A Black Classroom Culture: Student Code-switching in an Inner City Secondary School

Author/Creator ORCID




Modern Languages, Linguistics & Intercultural Communication


Intercultural Communication Language

Citation of Original Publication


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This project is a study of the speech of African American students within the High School classroom and their verbal communication before, during, and after class. The overall goal is to observe and study their varying use of Standard American English (SAE) and African American Vernacular English (AAVE) with a focus on the code-switching practices among these students. Through the analysis of salient parts of classroom communication, an examination of African American speech dynamics when African American students use both varieties (SAE and AAVE) is performed, extrapolating to which factors influence the use of each variety. Using the tenets of bi-dialectalism and code-switching as they exist in a speech community, this research aims to draw conclusions on the culture of this phenomenon. An inner city secondary school in Baltimore, Maryland, is used as the research site for this study.