Students Learning to Code-Switch
In addition to the intrinsic variables discussed in the last chapter which account for some of the differences in dialect production levels between children, students vary in their production of dialect forms relative to a number of important extrinsic “stylistic” variables. “Code-switching,” “style-shifting,” or “dialect-shifting” are terms used to refer to the changing of one’s dialect production in response to external stylistic influences. Unlike the rule-governing linguistic principles or the set of influential durable social variables discussed in the last chapter, the “stylistic” variables discussed in this chapter are more dynamic (Preston, 1991) and can vary based on more immediate environmental influences. Code-switching is a learned behavior and the implications for learning to code-switch are significant. Students who code-switch demonstrate significantly better language and literacy achievement compared to their peers who do not code-switch.