ERIC Number: ED258451
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Jun
Reference Count: 0
Functions of Code-Switching in a Spanish/English Bilingual Classroom. Bilingual Education Paper Series Vol. 4 No. 11.
A study of code-switching in the classroom language use of a group of Ohio third graders used as data over 17 hours of conversation taped in September through December during structured small-group lessons, informal conversations, whole-class lessons, and peer teaching of English to monolingual and Spanish-dominant children. The group included Spanish monolingual, Spanish-dominant, balanced bilingual, and English-dominant students. The study focused on situations in which students used both languages most often. An ethnographic approach was used to analyze the instances and contexts of code-switching and to develop a situation typology. Nine categories of code-switching context were identified: regulatory (to control group behavior); emphasis (to stress a message); attention attraction; lexicalization (lexical need, cultural association, or frequency of use in one language or the other); clarification; instructional (to teach second-language vocabulary); sociolinguistic play (for humor, teasing, punning); addressee specification (to accommodate the linguistic need or choice of the addressee or to exclude individuals from the interaction); and miscellaneous. The considerable use of English, even among some Spanish-dominant students, raises questions about generalizing to children the previous findings about the use of Spanish and English among Spanish-speaking adults. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California State Univ., Los Angeles. Evaluation, Dissemination and Assessment Center.