Interviewing people about language learning: Know your epistemology

If you take a Masters degree in the social sciences, the first course you will take will be Research Methods, and the first chapter of your Research Methods textbook will address terms like methods, methodology, theory, and epistemology. Epistemology is the highest term in the four-level hierarchy: it is the way we understand social reality,Continue reading “Interviewing people about language learning: Know your epistemology”

Qualitative researchers beware: How not to take interview data for granted

This is a method post summarizing applied linguist Steven Talmy’s (2010) well cited article on the interview as a social practice. In this commentary/opinion piece that also cites a lot of studies as examples, Talmy argues that we cannot take interview data for granted—that is, we should not collect and report it as a windowContinue reading “Qualitative researchers beware: How not to take interview data for granted”

What do pre-service teachers need to know to teach linguistically diverse classes? Is it theoretical or practical?

An insightful study by Birello, Llompart-Esbert, & Moore (2021) shows that young people training to be primary or secondary teachers generally have positive attitudes towards multilingualism, living in the 21st century and knowing multiple languages to varying degrees. But when they start thinking about TEACHING, or picturing themselves in front of a linguistically diverse class,Continue reading “What do pre-service teachers need to know to teach linguistically diverse classes? Is it theoretical or practical?”

“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”

Is translanguaging compatible with indigenous language revitalization?

Translanguaging, code-switching/mixing/meshing, etc., versus a “target language only” zone: which is preferable for indigenous language revitalization? I think the answer depends on societal factors, which I illustrate in this post by contrasting two successful but very different cases of indigenous language teaching. The extent and nature of translanguaging (and other kinds of language-mixing) should beContinue reading “Is translanguaging compatible with indigenous language revitalization?”

How do elementary teachers perceive DYNAMIC translanguaging in storybooks?

This important study by al-Bataineh and Gallagher (2018) investigated elementary teachers’ attitudes towards dynamic translanguaging in print. (Read about the definition and historical development of dynamic translanguaging here.) This study fills a research gap because (1) teachers are relatively tolerant of dynamic translanguaging in oral speech, but not in print literacy, and (2) when translanguagingContinue reading “How do elementary teachers perceive DYNAMIC translanguaging in storybooks?”

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”

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 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”