Translanguaging: What challenges does it address and pose?

30th October 2018

Category: Seminar

Research Group: Applied Linguistics

Speaker: Dr Tracey Costley (University of Essex)

Location: Department of Education, Seminar Rooms G

Convener: Hamish Chalmers, Departmental Lecturer Applied Linguistics

This presentation begins with an overview of some of the main ways in which translanguaging has been conceptualised in the literature in recent years (Williams 1994; Baker 2003, 2011; García 2009; Creese and Blackledge 2010; García and Li Wei 2014).

In this discussion I identify three broad themes under which translanguaging work has taken place: 1) Translanguaging as a pedagogic tool 2) Translanguaging as a state of personhood and 3) Translanguaging as a moral/social justice issue. From here, I move on to discuss ethnographic data collected from an on-going case study of a primary school in the East of England to explore where languages are positioned within the day-to-day context of the school, and to look at the different ways in which teachers are able, or not, to draw on translanguaging in their classroom practices. I end with a discussion of the different affordances and constraints translanguaging perspectives offer us in terms of understanding and responding to the teaching and learning needs of this particular educational context.