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Camille Tamlyn

on 7 May 2010

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Transcript of Codeswitching/Scrabble

Bilinguals at Play and the Art of Code switching Scrabble Vs Spanish Scrabble Methodology Why this study is important What the students said Interactions and Observations Participants Participants:

6 Middle School Students
Ages 11-14

3 Boys
3 Girls

All responded thet their L1 (or
first language spoken was Spanish)

2 girls came to the U.S. this year
and all other students have been
in the U.S. an average of 5 years Scrabble is a word-building game played with letter tiles.

Scrabble in English: Includes letters of the alphabet (A-Z) as well as 2 blanks

Scrabble in Spanish: Includes letters of the Spanish alphabet
(A-Z) including che, ll, and ñ, 2 blanks, and w, which is rarely used in
Spanish except for cognates and is a bad pick)

Secured a 30 minute time
period every day to play Scrabble (during DEAR--Drop Everything And Read)

Played 2 1/2 weeks of Scrabble in English, 2 1/2 weeks of Spanish Scrabble with my participation to guide them. (rules, words, etc.)

Tape recorded conversations each time, and went back to transcribe notes at the end of the week. Abstract Abstract:

This paper examines Spanish bilingual children's use of code-switching
during social interaction and play, specifically when playing (English
Language and Spanish language) Scrabble. Analysis of over 10 hours of
play in a classroom setting, with small groups of students whose L1 was
identified as Spanish revealed that Code switching was used
constructively and purposefully. Using the theory of rational choice, I
will examine how, when and for what purpose code-switching occured as
well as reveal how the order of code switching (From Spanish to English
or from English to Spanish) was also a strategic tool. 6 students who identified
themselves as Spanish-speaking to their
homeroom teachers during an oral question
and answer session in the classroom.

2 females who recently moved from Mexico (less than 6 months ago)
1 female who moved to the U.S. 6 years ago
1 female who moved to the U.S. 4 years ago
1 boy who was born in Mexico but whose mother is Puerto Rican
1 boy who moved here 6 years ago from Mexico.
This study looks at students and how they
use both their L1 and L2 strategically in social interactions. The study looks at code-switching from English to Spanish and from Spanish to English to show that code-switching can and does happen in both directions, regardless of "fluency," but more optimally to achieve other goals, such as faith, solidarity, face. * None of the participants knew how to play Scrabble beforehand
* Scrabble was taught to them in English because that is the game we initially started playing.
*Only 2 students knew each other before these meetings. (sisters)
*During English Scrabble participants spoke mostly Spanish and CS into English.
* During Spanish Scrabble, participants spoke mostly English and CS into Spanish.
* I caught myself CS-ing (even though I am not fluent in Spanish) during both game types.

Examples of what the Students Said:

During Spanish Scrabble:
CS for face and then solidarity.

Josefina: Puede usar cat?
Jon: Gato? Cat, right? Just cat? (CS for face, attacking or power)
Josefina: That's all I have, Jon. Que tienes, huh?(CS for face, also --to protect herself)
Alberto: Stop, Jon! Tengo mal letras tambien. (CS for solidarity) Quotes Related to Study “I use ideas of power to explain why code choice is important for bilingual speakers in “playing the game of social life.” (Heller, 1995)

“Studies of children's interactions in bilingual settings have stressed the role of code-switching as a contrastive device that is used to organize social activitiesfor example, by contextualizing episode transitions and allocating turnsor to engage in in turn competitive exchanges.” (Cromdal, 2001)

“Code-switching is not good or bad, but rather it is a supplementary set of means to meet the communicative needs, in the broadest sense, of bilingual speakers.” (Jorgenson, 2001)

Code switches are linguistic choices as “negotiations of personal rights and obligations relative of those of other participants in a talk exchange.” (Myers Scotton, 1988)

“Bilingual children learn at a very early age to use code-switching to serve these discourse functions meaning a more saliently and prominently marked “changing of hats” which speakers engage in all of the time.” (Romaine, 1989)
Direction of Code Switches A switch to the minority language signifies solidarity, or to rebel or exclude someone from conversation. A switch to this low status language is the “we code.” (Gumperz, 1982)

A switch to the “they code” indicates more of a formal use of language-- stiff and
less personal out-group relations. Rational Choice Model Rational choice model = Proposes that “bilinguals act as rational agents who effectively use CS as a means of optimizing (Elster, 1986) socio-pragmatic outcomes, given objective constraints and subjective desires in the unfolding power play.” (Bolonyai, 2005) It looks to examine how code choice is used to exercise, negotiate or resist power in bilingual interactions.

Looks to prove that: A single act of CS may create ideational, relational-interpersonal and discourse-interactional aspects of meaning.

This study will classify code-switches in terms of the five principles proposed by Bolonyai and Bhatt's study “Code-switching and the optimal grammar of bilingual language use, “ which includes Faith, Face, Solidarity, Power and Perspective.

Situational vs metaphorical code-switching-
situational, in which speakers switch due to change of topic, participants, or setting
metaphorical, in which speakers use a switch to “achieve special communicative effects, while participant and setting remain the same
(Blom, Gumperz)

It will also look at how the directionality of the Code-switch made is important. For solidarity (Example of using "we code")

During Spanish Scrabble
Jon welcomes Alberto who has never played Spanish Scrabble before

Jon: We play English Scrabble and Spanish Scrabble here. You know how to play Scrabble, si?
Alberto: Si, but not en Espanol.
Jon: It is easy
Alberto: Es facil?
Jon: It's very easy. But, you need to remember not to use words in English.
Alberto: ? Palabras solamente en Espanol?
Jon: Yes
Alberto: Ahhhh...

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