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?”

How does translanguaging pedagogy work with 27 students, 8 home languages, and 1 monolingual teacher?

“Eight home languages. Twenty-seven students. Twenty-seven levels of English language development, home language literacy, and content knowledge. One room. One teacher. This is the reality of Andrew Brown’s 5th-grade class.” So begins the article co-authored by Mr. Brown and his researcher friend Heather Woodley after doing professional development with Ofelia García in New York. ThisContinue reading “How does translanguaging pedagogy work with 27 students, 8 home languages, and 1 monolingual teacher?”

What does translanguaging look like in English-as-a-Foreign Language contexts?

In 2012, Graham Hall and Guy Cook did a survey for the British Council on bi/multilingual language use in K-12 and adult English classrooms. Within three months, they had 2,785 teachers from 111 countries participate. Hall and Cook did not call the practice “translanguaging” but referred to teachers’ use of students’ “own language” — notContinue reading “What does translanguaging look like in English-as-a-Foreign Language contexts?”

How do we know translanguaging benefits language acquisition?

Though the socioemotional and critical pedagogy aspects of translanguaging have often been researched, what remains under-researched is the extent to which translanguaging benefits language development. This is not the kind of question that can simply be researched through pre-tests and post-tests. Using painstaking analysis of transcripts of student-centred interaction as her main data source, VinitiContinue reading “How do we know translanguaging benefits language acquisition?”

What do teachers make of translanguaging the first time they learn about it?

Formerly an EFL teacher in Romania and a public middle school ESL teacher in the southern U.S., Dr. Elena Andrei, Assistant Professor of TESOL at a Midwestern U.S. university, attempted to introduce the construct “translanguaging” to a group of 20 undergraduate and graduate students preparing to teach ESL in K-12 schools. About a third ofContinue reading “What do teachers make of translanguaging the first time they learn about it?”