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This study investigates Korean and Thai bilingual students’ usage of code-switching in higher education contexts and explores whether or not it has any effects on their linguistic performance. Comprehensive understanding on the functions of code-switching and reasons of switching between languages are crucial in grasping the uniqueness of bilinguals’ discourses. In order to explore bilingual students’ linguistic behaviors, this study focuses on the topic and/or content of dialogs as the main factors influencing their communication. Based on the notion that code-switching affects linguistic performance, twenty-two undergraduate bilingual students’ code-switching practices are discussed. The data reveal that there are three positive effects bilingual students experience due to code-switching; they, 1) display proficiency and confidence; 2) deliver information clearly and effectively without avoiding specific information; and 3) recognize the smoothness of the discourse. Furthermore, the data suggest that the code-switching practices are largely driven by socio-cultural norms of the society regardless of their cultural background. The participants perceive that code-switching enriches their dialog most of the time though certain societal factors may put pressure on them to resist from doing so. The study employed qualitative methods to collect and analyze the data. By encapsulating the participants’ perceptions, this study provides insights on pragmatic and pedagogical repercussions in understanding bilingual students’ use of code-switching in Thai and Korean HE contexts.
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