Fulbright English teaching assistants: joint preparation of classroom activities and codeswitching in a practice community of the Languages without Borders Program


  • William Kirsch Fundação Universidade de Rio Grande (FURG) – UFRGS
  • Simone Sarmento Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)




English as an additional language, communities of practice, codeswitching.


This article discusses codeswitching in a community of practice generated by the Languages without Borders Program in a large public university in Southern Brazil. The corpus presented in this article consists of a synoptic chart with the description of 15 events involving at least one English Teaching Assistant (ETA) and has codeswitching as an integral feature, as well as the transcription ofone prototypical interactional event in which codeswitching happens. Ourinterpretation of the data suggests that (1) codeswitching is a central resource in these interactions, and that (2) these interactions seem to culminate in: (a) student teachers practicing and learning English and English-speaking culture from the ETAs, (b) ETAs practicing and learning Portuguese and Brazilian culture from the student teachers. In addition to that, codeswitching seems to be a style that demonstrates engagement in the community.


Download data is not yet available.


Blom, Jan-Petter & Gumperz, John. 1991. Social meaning in linguistic structures: Code-switching in Norway. In: John Gumperz & Dell Hymes (eds.). Directions in Sociolinguistics. New York: Wiley-Blackwell. p. 407-434.

Duranti, Alessandro. 1997. Linguistic Anthropology. Cambridge:Cambridge University Press.

Eckert, P. 2000. Linguistic variation as social practice: the linguistic construction ofidentity in Belten High. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishers, 2000.

Erickson, Frederick. 1990. Qualitative Methods. In: Quantitative Methods, Qualitative Methods. Londres: Macmillan. p. 77-198.

Hymes, D. (1962). The ethnography of speaking. In: Anthropology and human behavior (p. 1553).

Washington, DC: Anthropological Society of Washington. Gimenez, T. & Passoni, T. P. 2016. Políticas linguísticas e suas consequências não planejadas: o programa “Inglês Sem Fronteiras” e suas repercussões nos ursos de Letras. Calidoscópio, 14(1), p. 115-126. 10.4013/cld.2016.141.10

Kirsch, W. & Sarmento, S. 2016. Atividade Docente, Comunidades de Prática e Formação Docente. In: Simone Sarmento; Denise Martins de Abreu-e-Lima, & Waldenor Barros Moraes Filho (org.). Do inglês sem Fronteiras ao Idiomas sem Fronteiras: a construção de uma política linguística para a internacionalização. Belo Horizontes: Editora UFMG. p. 193-216.

Lave, J. & Wenger, E. 1991. Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mason, Jennifer. 1996. Qualitative Researching. Londres: Sage. McCarty, T. L. 2015. Ethnography in Language Planning and Policy Research. In: Research Methods in Language Policy and Planning: A Practical Guide. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons. p. 81-93. 10.1002/9781118340349.ch8 McCarthy, Michael. 2003. “Talking back: ‘small’ interactional response tokens in everyday conversations. In: Research on Language and Social Interaction, 36(1), p. 33-63.

Poplack, Shana & Meechan, Marjory. 1998. Instant loans, easy conditions: the productivity of bilingual borrowing. International Journal of Bilingualism, 2(2, Special issue). Saldana, Johnny 2009. The coding manual for qualitative researchers. London: Sage Publications.

Sarmento, Simone & Kirsch, William. 2014. Inglês sem Fronteiras na UFRGS. V Encontro Nacional do Projeto Novos Letramentos. São Paulo, SP, Brasil.

______. 2015. Inglês sem Fronteiras: uma mirada ao contexto de prática pelo prisma da formação de professores a partir do trabalho docente. Ilha do Desterro a Journal of English Language, Literatures in English and Cultural Studies, 68(1), p. 047-059. 10.5007/2175-8026.2015v68n1p47

Soares, Mariana S., Dornas, Juliana B., Costa, Alexandre D., & Salgado, Ana Claudia P. 2012. A alternância de códigos no contexto da educação bilíngue: code-switching, code-mixing e as transferências linguísticas. Revista Gatilho, 8(15), p. 1-14.

Wenger, Etienne 1998. Communities of Practice: Learning, Meaning, and Identity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Young, Richard F. 2009. Discursive practice in language learning and teaching. Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell.



How to Cite

Kirsch, W., & Sarmento, S. (2017). Fulbright English teaching assistants: joint preparation of classroom activities and codeswitching in a practice community of the Languages without Borders Program. BELT - Brazilian English Language Teaching Journal, 8(2), 209–219. https://doi.org/10.15448/2178-3640.2017.2.26712




Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>