Based on evidence that bi/multilinguals actively transfer linguistic knowledge and cognitive skills acquired through one language to additional learned languages, many researchers (Cummins, 2014; Flores & García, 2017; Swain & Lapkin, 2013) have argued that our current model of L2 education, which maintains firm barriers between learners’ languages, is illogical and makes it more difficult for learners to use their full range of knowledge and skills. With the rising importance of translanguaging orientations, pedagogical initiatives which emphasize learners’ use of their full linguistic repertoire (García & Lin, 2014) are on the rise; nevertheless, one could argue that translanguaging’s ballooning popularity over the past decade likens it to an awkward adolescent, unsure of its identity and grown so rapidly that it is still learning what its new body is capable of. In this talk, I will outline theories and research underlying translanguaging. I will also address current issues such as the ambiguity surrounding the term ‘translanguaging,’ the clash between certain translanguaging practices and some SLA theories, and the need to emphasize a ‘toolbox’ approach that empowers teachers to choose appropriate translanguaging strategies for their classroom context. Finally, I will outline current educational initiatives to illustrate the potential for this approach.
Speaker Series: The Department of Education and the Plurilingual lab present Dr. Susan Ballinger
February 19, 2019, 5 p.m. – 5:50 p.m.
TRANSLANGUAGING’S AWKWARD ADOLESCENT PHASE?
Dr. Susan Ballinger is an Assistant Professor of Second Language Education at McGill University. Her research takes place in contexts where the language of schooling differs from students’ home language. Her previous studies have explored bi-literacy and cross-linguistic pedagogical initiatives. Current projects include developing instructional strategies to support peer learning and language use in French immersion, measuring the impact of teacher-training tools meant to enhance subject teachers’ language awareness in highly diverse European mainstream classes, examining Montreal-area parents’ attitudes, experiences, and concerns in relation to raising bi/multilingual children, and developing a biliteracy approach in Louisiana immersion
Room FG 5.315, Faubourg Ste-Catherine Building (1610 St. Catherine W.), Sir George Williams Campus
Dr. Susan Ballinger
Workshops & seminars, Conferences & lectures