Translanguaging pedagogy

Anne Holmen
Table of contents

Since the turn of the millennium, we have witnessed an upsurge of interest in pedagogical approaches incorporating the concept of translanguaging. A multitude of school projects in multilingual communities in Asia, North America and Europe have been motivated by the concept, and it appears in foreign language teaching and in numerous books addressed to teachers and policy-makers. In addition, translanguaging is a recurrent theme in research conferences and journals within sociolinguistics, applied linguistics and languages-in-education. However, besides the basic understanding of translanguaging referring to “a systematic shift from one language to another for specific reasons” (Coyle et al. 2010: 16), there is neither consensus about the definition of the term nor about the implications of this for teaching and learning in classrooms. As we shall see, the major point for discussion lies in the scope and ambition of the teaching approach: does it build on a radically new and groundbreaking philosophy of education, or does it bring about new inspiration to teaching practices guided by many different philosophies of education?

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