(Re)imagining the Future of Translanguaging Pedagogies in TESOL through Teacher-Researcher Collaborations

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In this presentation we argue that teacher-researcher collaborations hold the promise of embracing translanguaging pedagogies in TESOL classrooms. We propose a conceptual framework to call for both parties to develop translanguaging co-stances, and make translanguaging co-designs and co-shifts. We then share our own collaborative endeavors and end with pedagogical implications.

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While translanguaging pedagogies have demonstrated promises to counteract monolingual subjectivities and practices in TESOL education, we have yet to find sustainable ways to make them norms in our classroom spaces. To bridge the gap between theory and practice, we assert that teacher-researcher collaborations are integral to demystify and explore the potential of translanguaging pedagogies in TESOL classrooms. We propose a conceptual framework, building upon García, Johnson, and Seltzer (2017), to highlight the joint efforts between both parties and the embedded dynamic, iterative, complex process: (1) teachers and researchers first build trusting relations to negotiate and develop a translanguaging co-stance that is research-informed, practitioner-oriented and context-appropriate; (2) they engage in equitable forms of dialogue and listening iteratively to co-design instruction and assessments that draw on students’ complete linguistic and semiotic repertoires; and (3) through continuous plan-act-evaluate-(self)reflect cycles, they make co-shifts to address students’ needs at all points of a bilingual continuum. We see that this framework could invert the power position of researchers and teachers and reconceptualize their roles as porous to achieve a holistic researcher-practitioner perspective for both parties. Then we contextualize this framework by sharing our own collaborative endeavors of experimenting with translanguaging pedagogies in two TESOL classrooms (one in a university intensive English program classroom and the other one in an elementary ESL classroom) in the U.S. Finally, we offer pedagogical implications for both practitioners and researchers to reimagine the future of translanguaging pedagogies in TESOL, including being open and willing to shift philosophies and practices, building a multilingual ecology in classrooms and starting with designing translanguaging in small ways, fostering teacher agency to become classroom language policymakers, and consulting resources for collaborative translanguaging pedagogies.

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Drake University, Iowa

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Dr. Yo-An Lee
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