Code-switching: Ebonics vs “standard English”?

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African American Psychology Research Study Topic Outline Topic: Code-switching in the workplace and classrooms among minority students and adults Research Questions: – Code-switching: Ebonics vs “standard English”? – Do minority students change their language in the classroom? – Do minority adults change their language in the workplace? Thesis Statement and Hypothesis: People of all racial groups have been changing the way they speak in different settings and around different people. African Americans have learned to “talk white” when in the presence of white people or in a professional setting. This code-switching is learned in the classroom and continues to be used throughout an individual’s life. We propose that due to this culturally learned behavior while observing students and adults of minority groups we can see that code-switching is extremely prevalent in their academic and professional lives. Articles: 1. African American English–Speaking Students: An Examination of the Relationship Between Dialect Shifting and Reading Outcomes -Holly K. Craig Lingling Zhang Stephanie L. Hensel Erin J. Quinn – Regarding code-switching in the classroom and how it is beneficial for black students 2. Black Identities Inside Advertising: Race Inequality, Code Switching, and Stereotype Threat -Christopher Boulton – Code-switching section pg. 134 3. Attitudes Toward Black English and Code Switching 4. To be, or not to be…Black: The effects of racial codeswitching on perceived professionalism in the workplace Study setup: For our study, we would like to propose a longitudinal series of experiments where we have a group of participants that we randomly select and follow across a specific time span. This time span will include observational experiments during the grade levels of elementary school, middle school, high school, college (if the participant attends college), and the work environment of their first job after 20 years old. Observing the participants across their lives will allow us to analyze the data we collect in order to find similarities and differences in the code-switching behaviors of the participants; essentially to compare and contrast. Participants and Methods: Participants who attend elementary school, middle school or high school will be randomly chosen from the Department of Education database based on their grade levels and then parents will be asked for consent so their child can participate in the study. We will be collecting data through surveys, asking the individuals a series of questions about their language at home vs. in school/workplace. We will control for bias by asking participants the questions individually rather than in a group so no one is affecting the other’s answers. These same participants will be tracked through the college level and eventually at their first jobs after 20 years of age. Results/Conclusion: We will analyze our results by looking at how the participant answers to the questions asked in the survey have or have not changed throughout the years of observation. If the participants show that they are still code-switching in a specific environment then the hypothesis is true that code-switching for ethnic groups is present in both academic and professional settings. This study would be beneficial because it can shed light on the concept of code-switching and possibly ignite the proper steps to take to change it. (You don’t have to use the articles listed, and you can change whatever to make this proposal sound better) PROFESSOR’S FEEDBACK I would suggest examining the literature to provide further detail on the theory in your introduction – for example, what are the proposed mechanisms driving code-switching. Please include specific information regarding your sample: For example, how many participants will you recruit? What is the rationale for including the wide age range you selected? In regard to your methods: What types of questions will be asked in the survey more specifically? Are there any demographic factors you want to control for? As a side note, when working with children you would want to get parental consent as well as assent from the minor. For your results, please include specific information regarding the statistical analyses you would run (e.g. t-tests, ANOVA, etc.). Additionally please identify your hypotheses.


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