Essay on Code Switching And The Target Language

Essay on Code Switching And The Target Language

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Second language learners have been influenced by the used of code switching, interfering with the proper acquisition of the target language. Let’s start with what is code switching? Code switching is defined as the use of more than one language in a conversation. (Romaine, 1992:110). There are three types of code switching “tag-switching,” “inter-sentential switching,” and “intra-sentential switching. We will be examining the many reasons why people switch from one language to another and why code switching can be seen as harmful to some while beneficial to others when learning a second language.
First, according to researchers there are three types of code switching “tag-switching,” “inter-sentential switching,” and “intra-sentential switching.” (Pollack, 1980, p. 613-615). Tag switching, is switching a word or phrase from one language to another anywhere in a sentence while keeping the same meaning. For example “Pedro es Dominican y por eso le gusta la Bachata, you know”. The English meaning would be “Pedro is Dominican and that’s why he likes Bachata, you know”. Inter-sentential switching is a switch between two languages outside a sentence or at a subject and a predicate. For example “Ana le gusta comer mucho. Do you like to eat a lot?” In English the meaning would be “Ana likes to eat a lot. Do you like to eat a lot?” Intra-sentential switching occurs when a word or phrase from the first language is inserted to another language in the middle of a sentence. For example “Quiero ir al party para bailar.” In English it would be “I want to go to the party to dance.”
Next, there are many reasons why people switch from one language to another. First possibility, is a person who cannot express what he/she is trying to communicat...


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... two languages.” (Hammink 1) On the other hand, some see code switching as a useful way of communicating effectively. For example, a student who is bilingual might feel more comfortable and find it easier to get their point across by using code switching. According to Ana Huerta Macias “code switching is used to elaborate, emphasize, specify, and clarify for effective communication.” There are however effective and non- effective ways of code switching. One form of non-effective code switching is when a person is making a statement and they stop because of a language barrier. In this instance the person tries to explain what they are trying to say by using words they know but the other person does not know it. One form of effective code switching is when someone uses code switching to explain their point and is able to communicate effectively with both languages.

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