Translingualism

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This is the final presentation presented at the National Network of Educational Renewal in November 2011

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  • This restaurant is an excellent example of linguistic diversity in Harrison and the of the fluidity of translingualism. Initially from the exterior, it appears the restaurant serves (and delivers) Chinese food. The yellow sign includes both Chinese characters and English words.
  • But a closer glance reveals the restaurant, which is Chinese-operated, also serves Peruvian-Chinese fusion food. In the 19 th and 20 th centuries, Chinese immigrants in Peru began to use Peruvian ingredients for their cooking and Latin American cooking techniques. As a result, “chifa” or “chaufa” was born. The two words, “chifa” or “chaufa” come from a Spanish pronunciation of the Mandarin words, “chi fan” or “chao fan,” meaning “to eat rice” or “fried rice.” This sign, therefore, is not only evidence of a Peruvian community In Harrison, but also the mixing of a Chinese-American restaurant with Peruvian-Chinese fusion food. For example, the sign here is in English, Spanish, and a Spanish pronunciation of a Chinese word. “Seafood” is English, “Arroz” is Spanish for rice, and “Chaufa,” meaning the rice is specially prepared.
  • Much like the Chinese/Peruvian restaurant, this Harrison storefront displays a combination of words and phrases from multiple languages. The store offers a variety of services – it is a travel agency and bank, which the owners have signified with English words like “travel” and “money transfer.” The store also advertises access to the internet, with Spanish words and phrases, like “internet café” and “cyber café.” Other phrases like “fax, copias & P.O. Box,” are a fluid mixture of English and Spanish. Most importantly, this sign was purposely created by the store owner in a permanent manner, by affixing adhesive letters to glass and ordering a printed plexi-glass sign. The design was created and assumingly vetted by a number of people, members of the community who approved of the language use inherent in it.
  • In our final example, we compare the efforts of a furniture store, whose owners presumably do not speak Spanish, in their efforts to communicate with the Spanish-speaking community in Harrison. Here, five different signs indicate Paiva ’s Furniture store has moved around the corner, in Spanish, Portuguese, and English. The Spanish sign reads “Vaya a arrinconar y despues a hacer una izquierda, al lado de Elks.” If you plug this sentence into an online translator, it means “Go to corner and then make a left next to Elks.” But in Spanish, the sentence sounds rather clumsy. If the owner was Spanish-speaking, he would most likely write the sign as, “Ir a la esquina y girar a la izquierda, estamos al lado de Elks.”
  • Translingualism

    1. 1. “ Translingual Education as a Phenomenon, a Methodology and an Ideology to Promote Social Justice and educational renewal” National Network for Educational Renewal 2011 Annual Conference David Schwarzer – Mary Fuchs – Chris Hermosilla Montclair State University
    2. 2. The purposes of this presentation <ul><li>The purpose of this presentation is to re-frame the concept of language and literacy development in transnational and multilingual glocalized learning communities. We propose the term – translingual education . </li></ul><ul><li>This talk will have 4 sections: </li></ul><ul><li>Linguistic landscapes – Harrison New jersey (transligualism?). </li></ul><ul><li>Transligualism as a new phenomenon – fluid instead of static. </li></ul><ul><li>Transligualism as a methodology – 2 concrete examples from the English classroom. </li></ul><ul><li>Translingualism as an ideology for social justice and educational renewal. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Linguistic Landscapes – Multiliteracy dig – Environmental Print <ul><li>Linguistic objects that mark the public space (Ben-Rafael et al., 2006). </li></ul><ul><li>LL reveal social realities as they are evidence of socio-political forces, cultural identities, and linguistic heritage language representations relates to issues of the relative power and status of the different languages in a specific sociolinguistic context (Cenoz & Gorter, 2008) </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;private&quot; vs. &quot;public&quot; signs - signs issued by public authorities (like government, municipalities or public agencies) and signs issued by individuals, associations, or firms acting more or less autonomously in the limits authorized by official regulations (Ben-Rafael et al., 2006) </li></ul>
