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Free «Code Switching» Essay Sample

Code switching is the concurrent use of more than one language in a conversation. Code switching in Singlish is observed in Singapore among the three ethnic groups, where English is used as an ‘inter-ethnic lingua franca’ to converse with other cultural groups. Singapore English can be divided into two groups: Singapore Standard English and Singlish. The Singapore Standard English is used in formal situations while the Singlish is used in informal situations. Despite efforts by the government of Singapore to eradicate Singlish among the Singaporeans, quite a huge number of them still use it, more so the younger generation who use it as their language of choice. According to the ministry of education media reports (1999, pp.1-5) in Singapore, Singlish is becoming a language of identity among the younger generation. One from the young generation would like to communicate with his/her friends in Singlish to identify with them and avoid being snobbish. Superiors and foreigners use Singapore Standard English while people in their informal conversations mostly among the youth use Singlish.

According to a researcher Gupta (1989), it is stated that proficient adult speakers of English use two sharp different kinds of English depending on the circumstances, while Chang (2005) argues that Singaporeans know well when Singlish is appropriate. Many interviews and questionnaire methods are used, but the views of the Singaporeans are positive on its use. Many people have are quite attached emotionally to Singlish because it gives ones identity, shows the pedigree, their ancestor’s line, and that is why Singlish is very important to the Singaporeans. Chang (2005) states, that speaking Singlish is a proclamation of people’s identity.

The use of Singapore Standard English and Singlish in Singapore has some strong relations among the Singaporeans. They have a conviction that it is their identity thus it is not easy to eradicate Singlish in Singapore. Since Singlish is part of the Singaporean culture, Singaporeans hold onto Singlish; despite the code switching involved the language is independent and facilitates effective communication among its users. In this paper, I will focus on various perceptions of Singlish both positive and negative aspects.


Code witching is the ability to use more than one language during communication. Code switching is common with people who speak more than one language. Code switching occurs when bilinguals use a word or a phrase from one language to replace another in the second language, which they are less eloquent. For instance, Singaporeans mix local languages and English to communicate with other cultural communities. In this sense, Singlish is entirely used as a lingua franca that facilitates communication between different ethnic communities. In various international scenarios, they have been a rise of code switching to facilitate communication especially in the informal context.

In Singapore, the majority of the code switchers use Singlish for unofficial communication. However, the younger generation is the most affected parties of the singlish code switching. The overly use of Singlish by the youth has proved a problem hindering their academic progress in learning English. Since singlish is entirely meant for unceremonious communication, the youth are taught Standard English for the sake of formal communication.   However, the education system has experienced various challenges in teaching children who do not speak. According to a news release, Anne Dudley teachers have adopted a lyrical approach as the most effective technique of teaching. Through a curriculum called Singlish, which combines posters of children song lyrics and special CDs. This strategy has paid off for the Tulare Elementary schools. Theresa Castelan, a teacher involved in the English learners program asserted that children learn the language easily since they like singing at the end they emerge successful English learners. Consequently, the youth learns and differentiate between Singlish and Standard English (Ann 2009).

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In the modern Singaporean society, there are different perceptions of Singlish. Some people support singlish referring to as part of their culture, whereas other people feel that it is a crooked form of English, which has no place in modern Singapore. However, the latter is rather misinformed since Singlish is an independent language. In essence, Singlish came about due to interactions between communities in which language was not a native language (Lisa et al. 2010).

In fact, Singlish is an independent language that has its own syntax. Such recognition is significant due to the different contexts in which the standard English and Singlish are employed.


