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?”

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””

What does “judicious” use of students’ “own language” in language classrooms look like, practically speaking?

Graham Hall and Guy Cook are two experts on “own language use” in language teaching and learning who wrote a state-of-the-art article about this subject in 2013 that answers the above million-dollar question. In this week’s post, I summarize that article’s six sections: (1) what academic and societal trends have led to more support forContinue reading “What does “judicious” use of students’ “own language” in language classrooms look like, practically speaking?”

Once again, what are “translanguaging” and “code-switching” (within and beyond the classroom)?

The purpose of this definition post is to explain (1) the difference between translanguaging and code-switching as sociolinguistic phenomena, or phenomena observed by sociolinguists (people who study language use in interaction), and (2) how translanguaging/code-switching are understood in classroom pedagogy, which is different from how they are understood as sociolinguistic phenomena. The first question isContinue reading “Once again, what are “translanguaging” and “code-switching” (within and beyond the classroom)?”

Translanguaging in language immersion classrooms: To what extent can it be done?

In this week’s post, I summarize an article about the extent to which translanguaging/code-switching/first language (L1) use is appropriate for language immersion classrooms (Ballinger, Lyster, Sterzuk, & Genesee, 2017). The article is by Canadian scholars—as the early immersion research from French immersion in Canada is often cited today by proponents of other types of immersion,Continue reading “Translanguaging in language immersion classrooms: To what extent can it be done?”

The ideal syllabus for an MATESOL course on grammar pedagogy

The idea for this post came to me on the spur of the moment, based on a question a friend asked me on facebook. If you’re teaching an MATESOL course just on grammar pedagogy, what would you put in it? And I thought, wow, that’s an exciting puzzle! The field is just so HUGE! WhatContinue reading “The ideal syllabus for an MATESOL course on grammar pedagogy”

Chinese-English bilingual education in China: A critical analysis of research

Chinese-English bilingual education is on the rise in China, particularly at the university level, with some trials in K-12 education in the form of (i) bilingual private schools and (ii) experimental public schools in socioeconomically elite areas. In this post, I summarize an article about this educational trend by Prof. Guangwei Hu, a Hong KongContinue reading “Chinese-English bilingual education in China: A critical analysis of research”

Theorizing Pedagogy for Heritage Language Teaching

This post is a follow-up to another I have written about maintaining national linguistic diversity that was a summary of a panel/discussion at the Heritage Language Exchange, University of California System. In this post, I summarize and respond to Guadalupe Valdés’ classic article “Heritage Language Students: Profiles and Possibilities.” Heritage language (HL) learners can beContinue reading “Theorizing Pedagogy for Heritage Language Teaching”

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”