Investigating quantity and quality of vocabulary input in language immersion programs

In language revitalization efforts, school-based “immersion programs” are considered the best type of program. However, what needs to be monitored is not just how people avoid use of other languages in the classroom (i.e., avoid translanguaging)…………. but the quantity and quality of input in the target language. This issue was recently investigated by two veteranContinue reading “Investigating quantity and quality of vocabulary input in language immersion programs”

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?”

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?”

Gender, first language, coursework and experience: What variables predict U.S. teachers’ language ideologies?

Mariana Alvayero Ricklefs investigated this question with 180 teacher candidates at a large public university in the Midwestern U.S., using a language ideology survey with closed- and open-ended questions. Analyzing the data quantitatively and qualitatively, she concluded that there were six major language ideologies held by the teacher candidates and identified the demographic-, education-, andContinue reading “Gender, first language, coursework and experience: What variables predict U.S. teachers’ language ideologies?”

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”

Using translanguaging to teach vocabulary across the regional language, the national language, and English

In this week’s post, I summarize a single reading on pedagogical translanguaging for teaching vocabulary and morphological awareness across 3 languages. Why 3 languages? It is quite common for countries to have a three-level linguistic hierarchy: the regional/indigenous languages, the national language, and English. Therefore, this study by Leonet, Cenoz, and Gorter (2020) on howContinue reading “Using translanguaging to teach vocabulary across the regional language, the national language, and English”

Researching translanguaging in education: Beyond the social justice oriented classroom intervention

Most studies connecting translanguaging, education, and social justice take the form of participatory action research—i.e., teacher-scholar partnerships to promote translanguaging in classrooms. In this post, I describe two other research methods relevant to these topics: (1) interviews and document analysis of language attitudes and policies, and (2) ethnography in which the researcher is a “flyContinue reading “Researching translanguaging in education: Beyond the social justice oriented classroom intervention”

How should teachers use students’ first language and why does it matter? – Lessons from gr. 8 EFL science classes where students had elementary English proficiency

English is the home language of only 1 in 10 people in South Africa, but it is widely used as a medium of instruction from grade 4 onward, regardless of how little students understand. What, then, is the role of students’ L1(s) in this situation? Prof. Margie Probyn video-recorded a series of 5 lessons fromContinue reading “How should teachers use students’ first language and why does it matter? – Lessons from gr. 8 EFL science classes where students had elementary English proficiency”

When should I allow or encourage translanguaging in an academic subject class taught in English?

This is not going to be a prescriptive post since translanguaging is about dynamic activity flows, even in academic subject classes taught in English (Lin & He, 2017), known as Content Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) — or in the U.S., as “sheltered instruction” for ESL students. In these classes, students must get enough exposure toContinue reading “When should I allow or encourage translanguaging in an academic subject class taught in English?”

How does translanguaging pedagogy work when most, but not all, students share the same home language?

In another post, I wrote about a “superdiverse” class with 27 students, 8 home languages, and 1 (monolingual) teacher. There were obvious challenges to implementing translanguaging pedagogy in that classroom, even though the teacher successfully did. He was helped by a school and community environment supportive of bi/multilingualism, in a city that was historically diverse,Continue reading “How does translanguaging pedagogy work when most, but not all, students share the same home language?”