According to Christopher & Lionel (2008) in depth, research upholds the insidious challenges that are encountered in the accommodation of multilingual practices in English or any other language use. This implies that speakers of different dialects in the Singaporean society had to use the Singlish lingua franca to facilitate communication among the various communities. Consequently, the various communities could relate as one entity by use of the Singlis identity, which is somewhat a unifying factor among the Singaporeans. The accommodation of various language dialects in Singapore could not be without code-switching coming into place. First, the most significant aspect is the role which language plays. For instance, the aspect of identification and expression of standpoints is quite important among the youth or rather students. Instances in peer interactions among the youth strongly suggest students’ unacceptable interactions in the classroom environment are carried outside classroom interactions since they do not prevail under the teacher’s authority. Since classroom interactions do not allow space for such interactions, students are driven to engage in such off-stage interactions more so outside classroom environments to standout and achieve identity recognition as such. This behavior among students is out of their pursuit to be accommodated in the multilingual society of Singapore. As Christopher & Lionel (2008) stated, an insight into data relating to students in Singapore high schools indicate that students play a big role in constructing identities, which are integrated in the learning process. For instance, students’ weakness in Standard English due to use of Singlish has led to adoption of various teaching techniques to counter the effect. On the other hand, the contextual use of Singlish among the population of Singapore has its background from the immigration of various communities and interactions in Singapore hence the integration whose accommodation in the Singaporean society resulted in birth of Singlish due to code switching.

In reference to Rampton’s notion, and an integration of theoretical analysis in practical classroom pedagogy the role of socio-cultural backgrounds and the impact on identity of the diversified population in the context of multilingualism, which is the situation in Singapore since language serves the purpose of identification (Nguyen, 2008). An individual’s , or a certain community’s relationship with the larger society is signaled by language. Identity is neither a possession nor an attribute, but an individual’s collective process of semiosis. Language is an external bebaviour that allow identification of a speaker as a member of some group. Thus language serves the purpose of identification. It identifies a given group by its uniqueness.  Therefore, the use of Singlish by the majority of the Singaporean society serves as an identity of the people. Rampton points out that, code-switching has source language even though it contains mixed speeches. However, there are new structures in language. For instance, Singlish is made up of vocabularies and a syntax that has been borrowed from constituent communities whose interaction led to emergence of Singlish. Truly, the new structures in language correspond to the ethnic dialects from which the structure was borrowed.  

This has also streamed to education system, which is quite technical when it comes to use of language. In spite of endless engagement in debates to address the issue of multilingual education there are still persistent issues affecting this issue. In fact, Singlish has been stereotyped as a language of the minority illiterate and an illegitimate language. This has been one of the predominant challenge in accommodation of Singlish in the Singaporean society. In addition, education choices do not only aim to achieve curriculum goals but also cultural growth and appreciation. Thus classroom pedagogy is culturally sensitive since the students involved share different cultural backgrounds hence diversified languages, which are merged by Singlish (Rubdy, 2007).

In classroom set up, teachers are worried that peer involvements might hold back rather than promote language-learning experiences due to the use of Singlish and other related languages, which are mother tongue languages to individual students. According to Christopher & Lionel (2007) insights into primary interactions among children at a young age in the primary category are indicative that this stage plays quite a substantial role in language development and acquisition. However, tutors are expected to take full charge or rather advantage of this stage and employ interactive pedagogical tasks, which are suitable for nurturing competence in language skills (Li &Vivian, 2011). Contemporary Applied Linguistics: Language Teaching and Learning.London: Continuum International Publishing Group.  The application of repetitive information gap tasks with different group of the same class of students has been thought to improve accuracy and fluency in language skills.

Literature Review

Although code switching is mainly approached from the simple aspect of mixing two or more languages to facilitate communication, there are wider lens in which code switching should be addressed. This is socio-linguistic dimension of code switching, which is global issue. Available literature from the World Atlas shows that Language Structure there are more than 7,000 languages spoken by more than half of the world’s population, who are bilinguals. In fact, this reality makes it easier to understand why modern world presents the obvious nature of alternation between the two languages as the social with the exception of a few communities today (Nguyen, 2008).

