Code-switching for newcomers and veterans: A mutually-constructed discourse strategy for workplace socialization and identification

Hin Leung Chui*, Yiqi Liu, Bernie C N MAK

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Socialization into the workplace is a challenge faced by new foreign workers in multilingual societies. One underexplored factor in the process is code-switching. We presented a case study of how a Filipino migrant integrated into her Hong Kong workplace where the local veterans used code-switching at work. Conceptualizing the workplace as Communities of Practice (Wenger 1998), we employed Gee's (2011) model of discourse analysis to examine empirical workplace discourse. Our analysis suggests that for a newcomer, code-switching indicates desire of socialization, negotiation of membership, linguistic competence, and professional abilities, and that for a veteran, code-switching reveals situated identities, instantaneous relationships, openness to newcomers, and encouragement to them. We argue that code-switching is performed by foreign newcomers and local veterans for workplace socialization and mutual identification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-51
Number of pages27
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Linguistics
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

User-Defined Keywords

  • Adult learning
  • Code-switching
  • Hong Kong
  • Socialization
  • Workplace discourse analysis

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