The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

English: Teaching English as a Second Language: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Edward Sadrai

Second Advisor

Choonkyong Kim

Third Advisor

Matt Barton

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Code-switching, Bilingualism, American TV, Latino culture


This study examines how English-Spanish code-switching (CS) has evolved throughout time in American mainstream TV shows. More specifically, it looks at the frequency of CS in shows from the past, 20th century, versus shows from the present time, 21st century. Furthermore, it also investigates which gender (males or females) is employing CS more frequently in both time periods. The study focuses on four American TV shows that include English-Spanish bilingual speakers and that are representative of both the past and the present time. The purpose of this study is to observe if the presence of English-Spanish CS is growing or declining in American mainstream TV shows overtime and how gender is playing a role in CS frequency. Results indicated that on average, based on the shows observed only, CS usage has decreased in 21st century TV shows in comparison to their 20th century counterparts, and that males are employing CS more frequently than females on average. The first outcome could have been influenced by the number of shows observed being small, therefore, only serve as a representation of CS patterns overtime. Lastly, the second outcome could be attributed to the fact that research (e.g. Fischer 1958, Lavob 1966, Trudgill, 1972) has demonstrated that males tend to utilize more non-standard forms of language than females.