    4. 4. Linguistic Landscape of Harrison, NJ <ul><li>3 schools and 1,783 students </li></ul><ul><li>180 (approx. 10%) are classified as LEP </li></ul><ul><li>Student population is: 9% Asian, 1% African-American, 58% Hispanic, 32% Caucasian </li></ul><ul><li>19% of students below poverty level </li></ul><ul><li>The districts spends $400,000 on bilingual education annually </li></ul>
    5. 5. Translingualism in Harrison
    6. 9. What is it? Five metaphors <ul><li>Language and literacy development (unmarked) </li></ul><ul><li>Language and Literacy defined by its context </li></ul><ul><li>Political, Hegemonic and resistance powers of English </li></ul><ul><li>Beyond monolingual views of language and literacy development </li></ul><ul><li>Attempts for more fluid conceptualizations </li></ul>
    7. 10. Language and Literacy defined by its context <ul><li>Migrant </li></ul><ul><li>Immigrant </li></ul><ul><li>Borderland epistemology </li></ul><ul><li>Binational </li></ul><ul><li>Multinational </li></ul>
    8. 11. Political, Hegemonic and Resistance powers of English <ul><li>English as a Second Language </li></ul><ul><li>English as an additional language </li></ul><ul><li>English language learner </li></ul><ul><li>Limited English Proficient </li></ul><ul><li>English as a world language </li></ul>
    9. 12. Beyond monolingual views of language and literacy development <ul><li>Second Language Acquisition </li></ul><ul><li>Bilingual – emergent bilingual </li></ul><ul><li>Trilingual </li></ul><ul><li>Multilingual </li></ul>
    10. 13. More fluid interpretaions <ul><li>Hybridity </li></ul><ul><li>Third space literacy (Gutierrez) </li></ul><ul><li>Dynamic bilingualism </li></ul><ul><li>World minded educator </li></ul><ul><li>Linguisitic flows </li></ul><ul><li>Transnational literacies </li></ul><ul><li>Translingual education </li></ul>
    11. 14. Trans-language learner? Jonietz (1994) <ul><li>“ If the traditional terms are not really applicable, is there a more appropriate term? Is it possible that these learners are ‘ trans-language learners ’ (TLL)? Trans-language learner is a term which describes an individual who moves from a maternal/native language to competence in an additional environmental/instructional language and culture. ” (p.43) </li></ul>
    12. 15. Translingual Writers – Kellman (2003) <ul><li>Translingual authors as “ those who write in more than one language or in a language other than their primary one. ” (p. ix) </li></ul><ul><li>By expressing themselves in multiple verbal systems, [translingual writers] flaunt their freedom from the constrains of the culture into which they happen to be born (ix). Kellman (2003) </li></ul>
    13. 16. Cutter, M. J. (2005) Book (review of Kellman 2003) <ul><li>Translingualism as a subject is certainly worthy of theorization and study… However, the definition of translingualism presented here is very broad and the collection as a whole therefore remains rather diffuse and unfocused. Problematically, Kellman never distinguishes translingualism from bilingualism, multilingualism, or ambibilingualism. (p.199) </li></ul>
    14. 17. Proposing a new definition: translingualism/transliteracy <ul><li>Languages and literacies that develop while interacting with each other in a dynamic and fluid way </li></ul><ul><li>while moving back and forth between real and “imagined” glocalized borders </li></ul><ul><li>and transacting with different cultural identities within a unified self. (Schwarzer, in preparation) </li></ul>
    15. 18. Transliteracy Education
    16. 19. Translingual Methodologies <ul><li>The purpose of this section is the talk about two concrete examples of a pre-service teacher moving from a multilingual approach to language and literacy to a translingual one. </li></ul>
    17. 20. My Journey to Becoming a Translingual Teacher <ul><li>Moving from “multicultural” to “translingual.” </li></ul><ul><li>Establish a framework with a set of overarching plans. The teacher as conductor, “letting go.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>First, survey class to discover languages spoken, and how students engage them (home, community, etc.). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Find my “language agents” (library staff, coworkers, church leaders, etc.) to contact as resources. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2 sample English classroom activities, based on Preview-View-Review (Freeman & Freeman, 1998): Native language -> English -> Native language . </li></ul>
