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Stop Talking African – Code-Switching on Staten Island

Even on Staten Island, traditionally the city’s most homogeneous borough in this linguistically diverse city, a growing Liberian refugee population is code-switching to assimilate. Even though they speak English, language poses a significant barrier to acceptance at school and work. Schools on the Island, facing a clash of languages and dialects in the classroom, encourage students to use an “inside” or “classroom” dialect at school.


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