Translanguaging: Learning through multiple languages

Posted on Apr 11, 2015 in Events | 3 comments

Translanguaging: Learning through multiple languages

Helga Castano, an instructor at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Ala., explained the relatively new concept of translanguaging as method of teaching ELLs.

Translanguaging is defined as the process whereby multilingual language users mediate social and cognitive activities through the use of multiple academic resources to expand thinking and understanding.

Castanos PowerPoint presentation thoroughly explained the concept of translanguaging.  Some highlights from the presentation:

  • The forms of translanguaging include: natural, official, teacher-directed translanguaging.
  • Optimal translanguaging occurs in several scenarios including learner-directed classroom.
  • Translanguaging as a pedagogy: teacher use it to involve students, clarify what they are saying, manage classroom, develop academic concepts and language.
  • Several strategies are creating bilingual and multilingual word walls, using videos in other languages, using collaborative group work and multilingual partners and allowing students to read and write multilingual resources.

Castano said one benefit of translanguaging is that it enables student to participate, elaborate and raise questions during classroom activities. The role of the teacher becomes one of modeling the translanguaging strategies the students so they will use them in the process of negotiating meaning from vocabulary, assignments and other academic resources.

She did add that because translanguaging is a relatively new teaching method,  the teacher is language planner since most materials dont allow for translanguaging to occur in the classroom as traditionally, English only is enforced in the classroom.

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