Translanguaging as Theory and Practice for Teaching Emergent Bilingual Students: Centering the Voices of Prospective Teachers

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Mark R. Emerick
Edwin Alvarez
Catherine A. Duncan
Eva M. Vaquera


In this paper, we focused on the outcomes of introducing translanguaging as a theory and pedagogical tool in an undergraduate teacher education program at a predominantly white small liberal arts college. Engaging in participatory narrative inquiry, three prospective secondary teachers wrote narratives examining their understanding of language from a translanguaging perspective and the potential impact of translanguaging as a pedagogy in their content area classrooms. The three narratives provide rich insight into the thinking of prospective teachers about translanguaging and show prospective teachers’ understanding of (a) the transformative possibilities of translanguaging, (b) the implications for identity development, and (c) the emergent understanding and application of translanguaging theory. We conclude that translanguaging has potential to challenge the reproduction of restrictive language ideologies among prospective teachers in monolingual English contexts. However, we also acknowledge that ongoing work is still needed to fully dismantle hegemonic discourses and common-sense ideologies in teacher education.

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