Translanguaging is an increasingly notable term in the field of applied linguistics. Defined as an approach to using language and educating multilingual students with the language practices of bilingual speakers who draw from one linguistic repertoire (García and Wei 2014, p. 2), translanguaging is at the forefront of the research agenda. According to Mazak and Carroll (2017), the editors of this volume, research in translanguaging is often situated in the primary and secondary school classroom where teachers engage students in their multiple languages to facilitate a deeper understanding of school content. For this reason, they use this edited volume to bring the conversation of translanguaging to the tertiary classroom, a space traditionally known for its monolingual ideology where prestige is ascribed to the dominant languages of society (Benson and Kosonen 2013). Dispelling post-colonial ideals, Mazak and Carroll bring together a series of empirical studies that illuminate how translanguaging pedagogies are negotiated in higher education. Moreover, because translanguaging research is relatively prominent in North American and UK contexts, the authors intentionally selected chapters that showcase translanguaging in multilingual communities around the globe. Translanguaging in Higher Education: Beyond Monolingual Ideologies consists of 10 chapters written by 16 authors. Mazak and Carroll provide chapters on translanguaging in Puerto Rico and the United Arab Emirates, respectively. The other chapters draw from tertiary education systems in Denmark, Hong Kong, India, South Africa, Ukraine, and the Basque Autonomous Community in the north of Spain. With these selected cases, Mazak and Carroll successfully fulfil their aim of “showcasing the complexity and … various ways in which translanguaging practices exist within higher educational contexts around the world” (p. 6). The methodologies in this volume transcend multiple research approaches as they answer dynamic questions about how and why translanguaging occurs in tertiary institutions. Research methods include ethnographic case studies, historical and social analyses, observations and focus groups discussions, as well as document analyses. Without a doubt, the diverse approaches adopted and used in such a variety of contexts helps capture the diverse linguistic practices of bilingual speakers in the translanguaging approach. Before delving into the empirical articles on translanguaging in higher education, Mazak lays a foundation by presenting the theoretical underpinnings of translanguaging. First, she documents the historical development of translanguaging, which was first coined as a pedagogical approach in a Welsh bilingual education context (Williams 1994), and then extended beyond pedagogy to the bilingual practices and languaging of bilinguals (García 2009). In addition, Mazak asserts that translanguaging in this volume interrogates the notion of languages as discrete, separate entities as each chapter demonstrates how languaging draws from one linguistic repertoire. In line with the poststructuralist paradigm shift, translanguaging in this volume clearly demonstrates how communication “transcends individual languages” and also “transcends individual semiotic resources and ecological affordances” (Canagarajah 2012, p. 6). Finally, Mazak defines translanguaging in five ways, which help readers synthesize the articles in this book. These definitions include translanguaging as language ideology, as a theory of bilingualism, as a pedagogical stance, as a set of practices, and as transformational (p. 5). After reading this book, I agree that these definitions are important lenses that help reinforce, challenge, and extend our understandings of translanguaging. For example, the assumption that translanguaging is transformational underpins all chapters in this volume. Yet, because language ideologies in various contexts (e.g. India and the United Arab Emirates in Chapters 7 and 8, respectively) privilege the use of specific languages in tertiary institutions, we see translanguaging defined and adopted in different ways. In India, translanguaging may serve as a euphemism for a common practice in schools that is historically stigmatized as ‘substandard’. In the United Arab Emirates, faculty members adopt translanguaging approaches but juxtapose its helpfulness to teaching and learning with its harmfulness to future employment. The articles in this edited volume can be categorized into three broad categories: translanguaging in the classroom, professors’ translanguaging practices, and translanguaging in language policy. Chapters 2, 3, and 4 collectively examine language practices in classroom spaces. More specifically, they use a case study (Chapter 2), language profiles (Chapter 3), and language ecology (Chapter 4) to showcase how students translanguage in the classroom and break down monolingual ideologies as ‘act[s] of resistance—or, at least, a counternarrative—to the hegemony of English as a global or international language” (Chapter 4). Chapters 5 and 6 investigate the translanguaging practices of professors in Puerto Rico and Hong Kong, respectively. The authors examine how professors navigate the linguistic diversity of classrooms through translanguaging, weaving between English and Spanish in Chapter 5, and between English, Mandarin, and Cantonese in Chapter 6. Chapter 6 extends the conversation by documenting how the professor facilitates meaning making through translanguaging and