Code Switching: A Primer for Speech-Language Pathologists As the culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) student population of the U.S. continues to increase dramatically, speech-language pathologists repeatedly face the challenge of how to best provide services for those whose primary language is not English. Communication can be a barrier for many CLD students, and the clinician’s role of ... Article
Article  |   February 01, 1997
Code Switching: A Primer for Speech-Language Pathologists
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Alejandro Brice
    Mankato State University, Mankato, MN
Article Information
Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Articles
Article   |   February 01, 1997
Code Switching: A Primer for Speech-Language Pathologists
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, February 1997, Vol. 3, 8-10. doi:10.1044/cds3.1.8
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, February 1997, Vol. 3, 8-10. doi:10.1044/cds3.1.8
As the culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) student population of the U.S. continues to increase dramatically, speech-language pathologists repeatedly face the challenge of how to best provide services for those whose primary language is not English.
Communication can be a barrier for many CLD students, and the clinician’s role of diagnostician is challenged when decisions of language ability include a differential assessment of language disorders versus language differences. As CLD students engage in the learning activities of the school, they often face the predicament of choosing which language is best to communicate with peers, teachers, and staff. One solution for bilingual students is to employ code switching, (alternating two languages) (Faltis, 1989). Cheng and Butler (1989)  and Reyes (1995)  pointed out that speech-language pathologists have mistakenly viewed code switching as indicators of language deficiencies, meaning that the mere use of code switching indicates a deficiency and is cause for alarm.
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