Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Frank Rossi


Within the United States, the number of native Spanish speaking students entering our schools has increased as the years have passed (Alanis & Rodriguez, 2008). Once they are in the school system, these students are labeled as English Language Learners (ELLs) or Limited English Proficient (LEP) with each entering with varying levels of the English language as well as their native language, Spanish. As more of these students come in, the more students our schools need to accommodate for their linguistic and academic needs. Thus, the purpose of bilingual programs is to develop students' native language and develop their second language through the use of content. As these students are fortunate enough to develop both language skills, it is common to see bilingual students code switching within a single conversation. Some researchers and educators see code switching as a negative aspect while learning a language while others see it as a stage within the process of learning a new language. This thesis project investigates the functions of code switching, in what kinds of situations students code switch, and whether or not teachers see code switching as an asset or deficit.