The Role of Translanguaging and the Formation of Identity

While scholars tout translanguaging as advantageous for work environments and cognitive development (Canagarajah, 2011; Hornberger & Link, 2012), educational practices often do not include translanguaging. According to Canagarajah (2013), students may not want to code-mesh because traditionally, languages have been treated as distinct systems. Individuals are traditionally thought to take on identities based on these systems as they provide membership in specific groups (Hall, 2013). Translanguaging is a process in which people draw from all of their semiotic resources to co-construct meaning thus learning from each other. What happens to identity formation when language mixing is a constant? This study explores the use of languages in learning and identity formation. Using a case study design, analysis of conversations and interviews between Ecuadorian teachers and U.S. students reveal a variety of functions that both afford learning and identity formation and constrain it. Analysis reveals how the use of multiple languages in these contexts may interact with identity formation. Discussion questions are derived from the study and meant to allow participants to share information.

Translanguaging, Identity

Learner Diversity and Identities

Focused Discussion

  • Kimberly Ilosvay
    • Assistant Professor and Literacy Programs Coordinator, Education, University of Portland, United States Oregon, United States