chapter  1
14 Pages

The Educational Context: An Enduring Black-White Achievement Gap

This chapter explores two variables with theoretical and empirical promise to positively influence the learning of code-switching, specifically: metalinguistic awareness and executive cognitive functions. Sensitivity to the structures of language and the ability to reflect on one's own language forms and behaviors as an object of study, to develop metalinguistic skills, bear important relationships to reading acquisition. Future research needs to improve people understanding of potential foundational relationships between metalinguistic awareness and the acquisition of code-switching skills. Each student was designated as a code-switcher, non-switcher, or intermediate, based on a comparison of frog story (FS) and picture description (PD) dialect density measures (DDMs), using methods developed by Rothman, Craig, and Hensel. Additional analyses pursues the other measures collected as part of this investigation, and probe whether metalinguistic awareness takes the form of ongoing facilitative support to the development of code-switching and thus is a moderator of code-switching, and whether executive function (EF) abilities are mediators to code-switching acquisition.