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

Hin Leung CHUI, Yiqi LIU, Chun Nam Bernie MAK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

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. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-51
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Linguistics
Volume26
Issue number1
Early online dateSep 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Citation

Chui, H. L., Liu, Y., & Mak, B. C. N. (2016). Code-switching for newcomers and veterans: A mutually-constructed discourse strategy for workplace socialization and identification. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 26(1), 25-51.

Keywords

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

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