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Caribbean Journal of Education

Code-switching in Jamaica Creole: Some Educational Implications

Publication Date: 
April 1978

The importance to educational practice of linguistic research in the Caribbean has never been underplayed. Although linguistic descriptions have a validity all their own, it is in their application to educational practice that they can best serve our societies. Bailey, in the conclusion to her definitive work "Jamaica Creole Syntax", comments that the work should help "provide the basis for a thorough comparative study of the two languages on which alone satisfactory English language texts for the island's schools should be based." This paper hopes to look at the phenomenon of code-switching in Jamaican Creole by examining in detail certain actual speech situations, with a view to discovering how the classroom operation can benefit from first-hand knowledge of how situations tend to condition the individual's choice of speech style.

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