Translanguaging as a Heteroglossic Practice Across Disciplines: A Case of Grade 12 Learners in a Geography Classroom

  • Kgetja Maruma, Hlaviso Motlhaka


Recently, researchers have started to investigate multilingualism by combining approaches to bilingualism and second language learning across language codes (Canagarajah, 2013; Kobayashi & Rinnert, 2013) because linguistic resources are both shared and discrete (MacSwan, 2017) and how languages are learned (Arabski & Wojtaszek, 2016) and thus educational researchers have developed language pedagogies that fit these new conceptualizations of language and multilingualism (Cat- alano & Hamann, 2016, Makalela 2015, Hungwe, 2019). Translanguaging is one of language pedagogies that use multilingual language practices of students and teachers (switching back and forth to explain concepts in both languages) with the goals of achieving optimal communication (García & Kleyn, 2016, Lau, Juby-Smith, & Desbiens, 2017) and greater equity (Creese & Black- ledge, 2010), creating spaces for students to (re)construct their identities that counter dominant ideologies and policies (Wei, 2011). This new way of thinking about multilingualism endorses translanguaging which treats the multilinguality of each learner in the classroom as a resource and use it for “ongoing linguistic and cognitive growth” (Agnihotri, 2014). This suggests that translanguaging could be a useful pedagogic tool for learner’s academic development across perceived language borders because it signals the shift from a focus on bounded language systems to discursive practices as ongoing negotiations of a speaker’s linguistic repertoire, which incorporates “different dimensions of their personal history, experience and environment, their attitude, belief and ideology, their cognitive and physical capacity.