Reflecting on translanguaging by a monolingual: Is that paradoxical?

Abstract

This article is a reflection focused on Licona and Kelly’s (Cult Stud Sci Educ. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11422-019-09946-7, 2019) paper dealing with translanguaging in science classrooms within a SSI context. I use a number of points that the authors of the original paper make to prompt my thinking about teaching in multilingual contexts, the most common type of classroom in the world. The original paper is a case study that has the advantage of dealing in depth with the specific details of the situation that unfolded. In this paper I try to place some of those issues in a much wider general context, something that is not available to the original authors since their methodology does not allow that to be done. I use my own work as a researcher of mathematics education (the crucial tale or tail-end of STEM/STEAM or maybe the foundation of the other branches?) both in Australia and Papua New Guinea and elsewhere to give a different context for this reflection, and occasionally experiences within my own family. I also write as a monolingual peering into the worlds of multilinguals, with all its inherent limitations and yet the position of many teachers and researchers. Taken together one hopes that these issues, first seen in the in-depth microstudy, then set against a much broader context, will help our peer community grasp again something of the importance of studying the language context of teaching/learning science.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Aguiar, O. (2016). Explanation, argumentation and dialogic interactions in science classrooms. Cultural Studies of Science Education,11, 869–878. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11422-015-9694-4.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Barwell, R. (2016). Mathematics education, language and superdiversity. In A. Halai & P. C. Clarkson (Eds.), Teaching and learning mathematics in multilingual classrooms: Issues for policy, practice and teacher education (pp. 25–42). Rotterdam: Sense Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  3. Borko, H., Roberts, S., & Shavelson, R. (2008). Teachers’ decision making: From Alan J. Bishop to today. In P. C. Clarkson & N. Presmeg (Eds.), Critical issues in mathematics education: Major contributions of Alan Bishop (pp. 37–69). Dordrecht: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  4. Clarkson, P. C. (1992). Language and mathematics: A comparison of bi and monolingual students of mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics,23, 417–429. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00302443.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Clarkson, P. C. (1996). NESB migrant students studying mathematics: Vietnamese and Italian students in Melbourne. In L. Puig & A. Gutierrez (Eds.), Proceedings of the 20th conference of the International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education (pp. 225–232). Valencia, Spain: International Group for the Psychology of Mathematics Education.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Clarkson, P. C. (2004, Dec.). Researching the language for explanations in mathematics teaching and learning. Paper presented at the Australian Association of Research in Education annual conference. http://www.aare.edu.au/04pap/abs04.htm#C.

  7. Clarkson, P. C. (2007). Australian Vietnamese students learning mathematics: High ability bilinguals and their use of their languages. Educational Studies in Mathematics.,64, 191–215. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10649-006-4696-5.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Clarkson, P. C. (2009a). Mathematics teaching in Australian classrooms: Developing an approach to the use of classroom languages. In R. Barwell (Ed.), Multilingualism in mathematics classrooms: Global perspectives (pp. 145–160). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Clarkson, P. C. (2009b). Globalisation and mathematics teaching: The global importance of local language contexts. In J. Zajda & V. Rust (Eds.), Globalisation, policy and comparative research: Discourses of globalisation (pp. 135–156). Dordrecht: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Clarkson, P. C. (2016). The intertwining of politics and mathematics teaching in Papua New Guinea. In A. Halai & P. C. Clarkson (Eds.), Teaching and learning mathematics in multilingual classrooms: Issues for policy, practice and teacher education (pp. 43–56). Rotterdam: Sense Publications.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Clarkson, P. C., & Carter, L. (2017). Multilingual contexts: A new positioning for STEM teaching/learning. In K. Hahl, K. Juuti, J. Lampiselkä, A. Uitto, & J. Lavonen (Eds.), Cognitive and affective aspects in science education research (pp. 233–242). Cham: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-58685-418.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Cummins, J. (1979). Linguistic interdependence and the educational development of bilingual children. Review of Educational Research,49(2), 222–251. https://doi.org/10.2307/1169960.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Cummins, J. (2001). Language, power and pedagogy: Bilingual children in the crossfire. Clevedon: Mulilingual Matters.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Gardner, P. (1976). Logical connectives in science: Some preliminary findings. Research in Science Education,6(1), 97–108. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02558654.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Licona, P. R, & Kelly, G. J. (2019). Translanguaging in a middle school science classroom: Constructing scientific arguments in English and Spanish. Cultural Studies of Science Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11422-019-09946-7.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Lim, C. S., & Kor, L. (2011). Mathematics teachers communicative flexibility in multilingual classrooms. In M. Setati, T. Nkambule, & L. Goosen (Eds.), Proceedings of the ICMI Study 21 Conference: Mathematics and language diversity (pp. 168–176). Sào Paulo: ICMI.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Muke, C., & Clarkson, P. C. (2011). Teaching mathematics in the Papua New Guinea Highlands: A complex multilingual context. In J. Clark, B. Kissane, J. Mousley, T. Spencer, & S. Thornton (Eds.), Mathematics: Traditions and [new] practices (pp. 540–547). Adelaide: AAMT and MERGA.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Prediger, S., Clarkson, P. C., & Bose, A. (2015). Purposefully relating multilingual registers: Building theory and teaching strategies for bilingual learners based on an integration of three traditions. In R. Barwell, P. Clarkson, A. Halai, M. Kazima, J. Moschkovich, N. Planas, M. Phakeng, P. Valero, & M. Villavicencio (Eds.), Mathematics education and language diversity (The 21st ICMI Study) (pp. 193–215). Dordrecht: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Rocksen, M. (2016). The many roles of “explanation” in science education: A case study. Cultural Studies of Science Education,11, 837–868. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11422-014-9629-5.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Philip Clarkson.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Lead Editor: Lyn Carter.

This review essay addresses issues raised in Peter R. Licona and Gregory J. Kelly paper entitled: Translanguaging in a middle school science classroom: constructing scientific arguments in English and Spanish.https://doi.org/10.1007/s11422-019-09946-7.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Clarkson, P. Reflecting on translanguaging by a monolingual: Is that paradoxical?. Cult Stud of Sci Educ 15, 511–521 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11422-019-09951-w

Download citation

Keywords

  • Translanguaging
  • Science education
  • STEM teaching
  • STEM learning
  • Multilingual
  • Spanish English teaching