Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 12. Number 2 June 2021                                        Pp. 109 -124

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Functions of Code Switching from Arabic to English among Jordanian Pilots in their Daily
Informal Conversations: A Case Study

  Maha S. Yaseen
Department of English, Al-Ahliyya Amman University
Amman, Jordan 

Rami A. Sa’di
Department of English, Community College of Al-Kharj
Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University
Al-Kharj, Saudi Arabia

Talha A. Sharadgah
Department of English, Community College of Al-Kharj
Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University
Al-Kharj, Saudi Arabia

Received: 1/31/2021               Accepted: 5/27/2021              Published: 6/24/2021


This study examines the frequency and the functions of code switching in informal conversations among Jordanian pilots, who have created their own jargon. It also explores the most frequent English expressions that the pilots switch to in their informal Arabic discourse. The conversations of eight Jordanian pilots aged between thirty and fifty-five were tape-recorded in three separate informal natural settings. The data were used for the purpose of finding out what the pragmatic and communicative functions are that the pilots’ code switching serves, and to investigate the most frequent expressions used in their conversations. The results showed that eight main conversational functions can be identified in their code-switching routines, namely: to compensate for the lack of exact equivalents in Arabic, to avoid interruption to the communication when not knowing the Arabic equivalent, to replace long and technical terminology in Arabic with acronyms in English (acronyms are not common in Arabic), to use aviation titles and ranks, to quote/ directly report phrases of speakers, to say the numbers, to refer to names of companies, places, documents, and organizations, and to insert some English formulaic expressions. The findings also showed that the most frequent terms and expressions used in code switching amongst Jordanian pilots are more related to the aviation register than to common-core vocabulary.
Keywords: Arabic-English, code switching, functions, informal daily conversations, Jordanian pilots

Cite as:   Yaseen, M. M.S., Sa’di, R. A. , & Sharadgah, T. A. (2021). Functions of Code Switching from Arabic to English among Jordanian
Pilots in their Daily Informal Conversations: A Case Study.  Arab World English Journal, 12 (2) 109 -124.


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Received: 1/31/2021 
Accepted: 5/27/2021   
Published: 6/24/2021

Dr Maha Yaseen is specialised in linguistics, with a particular interest in phonetics and phonology as well as in syntax. She is currently conducting research in educational technology and in various types of functional code-switching at Al-Ahliyya Amman University in Jordan in conjunction with colleagues in other universities.ORCID:

Dr Rami Al-Sa’di is specialised in linguistics, with a special interest in phonetics and phonology. He also has vested interests in TEFL and educational technology. Recently, he has been conducting empirical lab research on the pronunciation of English as spoken by Arabic-speaking EFL learners, with focus being on stress placement as well as other aspects of articulatory phonetics.ORCID:

Dr Talha Sharadgah is specialised in education and TEFL. He is particularly interested in educational technology. He has recently been conducting research on education in a virtual learning environment in the COVID-19 pandemic era.