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”

Content Language Integrated Learning (CLIL): Seriously, a good idea?

As I prepare for Fall 2021, I am excited to step into a new role as coordinator of the MEd in Content Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) program at the University of Hong Kong. And yet, this week in late August, I summarize an important literature review about CLIL by Anthony Bruton titled: “CLIL: Some ofContinue reading “Content Language Integrated Learning (CLIL): Seriously, a good idea?”

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”

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?”

The “multi/plural turn”: A major trend in theorizing Second Language Acquisition

What is the “multi/plural” turn that changed our understanding of second language acquisition (SLA) around the start of the 21st century? This post explains (1) emergentism, a relatively new theory about how the language repertoire evolves across the lifespan, and (2) how emergentism suggests that we need to approach additional language acquisition from a multilingualContinue reading “The “multi/plural turn”: A major trend in theorizing Second Language Acquisition”

How can non-academics engage in more equal dialogue with scholars to make translanguaging “transformative”?

In 2018, Jürgen Jaspers, a professor of sociolinguistics at Université Libre de Bruxelles, published a critical essay titled “The Transformative Limits of Translanguaging.” In this blog post, I first summarize that essay, which questions the extent to which translanguaging is a transformative educational practice in and of itself. Second, I summarize an earlier article byContinue reading “How can non-academics engage in more equal dialogue with scholars to make translanguaging “transformative”?”