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)?”

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”

What is Critical Language Awareness (CLA)?

Teachers often wonder how appreciation for linguistic and cultural diversity can be fostered in schools. This is not just a “cultural show” issue, but comes down to teaching every student how to be respectful and inclusive, in and out of class, making school a place where racially, linguistically, and culturally minoritized students, some of whomContinue reading “What is Critical Language Awareness (CLA)?”

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?”

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”