After hearing and reading about translanguaging many times but remaining sceptical, it was Eowyn who caused the penny to drop! Schools are sitting on a valuable resource called 'multilingual students' that Eowyn can guide you to tap into.
Susan Stewart (Multilingualism Coordinator, International School of London, Surrey
Translanguaging is the process of making meaning, shaping experiences, gaining understanding and knowledge through
the use of two languages.
Given what we know about the strong links between home language, cognitive development, academic achievement and second language acquisition, schools are beginning to realise the benefits of bringing students’ home languages into their education. In international schools this can be a challenge, given the diverse and super-diverse nature of the schools and classrooms. Translanguaging pedagogy can help teachers bridge between the home language and school language, both in order to promote content learning and also to scaffold language development. CEC has been developing bespoke training on translanguaging since 2012, and has developed models to allow for ease of introduction in international schools. Our short informational video will give you a clear picture of what translanguaging looks like in the classroom.
The article "Challenging the monolingual habitus of international school classrooms" will give an overview of a framework for developing a structured translanguaging pedagogy. (International School Journal, April 2018)
Implementing a translanguaging approach is a longitudinal journey for a school. It starts with understanding the theory that underpins the approach, and why students learn better when accessing learning in both their languages. The most effective second step is coaching for implementation. Over the coaching process, the teachers involved will plan and carry out a series of lessons/units involving translanguaging strategies, interspersed with coaching from the trainer (in person or Skype). Ideally, the coaching process would cover one academic year, with support being offered more intensely at the beginning of the year, and tapering towards the end, as the teachers begin to master the approach.