According to Nguyen (2011) The first, question features the issue as to why study of language has become a predominant research topic. Despite research on the topic, repeatedly linguistic research has remained an interesting research topic. The social and economical changes in the society have undergone quite a lengthy trend in human history. Given the changes and interactions in economic activities in a historical progress, bilingualism came into existence. The reality that people have the ability to speak more than two languages is applauded in the modern world, promote since bilingualism is beneficial and no longer perceived as a drawback.

In early research work dating to the 1970s, bilingualism was perceived a language drawback among individuals. The research held to the conclusion that bilinguals were not able to grasp two languages and keep them apart appropriately Rubdi (2008). Therefore, bilinguals were mainly regarded as deficient in language behavior due to the shortcoming not knowing at least one language to a higher precision. According to Nguyen (2008) This led to a decline in the study of the research topic due to this misconception. However, recent research has identified positive developments in the role played by bilingualism. In fact, recent linguists have taken a different approach to study bilingualism to a fine detail. Consequently, code switching has been embraced and accepted as grammatically structured and logical thus not a deficient language behavior.

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There are various theories that attempt to expound on why bilinguals participate in code switching in various perspectives. The most outstanding aspect to explain code switching is the socio-linguistic perspective. Code switching is not an independent facet in communication thus cannot be isolated from other aspects of code switching such as monolingualism and multilingualism, which are structural parts of bilingual speech (Nguyen, 2008). Approaching code switching from a sociolinguistic perspective, it takes more than the formal context of language use. In this strategy, a sociolinguistic perspective identifies the social, pragmatic and cultural roles of code switching have in society. The choice of a certain language is not an indiscriminate behavior, but a structured pattern, which can be predicted. This stimulates further curiosity why bilinguals prefer use of various language selections in similar statements. This features the likely situations in which code switching is probable, and a particular meaning, which it might have. According to Nguyen (2008) Using Joshua Fishman’s analysis an appropriate evaluation of this aspect is definitely an application of macro-level perspective. This perspective features the relationship between society and language. This applies to the relation between certain language choices and the activities involved. This perspective employs the assumption that language preferences are predictable depending on the context in which they occur. However, another perspective, micro-level approach is a contradiction to this. The micro-level perspective address code-switching from an international context, which considers interlocutors as the over motivation of code-switching, and not social norms. According to John Gumperz and John Blom, code switching is mainly a language discourse on its own, but also severs a conversational communication hence the switching (Nguyen, 2008). According to the researchers named above, code-switching is rather a contextualization cue that speakers employ to mark their speech. The theory of conversational code-switching is more convincing since interactions encountered by bilinguals are always in different contexts that require them to converse. This automatically leads to code-switching since each context is unique and different speakers employ different code-switching techniques depending on their language background and knowledge (Nguyen, 2008).

Gumperz’s theory of conversational code-switching has been been very influential and developed further by other researchers such as Auer. In fact, Aurer advanced Gumperz’s theory to introduce a new concept of conversation analysis that entails an in-depth transcription of a conversation to identify the meaning communicate in code switching. Another theory that has been put forward to explain code switching is Carol Myers markedness model. Carol Myers-Scotton model approaches code-switching from a psychological perspective. This model regards code switching as a concession of the connection between bilinguals. The makerdness Model is a combination of the macro and micro-level perspectives since Carol Myers-Scotton approach analyzes the social factors involved and context of the conversation, which the speakers participate (Nguyen, 2008).

