"¡Lucés, cámara, acción!": A classroom teacher research analysis of dual language students translanguaging through one-act plays




Escalante, Lora Beth

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The study investigates how language is used among 17 children in a dual language classroom as they create academic-based one-act plays in conjunction with social studies instruction. Examining over 20 hours of video, the teacher researcher analyzes students' use of translanguaging during cooperative groupings in order to co-accomplish an academic task. The purpose was to determine how the use of Spanish and English among students working in groups contributed to how students interacted with one another and to the creation of their plays. A major finding is the students' use of schoologues---moments when students bring shared school experiences into their conversations. The study looks at how humor and laughter are also used as a vehicle of thought and as a way of navigating difficult interactional obstacles, such as regaining academic focus when it has strayed. Language used by the students to generate one-act plays implies that a classroom setting that encourages the use of bilingual linguistic repertoires benefits social and academic language development among learners. The analysis of student-generated artifacts (personal written reflections as well as first and final drafts of their plays) reveals the connection between the use of oral language and peer editing. The data demonstrate how students used themselves as reference tools to derive edits within their scripts. The author argues that students were able to communicate freely in such a way that would ultimately produce the results they desired (final drafts of their plays) in part because students felt comfortable with one another, in part because they were given the freedom to use both English and Spanish, and partly because the teacher allowed them the space in which to work with limited interruptions.


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dual language, elementary, peer editing, schoologues, translanguaging, two-way immersion



Bicultural-Bilingual Studies