Code-mixing and its impact on language competence

Dan Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Along with China's economic growth, code-mixing is becoming a common phenomenon, especially in big cities. Meanwhile, it is a topic of research in China's language education as there are different views on the influence of code-mixing in terms of the development of L2 competence or maintenance of L1. One of the views is that code-mixing is a sign of an inability to express oneself and it reduces the opportunity of using L2 completely. For this reason, code-mixing is regarded as a factor leading to the decline of language proficiency. To discover the impact of code-mixing on its users' language competence, the paper reports an empirical study that investigates code-mixing in three coastal cities of China. About 230 Chinese-English bilinguals participated. It employs some qualitative methods such as questionnaires and tests to collect data. Then, the data are quantitatively classified and statistically analyzed and described. Findings reveal that most users do not feel code-mixing detrimental and the test results are in line with their own feelings. The discussion of the paper can prompt people concerned to re-examine the role of codemixing from a wider perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-90
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Language Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

User-Defined Keywords

  • Code-Switching
  • Code-Mixing
  • L2 Development
  • Language Competence
  • Language Communication


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