Code-switching as a School Strategy – Podcast Episode 192 | Classnotes Podcast 192

Classnotes Podcast (July 1, 2019). In linguistics and language classes, the term “code-switching” describes how speakers mix two or more languages and speech patterns in writing and conversation. But the term has become broader to encompass dialogue that spans cultures, such as how we change the way we express ourselves depending on who’s in the room. In our increasingly diverse schools, many students still do not see themselves reflected in the curriculum or the classroom discussion.

In this episode, special guest, Dr. Martina McGhee talks with Michelle Vega and Hector Bojorquez about how schools can build inclusive curriculum that is more honest and whole and how to use code switching to help students feel encouraged and supported. Dr. McGhee is a doctoral fellow in the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) who is leading a new course on race and identity through pop culture. Michelle Martínez Vega is IDRA’s technology coordinator, and Hector Bojorquez is IDRA’s director of operations.

Show length: 27:23 min


Students explore topics of race and identity during new UTSA course

Code Switch Goes To College, NPR

Code-Switching in the Classroom, Miami University

Is Code Switching Always a Crisis in the Classroom? How to Successfully Allow or Avoid It, FluentU

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Show Notes

  • Martina gives an overview of her Race and Identity Through Pop Culture class, including her use of podcasts as required texts.

  • Hector explains how the traditional definition of “code switching” has evolved over the years.

  • Martina talks about a shift in acknowledging that racial, gender and ethnic identities are fluid and the importance of learning about the histories of those identities.

  • Martina considers how K-12 institutions can make their curricula more inclusive, with more intentional teacher training and placements, and by honoring the identities of people whose stories have never been told.

  • Martina shares how teachers can incorporate current events into their classrooms, without having to sacrifice their standards.