Translingual practices in the second language classroom: A comparative case study of ESL teachers in an intensive English program




Aghai, Laila

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This study examined how ESL teachers' language ideologies influence the way their students draw upon their linguistic repertoire. A multiple case study was utilized to better understand how students translanguage for negotiation of meaning and sense-making, and how the ESL teachers treat their students' translingual practices in their L2 classroom. Four ESL teachers and twenty adult ESL students with differing proficiency levels in an Intensive English Program at a university in South Texas participated in this study. The participants were interviewed, teacher-student classroom interactions were observed and analyzed, and the students' writing assignments were collected. The second aim of this study was to gain a better understanding of how ESL students negotiate their language and culture in oral communication and writing courses. The findings of this study suggested that adult ESL students in advanced courses benefit from their native language in classes that are focused on building accuracy rather than fluency, whereas students with low proficiency level benefit from their L1 in classes that are focused on building both accuracy and fluency. Moreover, this study discussed how ESL teachers can adopt a translingual approach by developing their metalinguistic awareness and translingual competence.


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Applied Linguistics, English as a Second Language, Language Ideologies, Multilingual Education, Translanguaging, Translingual Practice



Bicultural-Bilingual Studies