In the Language Journal (2011) the state of Singapore has four different languages. The chief language is English; the other three are Tamil, Mandarin and Malay. English is the official language which is used widely followed by the other three mentioned. Apart from these three languages, there are other minor languages and dialects used by communities in modern Singapore. The significant among these dialects is Singlish, which is a mixture of phrase form English and other mother tongue languages of the Singaporean speakers. According to the Language Journal (2011) outlines the perception of Singlish are a “low prestige” whereas English is highly regarded. However, Singlish is not only spoken by the youth on the streets but also by the prominent persons in Singaporean society. In fact, Singlish has roots in different cultures, social classes and races. Singlish has a wide range of borrowed phrases and words, but quite unique as a language. It has phrases such as ‘Lah, Mah and Leh”, which are usually suffixes. In addition, Singlish has frequent use of these suffixes to affirm certain aspects in conversations, and statements. For instance, when asserting something one may use these suffixes to exaggerate certain attribute. For example, “the temperature is too low lah.” Lah is used to exaggerate an aspect. On the other hand, “ah”affirm especially when a person concurs with a statement made by a correspondent in a conversation. For instance, “This cake ah is so sweet.” In Singlish, some phrases borrowed from English have a slightly different meaning. For instance, can is used to mean yes whereas cannot is used for “no” in some colloquial instances. In some cases, some phrases and words borrowed from English are spelled quite differently. For example, Singlish use phrases such “come alleady” or “gone orready.”

The Language Journal (2011) In Singapore the Government consider Singlish a bad image of the Singaporean society, and inappropriate for the country given its world-class status as a commercial and financial center. In fact, the Singaporean government has put much effort in its endeavors to promote Standard English as a way of curbing English. In essence, the government has a negative perception of Singlish, and the launch of movement such as Speak Good English Movement (SGEM) the government has launched a tough fight against Singlish. The Singaporean Prime Minster ascertained this during the launch of the movement in his remarks, whereby he said use of Singlish displays Singaporeans as incompetent or rather less intelligent. The administrators of the Speak Good English Movement (SGEM ) consider Singlish a crude language. Nevertheless, countries with several languages used day in day out face a challenge of preventing intermixing of languages by speakers. In fact, the intermarriage of languages occurs naturally in countries with more than one dialect in use. Furthermore, the history of language intermarriage in different societies is enough proof that language intermarriages will always happen. Language change is beyond control of any authority whatsoever.  The education system of is actually among the best in Asia, and boast of a good command of English. Singlish is simply another means of informal communication, and there is no logic in arguing against it in fear that it is a threat to Standard English. The concern of the Singaporean government that Singlish could probably undermine Standard English or make Singaporeans seem incompetent should rest their worries. As Christopher & Lionel (2007) stated Singlish emerged from the interaction of various cultures, creeds and races of the Singaporean communities.

Research Methodology


The literature used during this research includes current and recently published articles about Singlish. Basically, most of these articles discuss the history, uses and developments of Singlish and the regions the language I studied. English as one of the major languages of most people in the world, it provides a capacity for some of its users to come up with new words haphazardly (Umberto, 78, 2009). This is a study about Singlish, a mixture of English, Teochew, Bengali, Punjabi, Malay, Cantonese and Hokkien Chinese in Singapore therefore, literature published about the subject from Singapore and Asia appeared to be vital. There was additional information from American and Australian literature due to slang from the two languages being incorporated in Singlish. From an angle of such integrated language, both communication and social tools were used for analysis of the topic. This was a necessity in order to understand the basics and the formation of the language.

Great focus was given to the investigations and findings of current literature on this topic more than speculations and theories. All the articles used here provide an insight into how diverse Singlish as a language has come to be and its present state. Apart from the history and developments of the language, recent advances and current challenges are studied through analysis of collected and existing data. Concomitantly, the social nature of Singlish compares to other languages. In this text, we realized that due to widespread language contact, there has been the development of multilingualism and language shift. Singlish as spoken currently could be different from the one spoken a few years back and thus the need to study both past and current literature on the language.

Research Strategy

According to Davis (97, 2011) several categories of tools can be used for this research, we resorted to using; self- reports, observation and face to face interviews. When conducting face to face interviews, we were able to acquire information on the history, development and the basics about Singlish as a language. Being some form of indigenous language, some consider it a heritage making them more eager to be interviewed. Self reports included obtaining information about what most students studying Singlish as a foreign language feel. The students verbally recalling what they felt during their studies. It is impossible to observe a language, in this context; observation was through observing behaviors of the native speakers and those who were learning about Singlish as a foreign language.

