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Introduction to Translanguaging in the ESL/EFL Classroom

In this webinar, we introduce the concept of translanguaging in the EFL classroom which is the simultaneous use of more than one language to make meaning. Through the presentation, we will provide examples of how teachers have used translanguaging practices to help students learn English. These examples are taken from observations and research done in Puerto Rico and Peru. It will also be discussed the role that Spanish has played in EFL classrooms and how it has been used to bridge the gap between two languages.

This webinar for English language teachers was hosted by the Regional English Language Office at the US Embassy in Peru.

► About the speaker:

▪▪ Vanessa Mari has worked as an English teacher for the past 8 years. She started her career teaching English as a second language in a public high school in Puerto Rico. Her experience as a teacher prompted her interest in studying the ELL population. Her research has focused on teacher motivation, attitudes, and translanguaging. Vanessa Mari has also taught in diverse academic setting including the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez, the University of Texas San Antonio and The University of Piura. She has also collaborated with the Ministry of Education in Peru as the English Language Fellow.


► Find the webinar here: https://youtu.be/mWbPHdwTlgE

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Introduction to Translanguaging in the ESL/EFL Classroom

  1. 1. Vanessa Mari
  2. 2.  Discuss what translanguaging is and the role that it plays in the EFL classroom.  Evaluate examples of translanguaging.
  3. 3. A: 6,000-7,000 B: 2,000-3,000 C: 500-1000 D: 50-100
  4. 4.  Think about the language used by YOU in the classroom…how much Spanish do you use? When do you use Spanish?  There are 47 indigenous languages in Peru.  29 million population and 4 million speakers of indigenous languages.
  5. 5.  A: 90-80%  A: 70-60%  A: 50-40%  A: Never
  6. 6. Bilingualism through monolingualism-Swain (1983)Bilingualism=two monolinguals in one
  7. 7. translanguaging  García (2009) defines translanguaging as the language practices of bilinguals and the “multiple discursive practices in which bilinguals engage in order to make sense of their bilingual worlds” (p. 112).  Translanguaging is the act performed by bilinguals of accessing different linguistic features or various modes of what are described as autonomous languages, in order to maximize communicative potential. (García 2009)
  8. 8.  Mazak, Rivera and Soto (2016) flexible bilingual practices in the classroom allow for learners to “emerge as bilinguals able to articulate knowledge while focusing on the concept and not only on their use of one language or the other” (p. 232).
  9. 9. Lin and Martin (2005) and Arthur and Martin (2006) described the pedagogic potentials behind codeswitching. These include: increasing the inclusion, participation, and understandings of pupils in the learning processes; developing less formal relationships between participants; conveying ideas more easily; and accomplishing lessons.
  10. 10. translanguaging  Promotes deeper and fuller understanding of the subject matter.  Helps the development of the weaker language  Facilitate home-school links  (Baker, 2001, 2006, 2011)
  11. 11. Baker,C . 2011 p. 289)
  12. 12. voices  Excerpt: 31: Translanguaging. Public school teacher  Ellos le tienen terror al escribir. Yo les digo que escriban en Spanish, solamente escriban. Una cosa que me gusta dar es dictado porque yo les dicto un párrafo y ellos escriben.
  13. 13.  They turn in the Spanish version but also turn in the semi-translated version into English. But that’s something I have to ask them constantly, to produce in English. And I know it is because they compare themselves to the teacher and are worried about accents.  (Private school teacher, March 26, 2016)
  14. 14.  I always encourage them to work. If you don’t know English, then just do it in Spanglish they will learn eventually and they do. So I just tell them to write about what’s in their heads and they like that.
  15. 15. Benefits  Ability to engage audiences through translanguaging  Use of student translanguaging to establish identity positions  Recognition that languages do not fit into clear bounded entities and that all languages are “needed” for meanings to be conveyed and negotiated;  Endorsement of simultaneous literacies and languages to keep the pedagogic task moving;  Recognition that teachers and students skillfully use their languages for different functional goals such as narration and explanation;  Use of translanguaging for annotating texts, providing greater access to the curriculum, and lesson accomplishment.  Creese & Blackdedge (2010)
  16. 16.  How do you see translanguaging practices playing a role in your classroom?
  17. 17. Questions? Vanessa Mari Vanessa.mari22@ gmail.com

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