The translanguaging paradox: How students translanguage while using distinct languages

This is a summary of a study that investigated the affordances and constraints in translanguaging-to-learn in an officially English-Medium 5th grade classroom in Malaysia where students were trilingual in Tamil, Malay, and English (Rajendram, 2021). I believe this study is valuable for anyone who studies translanguaging, in any educational context, for two reasons. First, dataContinue reading “The translanguaging paradox: How students translanguage while using distinct languages”

From Translanguaging Space to “Critical Translanguaging Space”

One of the debated aspects of translanguaging scholarship is whether translanguaging spaces, in which students use their whole linguistic and multimodal repertoires to make meaning, are critical in and of themselves and lead to social justice (compared to classes that seek to implement a monolingual or target-language-only policy). Based on a study of a dualContinue reading “From Translanguaging Space to “Critical Translanguaging Space””

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”

Language choice when conducting interviews with multilinguals on multilingualism

When we conduct interviews with multilinguals on their multilingualism, what ironically remains invisible and not well discussed in published studies is the language of choice. In this article, Martin Cortazzi, Nick Pilcher, and Lixian Jin (the veteran duo of intercultural communication scholars Cortazzi and Jin) investigate what effect the language of choice has on interviewContinue reading “Language choice when conducting interviews with multilinguals on multilingualism”

The power of translingual writing used in everyday practical ways: LILIEMA

LILIEMA is a literacy program in Senegal’s Casamance region that uses grassroots strategies for teaching reading/writing in communities. People are taught to write in dominant languages’ writing systems extended to their entire repertoires, which allows them to write in societies where written resources are unavailable in the majority of languages. This overcomes the limits ofContinue reading “The power of translingual writing used in everyday practical ways: LILIEMA”

Translanguaging and Emotion

This post is an introductory chapter (for teacher education) on what translanguaging has to do with emotional well-being and ultimately with learning. I first review a cutting-edge academic paper on translanguaging and emotion (Dovchin, 2021), but since this blog is focused on K-12 education, I next review two classroom-based studies that show what translanguaging andContinue reading “Translanguaging and Emotion”

When students (do not) accept their teachers’ translanguaging: A tale of two teachers

There is a lot of research on what teachers make of their students’ translanguaging. Less research is on what students make of their teachers’ translanguaging. This is one topic addressed in a year-long linguistic ethnography by Jaspreet Kaur Takhi and her mentors, translanguaging scholars Angela Creese and Adrian Blackledge. Their study took place in aContinue reading “When students (do not) accept their teachers’ translanguaging: A tale of two teachers”

Translanguaging, multivocality, borrowing, or stylization?: Analyzing and writing about multilingual data

I didn’t originally expect this post to be about multilingual research methods. Originally, it was just supposed to be a review of Turnbull’s (2019) study on how Japan, a country often thought of as monolingual, is actually not only multilingual but translingual. This post still promotes that finding in the study—which challenges powerful national discoursesContinue reading “Translanguaging, multivocality, borrowing, or stylization?: Analyzing and writing about multilingual data”

Growing up with languages: Implications for multilingual education

What is known about the language development of multilingual children in very linguistically diverse societies, and what are the implications for multilingual education? This is the topic of a lecture by Prof. Ajit Mohanty at Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, summarized in this post. (You can watch the lecture yourself here.) I like this lecture becauseContinue reading “Growing up with languages: Implications for multilingual education”

Is translanguaging possible on (standardized) tests?

In a 2011 article in Modern Language Journal, Elana Shohamy, a language assessment specialist at the University of Tel Aviv, addresses the question of whether language tests can be multilingual. To answer this question, Shohamy explains that tests need to meet two criteria to be valid: first, they have to measure a construct, such asContinue reading “Is translanguaging possible on (standardized) tests?”