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Code-switching between English and Croatian in Croatian university students of English


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Ćurlin, Petra. (2015). Code-switching between English and Croatian in Croatian university students of English. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of English Language and Literature. [mentor Letica Krevelj, Stela].

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Code-switching - alternating between two languages or codes of communication, is as widespread as bilingualism itself. According to Pavlenko (2006), the attitudes towards code-switching in traditionally monolingual societies, such as Croatian society, have been largely negative (p.2). Some authors believe that even in today’s increasingly bilingual world, alternating between languages is still viewed in a bad light (Coulmas, 2005, p.109) A questionnaire-based research study was carried out among English majors at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb. The principal goals of this research study were to investigate the participants’ personal attitudes towards code-switching between Croatian and English and the relationship between their code-switching habits and their self-perception both as English majors and as members of Croatian society. The combined quantitative and qualitative analysis of their responses showed that their attitudes towards code-switching were neutral to negative, while the most important factor of influence on the participants’ self-reported code-switching habits was the interlocutor and their English language proficiency. The results confirmed that Croatian English majors are aware that code-switching is a commonplace phenomenon among them. However, they do not necessarily feel that this is justified by the nature of their studies. There was strong evidence in support of the hypothesis that there is a difference in foreign language proficiency between the younger Croatian generation, born from the late 20th century onwards, and the older generations, which influences the speakers’ code-switching choices. The study indicates that attitudes towards code-switching may be changing to be more favorable than in the past. The English language in Croatia seems to be transcending the category of a “foreign” language and becoming a secondary but nonetheless legitimate means of communication for many speakers, which could signal a major change in the attitudes of Croatian society towards code-switching and towards bilinguals in general.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: code-switching, bilinguals, self-perception, attitudes, interlocutor
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Supervisor: Letica Krevelj, Stela
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2015 10:10
Last Modified: 12 Nov 2015 10:10

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