Sessions / Translanguaging


Time Not Set

In this presentation I will seek for a new way to understand the phenomenon of translanguaging. I will argue that translanguaging is foremost a cultural phenomenon in the sense of how we form our ways of life and beliefs on how the world works, and that it occurs as a function of how we use language as a means of finding meaning and confirmation of those beliefs, in a globalized world where information comes to us in multiple media and languages. In order to reach there, I will first deconstruct the mainstream Herderian concept of folk- and nationbound culture, as it seems inadequate to capture how we deal with our globalized life circumstances and choices, especially on the level of languaging. I will also suggest that the concept of transculturality as advanced by German philosopher Wolfgang Welsch (2001), may serve the purpose of understanding this phenomenon better. After briefly discussing the concept, I examine the idea of how translanguaging becomes a symptom of a transcultural process in which people no longer make a meaningful distinction that decides their identity, between their “own” language or a “second” language. The discussion on English as a Lingua Franca and how to teach language in this perspective, can also be seen in the context of this framework. I propose that the concept of transculturality may provide an insightful basis for understanding the phenomenon of translanguaging so that more profound approaches to this can be found in the field of education.

Learners' perception of translanguaging: a case study of teaching English Debate in college #2563

Sat, Dec 4, 13:30-14:00 Asia/Taipei | LOCATION: Room C (Google Meet)

This talk aims to share learners' perception of how translanguaging (Garcia and Li 2014, Backer 2017, Li 2018) improves English majors’ process of constructing knowledge of local issues, while strengthening students’ global communication ability. As many EMI courses target to speak English for instructors in class, the translanguaging focuses on incorporating native and foreign languages in class for both instructors and learners. Backer (2017) has discussed the advantages of translanguaging to help learners obtain deeper understanding of the subject matter, develop the weaker language, facilitate co-operation, and integrate fluent speakers with early learners. To show how to achieve the goal of constructing knowledge and strengthening communication ability through translanguaging, this current talk focuses the preliminary practices of teaching English Debate to English majors in a private university in Taipei in Spring 2020 and 2021. The course objective is to introduce students to the techniques of debate in English, and students follows the steps: issue identification, data collection and analyses, opinion formation, speech organization and practice and final presentation. Through translanguaging, students are initially allowed to discuss in Chinese and collect Chinese/English data. Later, English is partially incorporated when students form their opinions and organize their speech. Finally, practice and final presentation are conducted in English only. The students’ feedback suggests that translanguaging gradually helps them achieve goals in the steps and improve their fluency in their English presentation. For example, one of the students' feedback from the Spring 2020 class suggested that "the instructor allowed us to speak and read Chinese, and this helped me learn faster. I can speak English more confidently." Another student's feedback from the Spring 2021 class revealed that the practice in Chinese helped him/her efficiently learn relevant information by reading Chinese materials, and therefore he/she can organize his/her English debate with the constructed knowledge. In general, students' from the two classes show the consensus that translanguaging bolsters their confidence in completing each English debate.