Emotion Based Code-Switching

Yanmei and her mother and father immigrated to the Ireland from China one month ago. Previous to the move she was in a Chinese/ English bilingual kindergarten in Beijing since the age of two. She is now beginning to settle into her new kindergarten class, and even though she has a large knowledge of vocabulary and likes to answer questions during morning circle, she is often quiet and keeps to herself during play time. Yanmei is the only student of Chinese descent in school.

Age: 4 years 3 months

Home language: Chinese

Additional language spoken: English

Learning a language is not the same as learning a musical instrument, an art form or a sport.  It is a unique experience that affects both the cultural and linguistic identity of bilingual/ multilingual children and their families.  This section will explore: 

  • The role emotions play when bilingual/ multilingual children choose which language to communicate in  

  • give educators a base understanding of emotional code-switching 

  • practical tips

  • How does Yanmei feel?  

  • What would be the next steps for the educators?