trans-semiotizing with Chinese and English, mathematics symbolism, PowerPoint slides, blackboard layouts, pictures, graphic organizers, and gestures. Finally, Chapters 7, 8, and 9 take a macro-approach by examining language policy and practice in India (Chapter 7), the United Arab Emirates (Chapter 8), and the Basque Autonomous Community (Chapter 9). While Chapter 7 explores how multilingual language policies and practices in India are historically and ideologically situated, Chapter 8 delineates how written and unwritten language policies in the United Arab Emirates can discount the linguistic backgrounds of students when learning in the dominant language. The Basque Country, however, makes a noteworthy contribution to the volume, as students have the opportunity to select higher education in English rather than Spanish or Basque. In this chapter, the authors argue that the function and purpose of translanguaging shifts as the dominant language is not imposed upon them, but chosen. To conclude, Carroll examines how translanguaging in higher education builds the prestige and status of non-dominant languages (Chapter 10). Arguing for prestige planning in tertiary education, Carroll notes that there may be a trickle-down effect on non-dominant language use and translanguaging practices in primary and secondary schools. Translanguaging in Higher Education: Beyond Monolingual Ideologies lives up to its title. All chapters in the book illustrate how translanguaging in higher education disrupts monolingual ideologies as multilingual students, professors, class materials, and policies come together to facilitate meaning making. Overall, this book makes some important contributions to the field by engaging translanguaging in multiple conversations. First, a clear argument for translanguaging in higher education is made for bilingual students to use their linguistic repertoire as a resource when they are placed in an environment where the medium of instruction is not their native tongue. It also affirms that translanguaging in higher education will likely create a washback effect on the language of instruction in primary and secondary schools. Although the landscape of language of instruction in higher education is not comprehensively described in this book, the empirical articles provide readers with a deep understanding of how translanguaging is situated within each educational context. Secondly, the collection of chapters clearly demonstrates how translanguaging is needed and used in contexts outside North America and the UK. Although the articles are unable to cover translanguaging in all contexts, the book successfully fulfils its purpose of illuminating how translanguaging does and does not operate in multilingual communities around the world. Thirdly, this book makes important connections between translanguaging theory and the field of language policy and planning. More specifically, we see Ruíz’s (1984) three orientations in language planning woven into the chapters of this edited volume. For example, multilingual policies and practices in Indian higher education (Chapter 7) demonstrate a language-as-resource orientation, while policies in the United Arab Emirates (Chapter 8) adopt a language-as-problem orientation. We also see Kaplan and Baldauf’s (1997) macro-, meso-, and micro-levels of language planning in these chapters, as each level dictates whether translanguaging approaches are readily adopted and accepted in the higher education context. For example, micro-level policies dictate whether teachers buy into translanguaging practices based on their beliefs and attitudes (Chapters 2 and 9), meso-level policies inform translanguaging practices that are catered to specific populations (Chapters 3 and 6), and macro-level policies create formal spaces for languages to be used or refused in the classroom (Chapters 8 and 9). These intersections make important contributions to the study of translanguaging as they expand our understanding of the term in both explicit and nuanced ways. In sum, this edited volume takes the term translanguaging and applies it to under-researched contexts, analyses the strengths and challenges of adopting this approach in detailed case studies of higher education, and shapes the translanguaging research agenda significantly References Benson C. , Kosonen K. . 2013 . ‘Language issues in comparative education’ Kosonen K. , Benson C. (eds): Inclusive Teaching and Learning in Non-dominant Languages and Cultures . Sense Publishers . Canagarajah S. 2012 . Translingual Practice: Global Englishes and Cosmopolitan Relations . Routledge . García O. 2009 . Bilingual Education in the 21st Century: A Global Perspective . Wiley-Blackwell . García O. , Wei L. . 2014 . Translanguaging: Language, Bilingualism and Education . Palgrave Macmillan . Kaplan R. B. , Baldauf R. B. . 1997 . Language Planning from Practice to Theory . Multilingual Matters . Mazak C. M. , Carroll K. S. (eds). 2017 . Translanguaging in Higher Education: Beyond Monolingual Ideologies . Multilingual Matters . Ruíz R. 1984 . ‘ Orientations in language planning ,’ NABE Journal 8 : 15 – 34 . Google Scholar CrossRef Search ADS Williams C. 1994 . ‘ Arfarniad o Ddulliau Dysgu ac Addysgu yng Nghyd-destun Addysg Uwchradd Ddwyieithog, ’ Ph.D. thesis, University of Wales . © Oxford University Press 2017 This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices)
Applied Linguistics – Oxford University Press
Published: Sep 26, 2017
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