Books by Angela Creese
The big picture: A meta-analysis of program effectiveness research on English language learners. Educational Policy, 19 4 , — Seltzer, K. Williams, C. Secondary education: Teaching in the bilingual situation. Williams, G. Baker Eds. Ennill iaith: Astudiaeth o sefyllfa drochi yn 11—16 oed [A language gained: A study of language immersion at 11—16 years of age]. Bangor, United Kingdom: School of Education.
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Woodley, H. See a full description including their vision, principles, participating schools at www. Zhongfeng Tian is a doctoral student majoring in curriculum and instruction with a specialization in language, literacy, and cuulture at Boston College. He is a bilingual speaker of Mandarin and English.
Books by Angela Creese (Author of Teacher Collaboration and Talk in Multilingual Classrooms)
His main research interests are translanguaging, bilingualism, and language and literacy development. Her research and teacher preparation interests include bilingual learners, and teaching writing. Brisk is the author of several books. It is more about the move from a pure linguistic term into a sociopolitical perspective. It is more about the use of the language practices. Translanguaging is also a normal behavior of bilinguals. This term can be described not as a noun, but more as a verb, a process —that has been a change in the way we talk about the term.
AG: Why do you think the word came about if it has this additional layer of social and political context? MEB: I have been largely focusing on how children develop writing in elementary school classrooms, so it is not something I have been studying much. I came to this definition based on what I see in the current literature. It is a change in vocabulary; this seems to be a reframed phenomenon of bilingualism that we have already seen for years. AG: What do you think is the role of translanguaging in the classroom?
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Does it happen in the classroom? MEB: What is important about translanguaging is the fluidity of communication, seeing how bilingual children communicate, express their ideas, rather than a specific outcome; the fact that a child can access both languages at the same time in order to say what he wants. A child might have fluency, be able to speak and think in several languages. Translanguaging allows using this rich language potential. Teachers create an environment where students are able to use their full language repertoire.
Michelle gathered the whole class to discuss their impressions about their reports. Different students raised their hands and offered comments. Daisy gave a comment in Spanish, which one of her classmates quickly translated, and the conversation continued seamlessly. A little later in the discussion, Daisy stood close to Michelle and whispered a comment in English. What is interesting is that during the discussion, sometimes the native Spanish speaker would give comments in English, and sometimes in Spanish, and one of them would translate from English into Spanish.
So, it is the environment where the teacher validates and supports the use of multiple languages to ensure that also beginning language users can actively participate in the classroom discussions. AG: How then can teachers support translanguaging practices in the classroom? Can monolingual teachers create a space for translanguaging to take place despite not knowing any other language except English?
It is more about giving permission to use more than one language. In such a classroom, students are able to use their language skills in a way they can. By being able to speak in a language they choose, they make themselves visible. It is not important for a teacher to be multilingual to create a translanguaging inclusive classroom. More so, translanguaging is natural in interactions among any bilinguals; when bilinguals talk to one another, they easily and naturally switch between the languages. So, translanguaging allows for a free choice of a language in interactions.
A child had just arrived at the school in the 5th grade. At this age, it is quite hard to integrate and to learn a new language, much more difficult than for a kindergartener. So, at the beginning the child was very quiet when they were discussing the book chapter. Then, the teacher encouraged the child to speak in his native language. The bilingual students in the group helped integrate his comments into the discussion. AG: What are some misconceptions around translanguaging practices? How can we address these misconceptions?
MEB: Well, the first popular misconception is that translanguaging is considered poor language or incorrect language, that children are mixed up, when they translanguage. The best way to debunk the myths about translanguaging is when parents can see children using two languages. These children are able to use their native language, to maintain it.
They can use both languages, native language and English. Translanguaging is not to be confused with multilingual education. For example, in some dual language programs there is no translanguaging.
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In such programs languages are kept separate. MEB: We have opportunities to do research and see the impact of translanguaging both in monolingual and multilingual education. There have been people who think that languages should be kept separate, but others support the use of more than one language in the content-area classroom. Here I mean that both languages are used to teach literacy and content-area subjects.
AG: Thank you, and my last question, what do you think is the future of term translanguaging? How will it evolve?
MEB: Terms come and go, and we need to study normal behavior of students in the classroom. We need to see language as a resource, where the context is important, the function of a language is important. We need to study how translanguaging practices help bilinguals understand, comprehend, develop academic and linguistic skills. The function here means whether translanguaging is used for learning purposes or it is used for political purposes. I have a problem when these functions are mixed up. When you talk about education of children, it should be used for educational, not political reasons.
We should show that languages other than English are important, but it is not enough. The purpose should also be to engage students in developing their cognitive skills, for the holistic development of a child. AG: Thank you very much for your time and valuable perspective on translanguaging.
Kate teaches at the City College of New York. Before this, she worked as a high school English language arts teacher in New York City, where most of her students were bilingual. Alsu Gilmetdinova AG : So my first question is just about the definition of what translanguaging means. How do you see it? How different is it from codeswitching, and all the other new terms that are coming up?
Kate Seltzer KS : I would say the biggest thing is that translanguaging has two lenses. The first describes the language practices of bi- and multilingual communities, families, individuals. It embraces the idea that in these communities, in these families, there is a very fluid way of utilizing language practices. Fluid, without a monolingual audience in which there is no rigid separation of languages. There is a fluid interconnected way of utilizing the languages of a community or a family.
We see this when we work with young people.
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The other part of translanguaging is leveraging that fluid language use in pedagogy. So, making the classroom more reflective of language practices of actual people, rather than upholding monolingual standards for languaging. I think an important aspect of that is something some people who are working in translanguaging are trying to push.
It is a lens that can be drawn on to reimagine classrooms and to reimagine teaching and learning for bilingual students. AG: How would you then compare translanguaging with monolingual ideologies—monolingual perspectives? KS: A monolingual or monoglossic perspective of languaging is that languages are separate.
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