Code Switching Essay

Words: 1538
Pages: 7

Anthony Hughes
ENG 111: Leigh Gardner Assignment #1, Final Copy 22 Sept 2011
Code Switching: A Daily Habit
Code switching is a part of everyone’s daily life. Gloria Anzaldua expressed how she used code switching in her story “How to Tame a Wild Tongue.” Anzaldua grew up in Texas, near the Mexico border, to a Mexican-American family. Her family primarily spoke Spanish, but while at school and in the community, they had to speak English, the accepted language of America (Anzaldua 530). Anzaldua did not want her native language to die, so she wrote “How to Tame a Wild Tongue” to express her feelings, and to show how code switching affected her everyday life. In the story, Anzaldua expressed that depending on who she was talking to,
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She spoke of how nobody could understand her, so she would have to find a different language to use in order to communicate (531). Anzaldua had to learn how to speak these different languages in order to make sure she could communicate no matter where she was. Many people learn how to code switch from their home lives, to when they are out doing what they enjoy. From learning to do this, they will save themselves a lot of embarrassment, or from being made fun of by the others that do not understand what they are talking about. Code switching is used in many places, even between hobbies, sports, and one’s home life. Music is a big part of many people’s lives, and many people have to learn how to code switch even with their taste of music. Depending on whom someone is with, or the lack of being with somebody, can determine what somebody’s taste in music is. If a certain friend has a strong taste in music, chances are that you will listen to that genre of music while with that person. This may not be the same type of music you listen to while alone. With fear of not fitting in with that person, chances are that you will go and learn that “language” that is associated with that type of music. Then, you will eventually learn how to “code switch” your music taste depending on which situation is present at the time. Also, today’s youth learn how to switch their taste in music