Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Aje-Ori Agbese

Second Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Lemanski

Third Advisor

Dr. Yanrong Chang


According to the U.S Census Bureau, more than one million Hispanic or Latino individuals live in the southernmost area of Texas called The Rio Grande Valley (RGV). However, being Hispanic in the RGV does not mean you speak Spanish. In fact, most of the population speaks English and/or Spanish or “Spanglish” (Tex-Mex). As a result, individuals face code-switching (switching back and forth in two languages) when they communicate with one another. Which language do they prefer to express their emotions in? The study posed a research question along this line. Nine college students who met the research criteria were interviewed to determine whether they preferred to use their first or second language to express their emotions. The study found that regardless of participants’ first language, their language preference was highly dependent on which emotion they were communicating and to whom.


Copyright 2016 Elim Hernandez. All Rights Reserved.

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