Does Code Switching Work for Young Children? A Case Study of English Language Learners

Geena Anselmo, Mohogany Williams


The study examines if a code switching technique demonstrated by the teacher helps English language learners acquire a second language. Nineteen preschoolers from families speaking Spanish as their primary language participated in the study for seven weeks. Structured classroom observations, pre-and post-test checklists, anecdotal notes, and the Speaking Component Scale were used to measure children’s scores in speaking, listening and writing in English. Data from the Speaking Component Scale showed an increase in grammar and expressive language scores after learning about the code switching technique. However, the children scored low in the reading component of identifying concepts about print and text features post-test. The code switching technique does appear to support the acquisition of a second language for English language learners.


English language learners; Code Switching; Young children

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