Moreover, primary and secondary data was highly depended upon. To be more scientific, findings, analysis and discussions were made based on data that contained qualitative information that was supported by quantitative information. Primary data was collected using surveys and focus group discussions. When conducting surveys, the old methods together with several specified particular survey techniques were used. Davis (167, 2011) describes research methods for collecting primary data that can be used to answer theoretical and qualitative findings in studies of foreign languages. Secondary data was obtained from census about Singlish speaking populations over the years. Umberto’s literatures provide a clear understanding of the development of Singlish and how diverse it has grown to date. Quantitative information on census of Singlish speaking population is found in Umberto (45, 2011).

Other critical reviews studied during this research examine the strengths and weaknesses of this language. Very few challenges were experienced during this research, but for the most part, finding interviewees was random and easy. The challenging part when collecting information was finding the differences between Singlish and other languages. It appeared that there was importation of words from other languages to mean a completely different thing in Singlish. For instance; in Singlish, the phrase “losing face” is used for wreckless drivers, but in English it means shame. This brought some confusion during interviewing as some of those who have studied Singlish as a second or third language confused such aspects. We found various explanations for the same issue thus making inferences proved a little difficult. Most of the words and phrases were borrowed from other languages other than English (Umberto, 234, 2010). We still could not understand why the language was known as Singlish instead of using any other language and adding the suffix    –lish to it. What our interviewees found hard to answer is whether they think the Singlish language should be maintained and done away with because most scholars considered it deplorable to the English language.

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For the intention of conducting my project, I requested two Singlish speakers at my university (Middlesex University in London) to take part in the research and permit me to record their conversations at the university and at their residence as well. In addition, I requested them to fill a short questionnaire which I formulated for my research. I choose the university as my location of research for this topic since I felt it is the best place I could find out to what extent code-switching is applied given the diversity of the university population.  My choice of the two contexts, the university and the participants’ residence is for the purpose of observing the likely variation of code-switching when in a formal place and when relaxed in an informal setting. I consider the two participants quite relevant to my research because they are Singlish native speakers, but have learned English as a second language. They are both youth at their twenties, and speak fluent English hence they code-switch regularly in their interactions at home and at school. Through their conversations, I seek to identify the instances in which code-switching occurs. Additionally, I will be able to identify any constraints that occur in code-switching and the probable reasons why code-switching occurs.

Research Approach

Few factors were considered during this study, among them;

  • Singlish is a version of English spoken in Singapore.
  • It is a language consisting of a blend of four other languages; Malay, English, Canton and Hokkien Chinese. The reason given for this is that most of the people from Singapore are native speakers of the languages above, though English is not a native language.
  • Just like any other language, Singlish has its own alphabet.
  • One of the characteristics of this language is its tendency to use old English words in a completely new way. For instance; words like on and off in English are used as adverbs but in Singlish, they are also used as verbs (Davis, 176, 2011).
  • Words used for swearing and cursing are in the other three languages and not in English (Umberto, 98, 2010). One of our interviewees told us that the reason for doing this is to make sure that the original meaning of vulgarity is maintained. Some scholars like Umberto echo the same sentiments.

We looked at Singlish not just as a language but also as a depiction of the tradition of the native speakers of the language. Previously, British English was the main language used, but after independence, Singlish emerged. It borrows words and phrases from its constituent languages and this can be looked at as a form of depicting tradition. Communication through language is one way of promoting social relationships (Rani, 23, 2008). In this context, Singlish was looked at as not promoting social relationships because it tends to seclude those who speak it. It also makes it difficult for students to develop literacy skills.

Apart from communication as its main role, Singlish was also used as a tool for promoting other social life activities. For instance, various movies were developed using the language to enable those who could understand the concept better if put in Singlish. We also acknowledge that Singlish was accepted in the United Kingdom in 2007 as a language that the British can to relate to. In conjunction with this, we realized that social context of the language can be looked at in terms of ; face to face, national, international and interaction at the community level. It was assumed that certain factors affect the quality of Singlish spoken. In most educated families, formal English is preferred to Singlish because it is not seen as an official language. Consequently, the discussion will focus on the various areas as discussed above.


