Talk / (Re)Defining Translanguaging
For the past decade translanguaging and other multilingual movements, in SLA and EFL/ESL circles, have advocated for learning spaces sensitive to the learner’s socio-cultural repertoire and background. And yet the growing internationalization of higher educational institutions has not embraced the diversity of student backgrounds, but instead blanketed such differences by requiring participants to study as English speakers. The current wave of English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) disenfranchises the mother tongues of non-native English speakers, in order to conform to an external standard of English as a lingua franca. I shall provide a report on the attitudes of Korean students and international faculty in regards to EMI. Through the critical lens of translanguaging, I will ask and try to answer the following questions: How is the mother tongue negotiated back into the classroom? How is it used in collaborative contexts, such as group work and study groups? How do students and teachers fall back to code switching and translation of difficult terms and texts during class discussion? How do non-native English instructors and native English speakers create or ignore opportunities for including student’s native language? What is the place of the mother tongue in an EMI classroom? Why is it not enough? The purpose of this presentation is to present EMI as a reversal of the lessons learned from the multilingual movements of the past decade. The manner in which EMI has been adopted by many institutions necessitates a translanguage critique of the ideological axioms that privilege English competence over other languages.
Cyril Reyes is an educator. He is interested in social justice, the philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari and translanguaging.