Social media and Arabic: code-switching amongst Algerian students living in the UK

Linda Merzougui

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores the concept of individual identity construction and code-switching amongst Algerian students living in the UK. By adopting social media as the main context because although code-switching tends to only occur in spoken language, social media use tends to have moved into informal language use similar to that of the spoken rather than the written form. The rationale lies in understanding the evolvement and the globalisation of language through immigration and also access to global communication media.

Drawing upon a triangulation approach to research that is underpinned to capture the data required, a sample size of fifteen participants were recruited to send their social media feedback over the course of three-month period. At the outset of the research each participant completed a detailed questionnaire to provide a profile of individual identity including gender which is then further explored in their subsequent use of code-switching if and where it occurs. Finally a sample of code-switching users were interviewed to explore perspectives on how and why this phenomenon is occurring, what purpose it serves, and to establish whether there is a link to identity and code-switching use.

The outcomes reveal the language use system of participants that tends to be diversified rather than homogenised, putting into a question the link between gender and Arabic code-switching and also the influences of social media on Arabic language use.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2017
EventScottish Educational Research Association Annual Conference : Educational Futures in a Changing Landscape: Bridging Boundaries or "Mind the Gap"? - University of the West of Scotland, Ayr, United Kingdom
Duration: 22 Nov 201724 Nov 2017


ConferenceScottish Educational Research Association Annual Conference
Abbreviated titleSERA Conference 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • code-switching
  • Arabic/English
  • gender
  • identity construction
  • social media


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