MULTILINGUAL/ELL · PRESCHOOL & SCHOOL-AGE

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Code-switching is not an indicator of developmental language disorder in bilingual children. 

May 11, 2021

As a bilingual speaker, inserting Spanish words when speaking in English makes me feel like una mujer empoderada [an empowered woman].

 

(Side note, I feel most empoderada on days when I’ve drunk enough caffeine and I am rocking my red lipstick!)

 

But growing up, I heard my mom warn me, “Make sure you don’t offend your mother tongue by speaking English and Spanish at the same time!” While my mom’s passion for protecting the Spanish language might seem odd, the truth is, she’s not alone. Code-switching in bilingual children can be confusing, even to us SLPs. 

 

So what exactly is code-switching?

 

Code-switching is when bilinguals use their two languages at the same time…

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