Translanguaging in a Latin@ Bilingual Community: Negotiations and Mediations in a Dual-Language Classroom

Armando Garza, Juliet Langman


Considering a Latin@ fifth-grade dual-language classroom (Spanish/English) as a community of practice, this paper explores how a bilingual teacher and her bilingual students, as members of such community, utilize translanguaging (García, 2009) as a learning and teaching tool in social studies and science classes. In this particular classroom, the science curriculum is taught in English, whereas social studies is taught in Spanish. Using sociocultural theories of learning and development (Vygotsky, 1978); “anthropolitical linguistics” (Zentella, 1997); and the Community of Practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991) approach as theoretical frames, we examined and analyzed linguistic instances as they occurred within natural classroom discourse in the two subject-classes. Findings suggest that translanguaging is present within the intersection of a conceptual and pedagogical tool that allows fluidity and movement of the teaching and learning process and maximizes the co-construction of meaning; in doing so, translanguaging identities are being practiced. Some implications for teachers and teacher education programs are presented.

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