    18. 21. Lesson 1: Building a Translingual Word Wall <ul><li>Context : 8 th grade LA class in Harrison. 27 students, 4 languages (10 students primarily speak English, 7 Spanish, 5 Portuguese, and 5 Chinese). </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: Students will gain an understanding of the cultural implications and characteristics of 5 different animals in their native languages prior to reading George Orwell’s Animal Farm . </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation: Teacher will find versions of the text in all 4 languages (Simplified Chinese written text online, an animated version dubbed in Spanish, etc.) and prepare the research tools for students to use (library staff, Internet searches, etc.). </li></ul>
    19. 22. Assembling the Wall Together <ul><li>The class builds a wall together, and students create their own “bricks” in their native language. One example: </li></ul><ul><li>5 different animals, each in 4 different languages – all brought together at the end for presentation. </li></ul><ul><li>Students use research tools to discover animal qualities, then examine text in their own languages for content. </li></ul>Animal Name Picture/ Graphic Represen-tation Typical Western Qualities Qualities in Your Own Traditions In-Text Sentence Describing Animal Does This Match My Tradition’s Qualities? Pig | Cerdo | Porco | 猪 [provided] - Clever - Fat [Student fills in] [Student fills in] [Yes / No]
    20. 23. Lesson 2: Online Reading Discussion <ul><li>Context: 7 th grade LA class in Harrison, predominantly homogenous English-language (22 English-only students, 1 student who speaks both English and Tamil). </li></ul><ul><li>Goal: Students will discuss and explore themes and symbolism of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird through pre- and post-reading discussions in their native languages. </li></ul><ul><li>Preparation: Teacher will arrange meeting time and place for Tamil-speaking student to have an online video conference with a peer or adult also reading the book and willing to discuss with student in Tamil. </li></ul>
    21. 24. Guiding Questions for Online Reading Discussion <ul><li>Questions include two bolded questions that can apply to any reading – no need to reinvent the wheel. </li></ul>Preview Questions Review Questions 1: Based on the book’s title and cover, what do you think it might talk about? 1: Who was your favorite character in the reading, and why? Describe him/her. 2: Skim the chapter titles and back of book text. Any other context clues? 2: What were two of the bigger themes or lessons you learned from the reading? 3: Define “racism.” What are some of the emotions and ideas around that concept? 3: Who is Boo Radley? Did how you feel about him change throughout the book? 4: Do you think adults and children look at sensitive issues such as race differently? 4: Describe Atticus Finch as a father and lawyer. Why does he agree to defend Tom? 5: Have you ever seen a U.S. courtroom trial? What is a jury, and what do they do? 5: What does the mockingbird as a symbol mean? Why is killing one “a sin”?
    22. 25. Translingual ideologies for Social Justice and Educational Renewal <ul><li>Translingual teacher as an orchestrator </li></ul><ul><li>Translingual linguistic landscape project </li></ul><ul><li>Visits by community members </li></ul><ul><li>Multilingual word wall </li></ul><ul><li>Written assignments in heritage language </li></ul><ul><li>Family Language Use Tree </li></ul><ul><li>Community Language Use Tree </li></ul><ul><li>Identity Texts </li></ul>
    23. 26. Conclusion: A Challenge For the Future <ul><li>Translingual education: Complementary, not supplementary . </li></ul><ul><li>Challenging ourselves to go beyond “multicultural” and become translingual educators. </li></ul><ul><li>The key to designing translingual activities is setting up a proper framework to “let go,” give students the agency and freedom to learn, and push them to do so. </li></ul><ul><li>Have new ideas for activities, or want to discover some more? Visit our Translingualism Ning! </li></ul>

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