that those L2 words are difficult to be understood by the students or the paragraph is too complex for the students
3. Code-mixing is used for instructional purposes, not for making a joke or making funny expression. Do not let the students to use code-mixing for joking in inappropriate way because it will reduce the value of L2 language
4. Tell the students that mixing their L1 and L2 language sometimes is allowed, but to use it too often is wrong because it will make the students lazy

References
Ariffin, K & Susanti. M. 2011. Code-switching and Code-mixing of English and Bahasa Malaysia in Content-Based Classrooms: Frequency and Attitudes. Malaysia. Linguistics Journal June 2011 Volume 5 issues 1. Retrieved (December 1, 2011) from http://www.Code-mixing malay.com/documents/biRouh_rep.pdf
Celik, M. Teaching Vocabulary Through Code-mixing. 2003. Turkey. ELT Journal Hacettepe University. Retrieved (December 1, 2011) from http://www.teaching vocabulary.com/documents/Celik_rep.pdf
Poplack, S., 1980. “Sometimes I’ll Start a Sentence in Spanish y termin├│ en espa├▒ol: Towards a Typology of Codeswitching”, Linguistics 18(7/8), pp. 581-618.
Wardhaugh, R. 1998. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Third Edition. USA. Blackweel Publishers. Ltd
Zarei, A & Tagipour. S. 2011. The effects of code-mixing, thematic clustering, and contextualization on L2 vocabulary recognition and production. Iran. Journal of Language and Culture. Retrieved (December 1, 2011) from http://www.academicjournals.org/JLC
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