Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
The Michif technique is a method of language modification which encourages code-switching by introducing a third language as a cue. The method targets syntax modification and does not apply to phonetic modification.
The technique derives its name from the Michif Language which is the cue language used in the study. The learning of Michif is not a long-range goal of this study, but rather through the use of Michif code-switching can be fun and nonthreatening.
The Michif technique follows the bidialectical view which encourages the use of code-switching in formal environments and the use of the vernacular while in informal environments.
The Michif technique begins by whetting a children's natural interest in secret codes. Simple Michif phrases are gradually introduced into the classroom setting and the children readily learn them. A Michif cue phrase is then introduced and as the students are taught standard English concepts in class they are expected to apply this knowledge by code-switching in formal environments. The Michif cue phrase alerts the students that they are in a formal environment and have used a nonstandard form. The Michif technique would not be applied while the students are in an informal environment since the vernacular is encouraged during those times.
The students are encouraged to apply their code-switching ability, not only to their speech, but also to their written work.
Tests administered before and after the introduction of the Michif technique suggest that there was an improvement in the students' ability to code-switch in formal environments.
Wildeman, Carol Starzer, "The Michif technique: Code-switch cue" (1989). Theses and Dissertations. 844.