Challenging the translingual turn: TESOL student teachers' perceptions, practices and networks

This report investigates the ways in which student teachers have encountered and responded to the term translanguaging.

Translanguaging has become the buzzword in language learning circles; yet, few critical studies have tested its capacity to be adopted by junior teachers. This paper reports on a study that aimed to investigate what happens when student-teachers in a TESOL programme first encounter the term and have to (re)negotiate beliefs, practices and connections in light of new learning and teaching experiences. Based on interview data, mapping exercises, thematic and metaphor analysis, we found that student-teachers tend not to make strong ideological and practical commitments because context is the primary determinant of their beliefs and actions, leaving them with many unresolved and, at times, problematic language positions and practices.

The authors have also created a related blog, which aims to discover and develop creative practices, activities and ideas that teachers can use in multilingual classrooms within a translingual framework. The project builds on a collaborative model that brings together expertise about multilingual learning and teaching, as well as arts-based methods and creative practices. Find out more:

This publication is free to download in pdf format below.

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