Code - mixing and the learning of English as a second language: a study of selected Primary schools in Migori county-Kenya
Language plays an important role in the society and this leads to the study of code mixing as a sociolinguistic phenomenon. The research attempts to expose the patterns of language behaviour of primary school pupils in Migori County. The study sampled three schools which were deemed fit to represent the county. Motivational factors and challenges of code mixing in the learning of English were analyzed. The goal of the study was to establish how code mixing of Dholuo and English relates to Interlanguage theory in learning English as a second language amongst primary school pupils. It was discovered that English language has adapted to Dholuo context especially when pupils engage in conversations in informal situations. English language remained the matrix language in formal situations where the learners were alert in their language choice. The objectives helped the study to get to an inner insight of the real cause of code mixing amongst primary school pupils. The data of this study was collected through qualitative approach. The methods of data collections included interviews and observations. The data collected were analyzed in order to understand the relationship between pupils’ code mixing, the interlocutor and the challenges that code mixing poses to second language learning. It was concluded that the most common motivational factor behind pupils’ code mixing was the need to fill a lexical gap. This was evident in data analysis whereby both interviews and observations revealed that when learners lack an equivalent English word they resort to a Dholuo word. Code mixing showed close connection of the linguistic behaviour with the linguistic environment exposing essential mechanisms of the learners’ ability to approximate the target language.