Code Switching among Bilingual and Limited English Proficient Students: Possible Indicators of Giftedness

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Code switching includes the use of complete sentences, phrases, and borrowed words from another language (Brice & Brice, 2000). It is a common linguistic phenomenon noted among bilingual populations. In order to code switch effectively, students must possess a high level of understanding of the 2 cultures, as well as a deep understanding of the underlying structures and purposes of 2 language systems. Code switching, rather than reflecting the traditional view of a disadvantaged and semiliterate background, actually reflects an intellectual advantage. However, code switching has not commonly been perceived as a positive trait by schools, teachers, or the majority culture. Assessments for nomination and identification of giftedness have traditionally been either single-language oriented or use concepts and behaviors that are reflective of the majority culture. This article explores some of the aspects of code switching and possible resultant behaviors of bilingual children who are gifted.

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Journal for the Education of the Gifted, v. 30, issue 1, p. 7-28