Archive for March, 2017

The Many, Many Layers of Code-Switching

Code-switching is understood as a characteristic of developing multilinguals in any level of language learning. In the broadest sense, it is defined as using linguistic elements of two languages – L1, the native language, and L2, the second – in one utterance. You may have witnessed a bilingual friend use a word or phrase in […]

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On Code-Switching and Teaching Hamlet

Traditionally, I think we tend to associate code-switching with the phenomenon of people from certain smaller cultures or niches in our larger society altering their use of language to communicate more effectively with the people around them, who are speaking the more common version of the language in question or another, “more commonly used” language […]

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Hearing what’s not on the page.

This month’s blog topic on code-switching got me thinking about my current writing project(s) because, on one level, it’s all about code-switching. I don’t mean just knowing the right words to say in different situations. Code-switching is also knowing what not to say and when to not say anything at all. Code-switching is knowing that […]

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Speaking Through Silence

The people on TV make no sense. The people in the kitchen make no sense. The words on the street signs make no sense. Nothing makes sense anymore! (except the menus). My mother was born in a small, mountain town in Italy and still has a handful of family members who live there. She likes […]

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A Linguistic Outsider

I returned from Orly Airport in the late fall afternoon, after accompanying my French former-college roommate to the plane that would return her to America. I emerged from the metro station at St. Germain and strolled slowly along the boulevard, looking in the store windows. I loved the French word for window-shopping—laîche-carreaux: licking the windows. […]

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