AN ANALYSIS OF CODE SWITCHING EVENTS IN TYPICALLY DEVELOPING SPANISH-ENGLISH BILINGUAL CHILDREN
Guevara, Sandra Stephanie
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Code-switching (CS) patterns were investigated in language samples of 14 typically-developing Spanish-English bilingual preschool-aged children. CS occurred primarily when the children spoke in Spanish. We investigated code-switched events, vocabulary measures, and disfluencies to better understand if children utilize code-switching to fill in lexical gaps in Spanish, as measured by disfluencies surrounding the code-switch. Results indicate that children’s spoken vocabulary diversity is not related to code-switching frequency, although their receptive vocabulary skills are negatively correlated to proportions of code-switched events. We also found no significant relationship between code-switched events and disfluencies across participants. Findings suggest clinical implications related to best practice for speech-language pathologists when working with bilingual children, as they observe language attrition, and code-switching related to language proficiency and dominance.