The resultant effect of code-switching is variable in different communities. In the case of Singapore, code-switching has mainly served the purpose of enhancing communication. However, the emergence of Singlish due to code-switching has undergone various transformations and integration. Although, the dialect has several speakers and marks cultural identity, its accommodation in the Singaporean society has had many controversies. Firstly, the negative perception of the Singlish dialect as a deplorable form of English has been a drawback putting into consideration all the programs that have been established to curb Singlish.  In classroom set-up, the non-acceptance of the dialect leads students to involve in interaction employing Singlish outside the classroom to identify themselves with a distinguishable group. In fact, the education system has put in place strategies to discourage Singlish and promote standard English. The development of the Speak Good English Movement(SGEM) is an excellent example of the situation on the ground. Adults also tend to display a form of rebellion against the condemnation of Singlish as demeaning language by using it as a part of culture and identity recognition. Singlish has linguistic characteristics with Manglish, which is quite obvious given the economic and social interactions that led to the development of Singlish. In fact,  Malaysia and Singapore were once a single entity hence the interactions during the colonial period under the British, who introduced English to the population. Singlish borrows vocabulary from indigenous communities and English (Davis, 2011).

The Singaporean society has divergent uses of Singlish. For instance, after Singapore gained independence there were campaigns promoting a language switch, and the generation of that period embraced it to the extent of using new forms of expressions and idioms. This social transformation qualified Singlish as Creole based on English, but written in Sinaporean colloquials. Tor the majority of the Singaporean youth, Singlish is typically Singaporean and has a reputation of serving a unifying factor. In fact, it is the backbone of the cultural bond, which Singaporeans share. The interactions among the youth are characterized by the tendency of using the Singlish mode with the use of the familiar expressions and colloquialism. The dialect is quite an identity since the expressions are characteristically Singaporean (Davis, 2011).  


In a thorough consideration the impact of the informal or rather off-class interactions among the primary students on the dynamics of their opportunities of learning language is not as great as anticipated, but rather dependent on an individual ability. The nature of interactions among students, and code-switching involved in peer activities is usually beyond the teacher’s intervention. This cannot be directly assumed to be an impediment to language development since the class environment is strictly official and standards dictate so hence all students conform to this by all means (Rubdi, 2008). In essence, a particular task assigned to a group is the determinant factor in its completion, and not the motivation of the group. Social relations, and peer interaction activities among primary group students also have no such impact at all.

For instance, information gap tasks are most suitable for language learning since they help students establish what they are not yet familiar with and advance from there. In fact, information gap activities promote negotiation for comprehending the language further, which is a beneficial and effective way to instill language learning. Instances of improper contextualization of English among primary group students is simply due to their lack of competence in English since they are at the early stage of learning. Furthermore, they are not yet versed with various contexts in which to use language appropriately. In most cases, grammatical variations, individual preferences, lexical selection as well as the interlocutor influence fluency in language. In addition, code-switching which involves mixing of mother tongue phrases, and standard English are influenced by the mother tongue language of an individual. However, research analysis indicates that the young and primary level students have been identified to develop a refined understanding of what instances to employ code-switching and where not to code-switch. Scientifically, communication is learned from early childhood and has some attachment to natural instincts. This phenomenon is an eye opener on how learning language is influenced more by personal factors as opposed to peer interactions in informal contexts. Singlish has no systematic code-switching in interactions involving either the primary group students or the university as well as adults.  Therefore, the peer interactions among the primary group or any other group of students with the teacher’s supervision cannot be considered to affect their course of learning language since they use Singlish and Standard English is not categorized as code-switching. Another aspect concerns the use of language configurations in a recycling manner by students in peer interactions. Further research on this matter is of utmost importance to establish a conclusion as to whether it has an an impact on language learning or not.      

