“Majoritized” and “Minoritized” Translanguaging: What they are and why they matter

This 2021 study by Ingrid Beiler examined three secondary classes in Norway taught by the same teacher: (1) a regular gr. 11 English class, (2) an accelerated class for gr. 10 students undertaking the gr. 11 English curriculum, and (3) a sheltered class for gr. 11 English repeaters (aged gr. 12/13), many of whom spokeContinue reading ““Majoritized” and “Minoritized” Translanguaging: What they are and why they matter”

What is “postmethod” language teaching and why has it been so influential?

Even if you haven’t heard of B. Kumaravadivelu’s work on “postmethod” pedagogy, you probably have experienced its effects: the last trendy methods of language pedagogy—Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT), and Content Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)—are at least 20 years old. At some point, around the year 2000, the carousel of “trendy” languageContinue reading “What is “postmethod” language teaching and why has it been so influential?”

The difference between language development and literacy development: What every teacher should know

In 1978, Jim Cummins, a rising education scholar, pointed out that first language (L1) development helps rather than hinders second language development (L2), because there is a common knowledge base as well as metacognitive skills that underlie both languages, which he called the Common Underlying Proficiency. This was a blow to the idea that studentsContinue reading “The difference between language development and literacy development: What every teacher should know”

Plurilingualism vs Translanguaging: Epistemology, Stance, and Practice

In this chapter of the blog, I summarize two articles that discuss the similarities and differences between plurilingualism and translanguaging. As I read them, I was thinking the same thing that any other student of bi/multilingual education studying these terms is thinking: are the terms really different, and if so, how? In epistemology (what isContinue reading “Plurilingualism vs Translanguaging: Epistemology, Stance, and Practice”

English Medium Instruction vs Content Language Integrated Learning: Why is the distinction important?

Image from https://theanalyst007.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-great-indian-english-medium-drama.html In “EMI” and “CLIL” classrooms around the world, students are learning an academic subject through the medium of English. But are there important differences between these terms, and do they matter, especially for students who are disadvantaged by the language of instruction due to limited proficiency in it? In other words, theContinue reading “English Medium Instruction vs Content Language Integrated Learning: Why is the distinction important?”

Why don’t people in Linguistics use the term “translanguaging”?

I was walking around the HKU campus this past week when I ran into a booth peopled by undergraduates in the Linguistics Society. It was all about—translanguaging! But none of the displays or materials used the term “translanguaging,” and in this week’s post I attempt to explore why. I took photos of the display andContinue reading “Why don’t people in Linguistics use the term “translanguaging”?”

Definitions and examples of translanguaging: Do they remain justice-oriented? – Two lit reviews from the Global “North” and “South”

In 2017, Luis Poza, an assistant professor of Education in the U.S., examined 53 studies on translanguaging (1996-2014), investigating how the term was defined in each study, what examples were given, and what percentage of studies linked translanguaging to educational reform for linguistically and culturally marginalized students, as opposed to merely promising that translanguaging wouldContinue reading “Definitions and examples of translanguaging: Do they remain justice-oriented? – Two lit reviews from the Global “North” and “South””

The historical development of translanguaging – On the legacy of Ofelia García

No scholar of bi/multilingualism has had as large an impact as Ofelia García, with her far-reaching positive effect on education in the U.S. and internationally. In this post, I argue that we should focus on this far-reaching pedagogical effect—of how she conceptualizes language learners’ bi/multilingualism—which leads to a more socially just way of teaching languages,Continue reading “The historical development of translanguaging – On the legacy of Ofelia García”

What is code-meshing? (with comparisons to code-switching and translanguaging)

In this definition post, I discuss the term “code-meshing,” which comes from Vershawn Young, an African-American scholar, and Suresh Canagarajah, a Sri Lankan scholar who teaches in the United States. In the term “code-meshing,” Young and Canagarajah provide possibly the best solution to the social and educational problems that arise when learning “standard” English isContinue reading “What is code-meshing? (with comparisons to code-switching and translanguaging)”

What is code-switching?

Is it an outdated theory of language? Does it suggest that individuals have separate compartments for separate languages in the brain? Is it the researcher’s perspective on language use, imposing language labels such as Spanish, English, etc., in contrast to how research participants experience languages as fluid and lacking clearly defined borders? Or is “codeswitching”Continue reading “What is code-switching?”