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date: 24 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

When African American children leave their African American communities to enter formal schooling they are faced with multiple transitions, including transitioning from the use of one linguistic system (African American English) to another (Mainstream American English). Learning to switch between their community language, African American English, and the school language, Mainstream American English, is a critical development that significantly influences academic performance. This chapter examines code-switching as an important linguistic phenomenon and presents our current understanding of the nature and mechanisms underlying code-switching in African American children. In addition, code-switching is examined as an important sociocultural skill that supports academic success.

Keywords: African American English, Mainstream American English, African American children, code-switching, academic performance

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