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ERIC Number: EJ1200861
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0160-7561
Rethinking Code-Switching: Using Bakhtinian Speech Genres to Revitalize Classroom Language
Joyner, Karl
Philosophical Studies in Education, v49 p24-33 2018
In this paper, the author argues that the theoretical groundings of code-switching are flawed, in that they rely on a flawed understanding of language. For code-switching to function as described by sociologists and educators, language would have to be a skill--and particular languages and dialects to be discrete subsets of this skill--to be acquired and employed by students. However, this view of language rests on an assumption: language is merely the matching of words to reality in order to communicate about things and ideas, without acknowledging the intentions and values of the speaker, and without acknowledging an anticipation of the listener's response. In the first section, the author comments on Lisa Delpit and Christopher Emdin's approach to classroom language, including Emdin's explicit descriptions of code-switching activities. Following that section, the author discusses the risks inherent to code-switching because of the assumptions that the theory makes about language. In the final two sections, in which the author describes Bakhtin's theory of speech genres and their applications to classroom practice, the author argues that schools can avoid these implicit lessons with the careful teaching of explicit problems of hierarchy in language use and with activities that give students the opportunity to use language genuinely. The further conclusion that Bakhtin's theory allows is the hope that students can employ code-switching in ways that are not illiberal and that do not force them to adopt a hegemonic mode of expression. Such an outcome can allow for languages to interact, which could result ultimately in a standard language that incorporates a broader range of perspectives.
Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A