Date of Award

Fall 2022

Degree Type

Honors College Thesis

Academic Program

English BA



First Advisor

Sherita Johnson, Ph.D

Advisor Department



This thesis explores the differences between dialects along racial, cultural, and ethnic lines with a specific focus on Black and Latine students inside the public secondary classrooms of America. The focus of the paper is on two linguistic tactics: “code-switching,” a linguistic practice which teaches students to separate their home language from the language they use in formal or professional settings, and “code-meshing,” a linguistic practice to teach students how to mesh together multiple dialects with which a student is familiar. Through the creation of a historical framework and an analysis of existing literature, theory, and pedagogical practices regarding the topic, I argue that code-switching is out of date and has negative impacts on students whereas code-meshing is the progressive way forward for English language arts classrooms. The appendix includes reading lists for preservice or active teachers, suggestions for classroom strategies, and two sample assignments.