Code switching blog feature image

Code Switching Yarn Circle

Not quite sure how to incorporate ‘code switching’ activities to support students in moving between Aboriginal English (AE), Kriole or traditional language to Standard Australian English(SAE)? It can be really tricky as a mainstream teacher understanding how to support English as a Second Language or Dialect (ESLD) students to acquire Standard Australian English (SAE).

Learning to code switch is really important for your students so they are strong two ways- their local traditional way living and working in their remote community world AND Western World so they can live and work in Standard Australian English. It unlocks their potential both ways.

Code Switching activities should allow students to think about the different contexts they would use which language, how to code switch and provide them with opportunities to practice. You might need to explicitly teach Standard Australian parts of speech such as tense, pronouns and more- then just work on code switching with those as your focus with a different one each week. Your code switching activities could fit easily alongside your parts of speech, grammar and spelling activities.

There are two Australian First Nations Code Switching books that were written in the Kimberley Western Australia that might help you gain a better understanding of how to support your students: Making the Jump (Catholic Education, 2005) and EAL/d Literacy Cycles to Success – A Manual for Teaching Standard Australian English As an Additional Language/Dialect to Indigenous Students Who Speak Kriol or Aboriginal English (Annette Millar, 2020)

We also created a Teachers Pay Teachers (TPT) resource for download (TPT store or our online shop) to support the use of two-way code-switching in your classroom. This pack comes with instructions, 3x placemats/posters and 3x discussion topic placemats/topics for use in a morning yarning circle but that could be adapted to other activities as well. The best bit about this resources is you can also just use the conversation topics as yarning circle check ins, or as partner talk in a inside-outside-circle activity or more. A really flexible and budget resource.

What are your favourite code switching activities?

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Hi, we are Hakea Hustler and Carl Merrison

We help new remote teachers feel confident and successful  so that they can make the most of their time remote and live a life of adventure.

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