What are the challenges to maintaining national linguistic diversity? — Globally relevant lessons from heritage language education in the U.S.

If a country wants to maintain its linguistic diversity, it has to respond to the challenges of teaching heritage languages. “Heritage languages” (HLs) and “heritage language learners” are not well defined terms, but they can be understood as the languages of indigenous peoples, immigrants, and other linguistically minoritized groups. The day before posting this, IContinue reading “What are the challenges to maintaining national linguistic diversity? — Globally relevant lessons from heritage language education in the U.S.”

Is there such a thing as “balanced bilingualism”?

When we hear the word “bilingual,” what often comes to mind is the “balanced bilingual,” someone who has complete and/or native-like control over two languages. But when we take a class in applied linguistics, we realize that there are so many bilinguals in the world beyond this narrow definition. However, after taking a class inContinue reading “Is there such a thing as “balanced bilingualism”?”

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?”

English Medium Instruction vs Content Language Integrated Learning: Why is the distinction important?

Image from https://theanalyst007.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-great-indian-english-medium-drama.html In “EMI” and “CLIL” classrooms around the world, students are learning an academic subject through the medium of English. But are there important differences between these terms, and do they matter, especially for students who are disadvantaged by the language of instruction due to limited proficiency in it? In other words, theContinue reading “English Medium Instruction vs Content Language Integrated Learning: Why is the distinction important?”

Why don’t people in Linguistics use the term “translanguaging”?

I was walking around the HKU campus this past week when I ran into a booth peopled by undergraduates in the Linguistics Society. It was all about—translanguaging! But none of the displays or materials used the term “translanguaging,” and in this week’s post I attempt to explore why. I took photos of the display andContinue reading “Why don’t people in Linguistics use the term “translanguaging”?”

The “multi/plural turn”: A major trend in theorizing Second Language Acquisition

What is the “multi/plural” turn that changed our understanding of second language acquisition (SLA) around the start of the 21st century? This post explains (1) emergentism, a relatively new theory about how the language repertoire evolves across the lifespan, and (2) how emergentism suggests that we need to approach additional language acquisition from a multilingualContinue reading “The “multi/plural turn”: A major trend in theorizing Second Language Acquisition”

Definitions and examples of translanguaging: Do they remain justice-oriented? – Two lit reviews from the Global “North” and “South”

In 2017, Luis Poza, an assistant professor of Education in the U.S., examined 53 studies on translanguaging (1996-2014), investigating how the term was defined in each study, what examples were given, and what percentage of studies linked translanguaging to educational reform for linguistically and culturally marginalized students, as opposed to merely promising that translanguaging wouldContinue reading “Definitions and examples of translanguaging: Do they remain justice-oriented? – Two lit reviews from the Global “North” and “South””

The historical development of translanguaging – On the legacy of Ofelia García

No scholar of bi/multilingualism has had as large an impact as Ofelia García, with her far-reaching positive effect on education in the U.S. and internationally. In this post, I argue that we should focus on this far-reaching pedagogical effect—of how she conceptualizes language learners’ bi/multilingualism—which leads to a more socially just way of teaching languages,Continue reading “The historical development of translanguaging – On the legacy of Ofelia García”

Good news, bad news, and something to look forward to in 2021!

In the last semester of my PhD, I was auditing an advanced graduate seminar in psycholinguistics in which the professor began the three-hour meetings with the same exercise her children’s elementary school teachers used to do: “a rose, a thorn, or a bud.” The basic premise was to give students a choice to share oneContinue reading “Good news, bad news, and something to look forward to in 2021!”