Hello? or Hola? a Theoretical Look at Spanglish

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The theories learned from communications classes can be applied in everyday life. They can especially be applied to films. Films are the outlets of human communication –mimicking life. The film that we will be examining and applying theories to is Spanglish. The film was written and directed by James L. Brooks and was released in December, 2004. The tagline “a comedy with a language all its own,” (IMDb) truly describes the motion picture. Spanglish is about a mother (Flor Moreno) and her daughter (Cristina Moreno) who are forced to leave Mexico for Flor to find work in America. Flor starts working for the Clasky’s whose home in Las Angeles leads Flor into a different culture. John Clasky, the head of the household is a down to…show more content…
221). For the majority of the film, Flor spoke in Spanish and always seemed to be formal and polite when communicating. The Clasky family, however, spoke in English and was much more casual when talking among themselves or with other people. Consequently, whenever the family members spoke to Flor, they would have a translator or speak slowly and gesture so she could interpret the meaning of a message. Later in the movie, this issue is somewhat resolved when Flor learns to speak English. By being able to speak both Spanish and English, Flor became, what Kramer (2007b) indicated as, “multi-codal.” This means being able to exchange one speech code for another when communicating (Kramer, 2007b). The ability of being mulit-codal not only allowed Flor the opportunity to converse with the Clasky family, but to understand the meanings behind language as well. There are, however, downfalls to speech community theory. According to Wood (2004), when variations are found among the ways in which groups communicate, “it’s tempting to make comparative judgments about which style is better,” (p. 226). At one point in the movie, for instance, Deborah tries to relay a message to Flor, even though, in order to do so, Deborah has to find

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