Affordances and Challenges of Translanguaging Pedagogy for In-Service Content Area Teachers

Affordances and Challenges of Translanguaging Pedagogy for In-Service Content Area Teachers

Jayoung Choi, Tuba Angay-Crowder, Ji Hye Shin
Copyright: © 2022 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8985-4.ch016
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This chapter explores how two in-service content area teachers responded to translanguaging pedagogy that was briefly introduced in a teacher education course. Qualitative analysis of the online course work, interviews, and researcher journals revealed that each teacher demonstrated a translanguaging “stance” as well as potential in creating “design” and in initiating “shifts” while their understandings and implementation could be more refined. While understanding translanguaging mostly as a strategy helped the teachers develop a translanguaging stance more easily, it did not lead to more critical examination of complex language ideologies that directly affect teaching of multilingual learners. The study has implications for teacher educators who grapple with creating room for translanguaging, an equitable educational practice for multilingual students, in existing curricula.
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The current study joins a small, yet growing number of studies that examine the implementation of translanguaging within language teacher education (LTE) courses as a way to contest the prevalent monolingual ideology and practices in the US schools that continue to position multilinguals’ multilingualism as a deficit (Barros et al., 2020; Deroo & Ponzio, 2019; Flores & Aneja, 2017; García & Li, 2015; Tian, 2020). The purpose of this study from larger research was to examine how two in-service content teachers (ICTs), who work at a K-12 school and also attend a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) teacher educator program in the US, responded to the translanguaging pedagogy in an online master’s course, Applied Linguistics. We focus on ICTs as opposed to pre-service teachers (PSTs), who are working to earn their teaching certifications in the US and are not employed in an educational setting, for the following reasons. The number of studies on translanguaging pedagogy taught in teacher education programs is little (Vaish, 2019). More particularly, research on how educators perceive and implement the translanguaging pedagogy in different content areas and various grade levels is scarce. Most existing studies have focused on the translanguaging practices of PSTs (Barros et al., 2020; Flores & Aneja, 2017; Tian, 2020). These studies highlighted the affordances and challenges of translanguaging and underlined that teachers do not have enough support in learning about the implementation of the pedagogy. We need more studies about how and why ICTs, who have more teaching experience and ongoing access to the classroom, apply this new pedagogy to their teaching contexts. For this purpose, we ask the following research question: What are the perceived affordances and challenges of two ICTs concerning the implementation of translanguaging pedagogy in P-12 classrooms? Translanguaging pedagogy embedded in LTE courses and implemented in K-12 schools contributes to an equitable learning environment or a classroom with multilingual ecology for all students in schools (García & Li, 2015; García et al., 2017).

In the subsequent sections, we discuss the theoretical framework, followed by pertinent literature, the description of the course, methods, findings, discussion, implications, and conclusion.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Ofelia García: She is a Professor Emerita at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Among her best-known books is The Translanguaging Classroom: Leveraging Student Bilingualism for Learning (with S. I. Johnson & K. Seltzer).

Stance: Stance is a translanguaging construct and requires leveraging students’ multilingualism for learning. This construct refers to teachers’ beliefs and explains their teaching philosophy.

TESOL Teacher Education: Training, policy, and procedures to prepare language teachers candidates with required pedagogical content and language knowledge to undertake teaching languages and related activities in educational institutions.

Multilingual Learner: Multilingual learners include all students who speak a language other than English at home. Among multilingual students, one subgroup is English learners.

In-Service Teacher: In-service teacher refers to a teacher that has certification or is already teaching in a classroom, in contrast to a pre-service teacher, who is in the process of preparing to become a teacher.

Heritage Language: A heritage language is a minority language (either immigrant or indigenous) or languages other than the dominant language (or languages) in a given social context. Heritage language is spoken by a person who has learned the language informally by being exposed to it at home.

Shift: Shift is a translanguaging construct and refers to the teacher’s flexibility and willingness to change the course of the lesson and assessment, as well as the language use planned for it, to release and support students’ voices.

Translanguaging: Translanguaging is the abilty and act of using language learner’s full language repertorie.

Design: Design is a translanguaging construct and describes how teachers set up affordances (e.g., designing units, lessons, pedagogical practices, and assessments) as they construct learning experiences for students.

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