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ERIC Number: ED145953
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Mar
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Code-Switching in Four Six-Year-Old Spanish-English Speakers.
Genishi, Celia
This observational study examined code switching, the alternation of language or dialects to convey social meaning, in 6-year-old Spanish-English bilinguals. Specifically, the study attempted to determine which of the five variables were associated with code switches: physical setting; type of activity; characteristics of the addressee (age, ethnicity, linguistic ability); topic of conversation; linguistic intention (requesting help, arguing, etc.). The study also attempted to investigate any differences between children's and adults' code switching. Subjects were four children attending a bilingual day care center-kindergarten. Children's language production and concurrent behavior were recorded. From the data, seven types of activity settings were isolated. Episodes of interactive speech were analyzed for the five variables studied. Results indicate that the only variable having a clear effect was the addressee's linguistic ability; children were able to choose and maintain the language that their listeners spoke best. The major difference between adults' speech and the four children's speech samples was the low incidence of children's conversational (mid-episode) as opposed to situational code switching. (SB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Revised version of paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (New Orleans, Louisiana, March 17-20, 1977); Paper is based on Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, 1976