An exploration of extra linguistic factors of English – Kiswahili code switching in FM Industry in Kenya

  • OR Onyango


The paper examines English and Kiswahili Code-switching (CS) in Kiss Fm and Easy Fm radio stations in Kenya.CS is a recently formed practice in Fm stations in Kenya. Liberalization of the air waves led to a shift in the language of broadcasting among the Fm anchors unlike the previous years when broadcasters used English exclusively .The new stations started switching language during their shows. Since then, several Fm stations have adopted CS during their programmes to communicate with the Fm listeners and various audiences. In this study, we examine the motivations of Fm anchors to code switch and whether the specific extralinguistic factors contribute to such code switching. Data from naturally- occurring conversations by four Fm anchors are analyzed within Blom and Gumperz (1972) interactional/Interpretative model. An attempt is also made to demonstrate that code-switching in Fm stations is influenced by extralinguistic factors.Fm anchors are found to use CS as a communication strategy employed for effective communication between Fm anchors and Fm listeners . The data set for this work came from four FM anchors in the two FM stations sampled through purposive sampling and ten Maseno University Student selected through snow ball sampling technique..

Keywords: codeswitching, FM, extralinguistics factors, media, FM achors, FM listeners, Kenya.

Journal of Language, Technology & Entrepreneurship in Africa Vol. 1 (2) 2009: pp. 151-159

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1998-1279