This week I learned for the first time about a phenomenon called Code Switching and I learned it experientially on a Twitter chat (#educolor). Initially I thought it was about HTML coding (a safe topic) until Google informed me that it was about switching between two languages or behavior patterns, depending on the context (where you are and who you are with).
Being a teacher of English and Social Studies, naturally I was intrigued by the language and cultural implications, so I signed in and mostly lurked on the chat. WOW! I quickly realized I was inside a conversation of such relevance that it needs to be held beyond that one time Twitter chat. And it needs to explode out of Twitter into the workplace, especially into schools (still my thing).
Here are a few excerpts . . .
Q1: Define Code Switching
- A1: Using knowledge of culture norms to adjust to fit setting. Life/death 4 folks of minority power group, unknown 2 dominant folk
- A1: Codeswitching comes from philosophies of teaching-do we value our students? Fams? Their backgrds? Do we see ourselves as saviors?
- A1: Code switching includes how we present our identity to different groups through the use of language, both spoken & unspoken
- A1. The struggle is feeling like you're losing part of yourself negotiating different spaces. Guilt silencing racial ID to belong
- A2: My students don't buy into my classroom if I don't buy into what they bring, too. I learn their vocab, they learn academic vocab.
- A2: Many parents taught to be good parents, they must demand extreme #codeswitching from kids-to the point of culture extinction
- A2: I see a lack of code-switching by adults deny the lived stories of Ss.
To understand Code Switching is to know yourself. We all do it! I Challenge you to start by reading the April #educolor Storify (organized summary of top tweets) on Code Switching. You do not need a Twitter account; it is online.
Advice whether you ask or not: Sign up to Twitter today - the best resource on the web. Design your own Personal Learning Network!