The lack of fluency in English learning due to presentation of oral skills in writing by primary group students has no link to peer interactions since oral skills are limited to individual communication skills. On the other hand, the application of the same task regrouping to improve accuracy and fluency does not assist language learning since different partners are not necessarily influential in learning and may have similar weaknesses. This only creates a distraction since individual fluency comes first before one a student can improve and better his skills to an exemplary level (Christopher, S and Lionel Wee, 2007). An initial attempt to subject students to a repetitive task in a new group creates an off-talk; hence, the overall impact of this strategy is only dependent on the individual level of interest or attention span.

Social interactions and economic developments have a major role in transformation of language and cannot possibly be hindered due to the social nature of people. The most influential factor in modern day interactions is the advent of globalization. This concept has made international interactions more prevalent in recent times than previous decades. In fact, globalization has led to the spread of mass communications, which has impacted the world, and Singapore is not an exception. Being interconnected with other countries, mass media interaction via Tv Shows and films has been common hence societies have impacted each other culturally.  In reality, the presence of foreign films to the Singaporeans has influenced their culture to some degree. In this context, Singaporeans have borrowed phrases from the foreign films aired in the mass media. The cultural exchange has led to diversification of the Singlish vocabulary due to borrowed words from Chinese, Indonesia and Malaysia films. Code-Switching is natural hence the Mandrain, Chinese dialects and English vocabulary that are part and parcel of Singlish. Code-switching is  a communications strategy, and has been experienced in various multilingual communities, and Singapore is not an exception. Given the language environment of multilingual societies code-switching is just a natural linguistic phenomenon and there is no need to perceive Singlish as a language vice. Asia has undergone vast continued changes, some post-colonial, industrial and globalization. In essence, the use of code-switching in Singlish does not only render the dialect a sign of identity but also gives a globalized outlook of the Singaporeans. The Singaporean entrepreneurial spirit, which is another distinguishing trait (Lim, Pakir & Lionel, 2010). In addition, the Singaporean scholars have attained a wide range of connections in the course of carrying out business in various cultural networks. This has served to provide the Singaporeans with a great opportunity for the international community to see them in a wider perspective. In fact, Singapore has always been open to global ideas and influences. For instance, the success of Singapore in matters of Science and Technology is portrayed as a very receptive country in global ideas. Singlish is certainly a characteristic uniqueness of the Singaporeans all round.


According to the language journal (2011) the most influential aspects of code-switching in most instances is the cultural and linguistic change, social classes, diversity in education systems, immigrations, educational organizations. Nevertheless, code-switching is not a threat to other independent languages at all. In fact, it is quite evident that Singlish and the Standard English can co-exist comfortably since it has been established that code-switchers can separate the two in various contexts. For instance, a visitor to Singapore can identify with local people quite competent in English language. However, as one interacts to a great extent with the local people in various contexts, it is evident that the characteristic Singlish is quite common among Singaporeans. In fact, a foreigner in Singapore would likely identify that Standard English is not a sufficient communication tool while conversing about local issues. Hence Singlish is essential in the Singaporean culture.

The use of Singlish is not conclusively a threat to English as a language or a subject at school. In schools it has been established that students have the ability to differentiate the two and separate them in formal and non-formal communications. Therefore, poor performance in English or use of Singlish phrase in English cannot be blamed on Singlish, but a person’s English background. In my view educators should take the responsibility and teach adequately to enable the primary level students to attain a firm grasp of English to further their understanding and command of English. Limited education leaves students lagging behind without even an understanding of English phonetics among other basics of the English language hence the poor code-switching that result from such speakers (Ministry of Education, 1999). Singlish will continue to have its place in society, but the efforts to curb it are definitely bound to fail. An open-minded approach to code-switching should be embraced in order to understand the role of bilingualism. In that way, every dialect will have its place in society, and English will take pride and maintain its place beside Singlish.   


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