Code Switching: An Unconscious Stimulus

I first came across the term “code-switching” in my english class. At first, I assumed that it was a term used by computer science majors while doing programming but later on after reading the articles “How Code-Switching Explains the World” and “Five Reasons Why People Code-Switch”, I learned that it is a term used to describe a situation in which a person suddenly changes his/her behavior, tone or even body language while responding to another person or situation.

I am a Gemini and they say that we change our behavior frequently in different situations or in front of other people. Some might even describe a Gemini as a person with a double-personality. I have actually noticed myself having a really different tone or attitude with different people yet at the same time I don’t have any wrong intentions. This is me code-switching depending on the situation i’m put in. When I’m around people i’m really comfortable and open with, I tend to be my weird and loud self. On the other hand, if ever I’m at a party surrounded with unfamiliar faces, I tend to at first be inside my shell, but after a while I burst out and again be my loud and weird self.

After coming to Emory and being surrounded by foreign students I noticed another form of code switching that I did. When talking to students with a thick American accent, I tend to unconsciously stretch some words and convert my Indian accent into an American one and even talk with the same body language that they do. This does not happen when I’m speaking to my other Indian friends in English which evidently means that I code switch.

What I conclude from this is that whenever I code-switch, it is an involuntary act of my brain and consciousness. Like the Article “Five Reasons Why People Code-Switch” says, it can also be seen as an act to simply fit in, which honestly it is. I personally feel code-switching doesn’t have any negative influence on my life and has never seemed like an “unsuccessful act”. It is simply an involuntary function of the brain.

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2 thoughts on “Code Switching: An Unconscious Stimulus

  1. Your grammar and spelling throughout the blog seems consistently good. Perhaps with a broad top like this week’s where Professor Laville provided us flexibility with the prompt, you could explicitly state your thesis in the introduction so readers will have an idea of what you will be talking about in your blog. In past prompts, Professor Laville had a clear set of instructions of what she wanted to see, so readers knew what they were reading before. As I read further on, I could see what this blog was about, but I think you should have a clear thesis. Good job otherwise 🙂

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  2. To follow up: It’s not necessary for every piece of writing to have a thesis. We aren’t always trying to prove something, and some genres (especially personal narratives) tend to be more “journey” than “destination.” That said, Rohan, you might have given the reader clearer guideposts with the opening and closing sentences of each paragraph. It’s not obvious how one paragraph leads to the next.

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