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2013 Master's Level Graduate Research Conference

Session I - Session II - Session III

Code-Switching Between Heritage Langauge Learners

The United States continues to have increasing numbers of native Spanish speaking students entering our schools. As more of these students come in, the more students our schools need to accommodate for their linguistic and academic needs. Thus, the purpose of bilingual programs is to develop studentsí native language and develop their second language through the use of content. As these students are fortunate enough to develop both language skills, it is common to see bilingual students code-switching within a single conversation. Some researchers sees code-switching as a negative aspect while learning a language while others see it as a stage within the process of learning a new language (Bista, 2010). This research paper investigates what factors lead students to code-switching and how it affects their language learning process. In exploring when students code switch, the data collected should be of students in a natural school setting. Therefore, information will be collected from observing native Spanish speaking students in a bilingual program conversing with each other. What will be documented is when do these students most often code-switch, does their environment affect their code-switching, and why is it that these students are code-switching when they are. The results of this paper can lead to further implications on teaching heritage learners. First, teachers can use the information to better understand and get to know about their students when they are code-switching and why. Second, teachers can use the information for their own students to better accommodate to their linguistic needs.

Presenter: Wendy Olmo-Castillo (SUNY Brockport) -- wolmo1@u.brockport.edu
Topic: Education & Bilingual - Panel
Location: 122 Hartwell
Time: 9:45 am (Session I)

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