General programme, activity sheet

Thursday 8 September, 2016 Poster
Code switching in written language of biliterate children: An exploratory study
Authors: Ms. Amoolya.G., Dr. Jayashree.C.Shanbal


In a multilingual country like India children are continually faced with the challenge of learning two or more languages both at home and in the school setting. Karnataka is one such state in India, where Kannada is the official language of the state. The Linguistic Interdependence hypothesis (Cummins, 1979) suggests that skills learnt in one language are transferred while learning another language. In this context ‘Code switching’ has been researched widely in terms of spoken language compared to written language. The present study investigated code switching in the written language of 60 Kannada-English biliterate children studying in the fourth and sixth grade with thirty children in each grade. These children composed narrative texts in Kannada in response to a pictorial prompt. The written samples were analyzed using the Matrix Language Frame Model (Myers-Scotton, 1993). The results of the study revealed that the number of ML islands were significantly greater for the 6th grade (Mean= 11.13, p< 0.01) compared to 4th grade (Mean = 7.5, p< 0.01) indicating that with increase in age, biliterate children show decreased cross language transfer of skills from one language to the other as they become more proficient in each of the languages being learnt. A qualitative analysis revealed that code switching occurred more in content morphemes especially nouns followed by verbs followed by adjectives compared to system morphemes. This finding is in consonance with the findings reported by Myers-Scotton (1993). It was also found that EL islands, EL insertions and revisions were totally absent in the written samples of these children. Studies in this direction may hint us to anticipate the phenomena of ‘cross-linguistic’ influences in developing biliterate writers. Keywords: Written language, biliterate, Linguistic Interdependence hypothesis.
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Coffee break and poster session
Place: Hall First floor area A

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