Translanguaging: A Matter of Sociolinguistics, Pedagogics and Interaction?

  • Stef Slembrouck
  • Kirsten Rosiers


This chapter forms part of an analytical-interpretative exercise in coming to terms with one of the key concepts in contemporary writings on globalization-affected multilingual classrooms: translanguaging (TL). What is the term’s precise scope? What are the theoretical-methodological frameworks which bear upon the formulation of a basis for its implementation? And how can an answer to these two questions be informed by an analysis of instances where TL has been accomplished successfully in classroom practice? As a specific point of departure, we suggest a triadically formulated question: is translanguaging primarily a sociolinguistic, a pedagogical and/or an interactional concept? And, if the conclusion to be drawn is that an affirmative answer is invited for each of the three dimensions, then how might one understand the various interconnections between these dimensions?


  1. Aronsson, K. (1998). Identity-in-interaction and social choreography. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 31(1), 75–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Auer, P. (1998). Code-switching in conversation: Language, identity and interaction. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Baker, C. (2011). Foundations of bilingual education and bilingualism (5th ed.). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  4. Blommaert, J., Collins, J., & Slembrouck, S. (2005). Spaces of multilingualism. Language & Communication, 25(3), 197–216.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bourdieu, P. (1984). Ce que parler veut dire : L’économie des échanges linguistiques. Paris: Fayard.Google Scholar
  6. Creese, A., & Blackledge, A. (2010). Translanguaging in the bilingual classroom: A pedagogy for learning and teaching? The Modern Language Journal, 94(1), 103–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ferguson, G. (2003). Classroom code-switching in post-colonial contexts: Functions, attitudes and policies. AILA Review, 16, 38–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Fishman, J. A. (1967). Bilingualism with and without diglossia; Diglossia with and without bilingualism. Journal of Social Issues, 23(2), 29–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. García, O. (2009). Education, multilingualism and translanguaging in the 21st century. In A. Mohanty, M. Panda, R. Phillipson, & T. Skutnabb-Kangas (Eds.), Multilingual education for social justice: Globalising the local (pp. 140–158). New Delhi: Orient Blackswan.Google Scholar
  10. García, O., & Wei, L. (2014). Translanguaging: Language, bilingualism and education. London: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Gardner-Chloros, P. (2009). Code-switching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Goffman, E. (1961). Encounters: Two studies in the sociology of interaction. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company.Google Scholar
  13. Goffman, E. (1974). Frame analysis: An essay on the organization of experience. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Goffman, E. (1981). Forms of talk. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
  15. Gumperz, J. J. (1982). Discourse strategies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Halliday, M. A. K. (1978). Language as social semiotic: The social interpretation of language and meaning. London: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar
  17. Heller, M. (1995). Code-switching and the politics of language. In L. Milroy & P. Muysken (Eds.), One speaker, two languages: Cross-disciplinary perspectives on code-switching (pp. 158–174). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Irvine, J. T. (1979). Formality and informality in communicative events. American Anthropologist, 81(4), 773–790.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Jaspers, J. (2005). Linguistic sabotage in a context of monolingualism and standardization. Language & Communication, 25(3), 279–297.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Jørgensen, J., Karrebaek, M., Madsen, M., & Møller, J. (2011). Polylanguaging in superdiversity. Diversities, 13(2), 23–37. Date Accessed 20 May 2015.Google Scholar
  21. Makalela, L. (2018, this volume). Teaching African languages the ubuntu way: The effects of translanguaging among pre-service teachers in South Africa. In P. Van Avermaet, S. Slembrouck, K. Van Gorp, S. Sierens, & K. Maryns (Eds.), The multilingual edge of education (pp. 261–282). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Google Scholar
  22. McCormick, K. (2002). Language in Cape Town’s District Six. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Milroy, L., & Muysken, P. (1995). One speaker, two languages: Cross-disciplinary perspectives on code-switching. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mühlhäusler, P. (1996). Linguistic ecology: Language change and linguistic imperialism in the Pacific region. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Muysken, P. (2000). Bilingual speech: A typology of code-mixing. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Nilep, C. (2006). “Code switching” in sociocultural linguistics. Colorado Research in Linguistics, 19(1), 1–22.Google Scholar
  27. Otheguy, R., García, O., & Reid, W. (2015). Clarifying translanguaging and deconstructing named languages: A perspective from linguistics. Applied Linguistics Review, 6(3), 281–307.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Park, M. S. (2013). Code-switching and translanguaging. Potential functions in multilingual classrooms. Columbia University Working Papers in TESOL & Applied Linguistics, 13(2), 50–52.Google Scholar
  29. Pennycook, A., & Otsuji, E. (2015). Metrolingualism: Language in the city. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  30. Preston, D., & Niedzielski, N. (2009). Folk linguistics. In N. Coupland & A. Jaworski (Eds.), The new sociolinguistics reader (2nd ed., pp. 356–373). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  31. Rampton, B. (1995). Crossing: Language and ethnicity among adolescents. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  32. Reyes, I. (2004). Functions of code switching in schoolchildren’s conversations. Bilingual Research Journal, 28(1), 77–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Romaine, S. (1994). Language in society: An introduction to sociolinguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Rosiers, K. (2016). “Nederlands om te rekenen, Turks om te roddelen? De mythe ontkracht. Een interactie-analyse naar translanguaging in een Gentse superdiverse klas.” Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde (3): 155–179.Google Scholar
  35. Seedhouse, P. (2004). The interactional architecture of the language classroom: A conversation analysis perspective. Malden: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  36. Sierens, S., & Van Avermaet, P. (2014). Language diversity in education: Evolving from multilingual education to functional multilingual learning. In D. Little, C. Leung, & P. Van Avermaet (Eds.), Managing diversity in education: Languages, policies, pedagogies (pp. 204–222). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  37. Slembrouck, S. (2009). Goffman’s frame analysis. A recent rejoinder. In S. Slembrouck, M. Taverniers, & M. Van Herreweghe (Eds.), From ‘Will’ to ‘Well’. Studies in linguistics offered to Anne-Marie Simon-Vandenbergen (pp. 381–392). Ghent: Academia Press.Google Scholar
  38. Slembrouck, S., Van Avermaet, P., & Van Gorp, K. (2018, this volume). Strategies of multilingualism in education for minority children. In P. Van Avermaet, S. Slembrouck, K. Van Gorp, S. Sierens, & K. Maryns (Eds.), The multilingual edge of education (pp. 9–39). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  39. Stroud, C. (1992). The problem of intention and meaning in code-switching. Text, 12(1), 127–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Van Avermaet, P., Slembrouck, S., & Simon-Vandenbergen, A.-M. (2015). Talige diversiteit in het Vlaamse onderwijs: Problematiek en oplossingen. Standpunten, 30. Brussel: Koninklijke Vlaamse Academie van België voor Wetenschappen en Kunsten.Google Scholar
  41. Wei, L. (2011). Moment analysis and translanguaging space: Discursive construction of identities by multilingual Chinese youth in Britain. Journal of Pragmatics, 43(5), 1222–1235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Williams, C. (1994). Arfarniad o ddulliau dysgu ac addysgu yng nghyd-destun addysg uwchradd ddwyieithog. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Wales, Bangor.Google Scholar
  43. Williams, C. (2002). Extending bilingualism in the education system. Education and lifelong learning committee.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stef Slembrouck
    • 1
  • Kirsten Rosiers
    • 2
  1. 1.Linguistics Department, MULTIPLESGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.LaDisco, Center for Linguistic Research - Faculty of Literature, Translation and CommunicationUniversité Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium

Personalised recommendations