Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 13. Number2.  June 2022                                Pp. 437-450

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Code-switching Versus Target-language-only for Saudi EFL Students 

Mazeegha A. Al Tale’
Department of English
Faculty of Languages and Translation
King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia

Faten Abdullrahman AlQahtani
Department of English
Faculty of Languages and Translation
King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia
Corresponding Author:


Received: 3/13//2022                     Accepted:5/25/2022                    Published: 6/24/2022

Selecting the medium of instruction to teach the target language in EFL classrooms has been controversial for several years.  This study explores the impact of code-switching versus target-language-only teaching strategies on beginner students’ learning and affective sustenance of EFL reading comprehension based on their perceptions.  It also explores whether there are significant differences between the participants’ perceptions of these two teaching strategies’ possible impact on their learning and affective sustenance.  Moreover, it examines whether they prefer their teachers to use code-switching or target-language-only instruction in the classroom and the reasons for their preferences.  A questionnaire and follow-up interviews were used to collect the data from 52 female Saudi college participants. The results indicate that the participants had positive perceptions about the impact of CS on their learning and affective sustenance in the EFL reading classes as opposed to negative perceptions about TL-only instruction.  The results also show significant differences between their perceptions of TL-only instruction and code-switching, indicating that they prefer code-switching to TL-only instruction in their EFL reading classes.  The study recommends that code-switching is used as a facilitating instructional strategy for EFL beginners to give them affective support and make the input more comprehensible.
Keywords: affective sustenance, code-switching, EFL instruction, reading comprehension, Saudi EFL students, target-language-only

Cite as:  Al Tale’, M. A., & AlQahtani, F. A.  (2022). Code-switching Versus Target-language-only for Saudi EFL Students. Arab World English Journal, 13 (2) 437-450.


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Received: 3/13//2022 
Accepted: 5/25/2022  
Published: 6/24/2022 

Mazeegha Ahmed Al-Tale’ is an associate professor of Applied Linguistics at King Khalid University (KKU), Saudi Arabia. Throughout her career, she has taught graduate and postgraduate English language courses, face-to-face and online. In addition, she has published articles in Saudi, Arabic, and international journals. Teaching English as a foreign language (EFL), digital foreign learning, and critical discourse analysis are her research interests. ORCID ID:

 Faten Abdullrahman Alqahtani is a lecturer in the department of English at King Khalid University. She received an MA in Applied Linguistics from the University of South Florida. She is currently studying for her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics at KKU. Expertise and interests include English as a foreign language (EFL), teaching and learning, curriculum and instruction, language testing, and error analysis. ORCID ID: