Code-switching: An Essential Skill For Bilinguals

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Language is the primary way to communicate, learn and express identity. People, who have native-like control of two or more languages or are simply bilingual, establish their identity through code-switching. Code-switching refers to using more than language or variety in conversation. Code-switching is an essential skill for bilinguals. People with mixed cultural identity require the proficiency in code-switching to show loyalty to more than one cultural or social group. The need to learn code-switching can arise from a variety of situations where people are required to become bilingual. There are several reasons to become bilingual. One of those is living in a bilingual community. In her article “From outside in”, Barbara Mellix reports her childhood of two distinct groups with two different dialects. One group aside with her family and neighborhood is black people. The other group whom she speaks “standard English” to is white people. The second reason is colonialism. Chinua Achebe, the well-known African writer, experiences a mixed culture with native Africa and British colon...

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