When is it fair and valid to compare bi/multilinguals with monolinguals?

This is the question investigated by a team of 19 researchers in Norway, Spain, Germany, the U.K., the Netherlands, and the U.S. (Rothman et al., 2022), who wrote the commentary that I summarize in this post. A commentary is an essay with examples from empirical studies (“empirical studies” being articles with an Introduction, research Methods,Continue reading “When is it fair and valid to compare bi/multilinguals with monolinguals?”

What is translanguaging as “critical pedagogy” or “decolonizing research”?

In this week’s post, I aim to answer the question, “What does it mean when translanguaging is said to be a ‘critical pedagogy’ or ‘decolonizing research approach’?” This question is answered in recent commentaries by Pramod K. Sah (in collaboration with critical English language teaching scholar Ryuko Kubota) and Prem Phyak. According to Sah, toContinue reading “What is translanguaging as “critical pedagogy” or “decolonizing research”?”

“Is bilingualism a superpower?” (Why this question makes me rant)

This spontaneous essay (hence, not posted on a Wednesday) was prompted by an annoying Youtube video that came up on my feed titled “Is bilingualism a superpower?” I don’t provide the link because there are a gazillion other posts/videos online (usually American) suggesting the same idea. Such a question can only be taken seriously inContinue reading ““Is bilingualism a superpower?” (Why this question makes me rant)”

Code-switching researchers comment on how translanguaging achieves its social aims

In this research-oriented post, I summarize a new book chapter (Bhatt & Bolonyai, 2022) in which code-switching researchers argue that bi/multilingual people accomplish things in the social world by recognizing codes, not rejecting them. In the authors’ view, code-switching is still a preferable term to translanguaging because the social affordances of translanguaging (such as creativeContinue reading “Code-switching researchers comment on how translanguaging achieves its social aims”

What’s it like to grow up bilingual from birth?

In this week’s post, I summarize a book chapter by Fred Genesee, a leader in the field of “simultaneous bilingualism,” or bilingualism of kids who are raised bilingual from birth (compared to “sequential bilingualism,” or kids who only start to become bilingual when they start school). Genesee shares some generally known knowledge about simultaneous bilingualism,Continue reading “What’s it like to grow up bilingual from birth?”

Researching translanguaging QUALITATIVELY… with GENERALIZABLE findings?

In this week’s post, I summarize a paper that I co-authored with my doctoral student, Jiaen (Cheryl) Ou, in the journal System. We demonstrate that it is possible to research translanguaging qualitatively, with generalizable findings, and a positivist epistemology, while adhering to the principles of critical pedagogy. First, we developed a COMPREHENSIVE “assessment-as-learning” instrument forContinue reading “Researching translanguaging QUALITATIVELY… with GENERALIZABLE findings?”

How an academic gets by on a dozen items of clothing in a four seasons climate

This casual post, unlike others on the blog, has nothing to do with bi/multilingualism in K-12 education (hence it doesn’t come on a Wednesday). It’s just a musing for graduate students, who may find themselves having to dress like professors to teach and attend conferences well before they have the financial means to do so.Continue reading “How an academic gets by on a dozen items of clothing in a four seasons climate”

How does an expert teacher meet learning aims while also ‘fixing’ linguistic inequality through their pedagogical talk?

Recently (here and here), I wrote about how Jim Cummins defined “transformative pedagogy” as meeting learning aims and social justice aims at the same time, through collaborative relations of power. I continue that theme by asking the title question, which was what the late sociolinguist Alexandra Jaffe asked in a bilingual, Corsican-French school. Teachers ofContinue reading “How does an expert teacher meet learning aims while also ‘fixing’ linguistic inequality through their pedagogical talk?”

Translanguaging and transformative pedagogy (Part 2): Jim Cummins writes about “Teachers as knowledge generators”

In Part 1, I discussed how Jim Cummins defines “transformative pedagogy” (Cummins, 2000) as collaborative relations of power between teachers and students, policymakers, curriculum designers, administrators, parents, communities, and academic researchers when they combine social justice with genuine concern for learning. In this post, I summarize Cummins’ (2021) more recent book chapter on what translanguagingContinue reading “Translanguaging and transformative pedagogy (Part 2): Jim Cummins writes about “Teachers as knowledge generators””

Translanguaging and transformative pedagogy (Part 1): Jim Cummins defines “transformative pedagogy”

Welcome to the two-part series about translanguaging (TL) and transformative pedagogy (TP)! In this post, I summarize Jim Cummins’ (2000) book chapter on what transformative pedagogy is—a no bullshit piece, and despite most of the examples being from the U.S., the principles are important for teachers to know, at any level of education, anywhere inContinue reading “Translanguaging and transformative pedagogy (Part 1): Jim Cummins defines “transformative pedagogy””