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Translanguaging and the Transdisciplinary Framework for Language Teaching and Learning in a Multilingual World

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Constant Leung, Guadalupe Valdés

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-370
Number of pages23
JournalThe Modern Language Journal
Issue number2
Early online date8 May 2019
Accepted/In press1 Apr 2019
E-pub ahead of print8 May 2019
Published1 Jun 2019

King's Authors


The ideas and arguments associated with translanguaging have generated highly energized debates on a number of fundamental issues in linguistics, applied language studies and language education. Aspects of many long-held and apparently settled concepts such as ‘language/s’, ‘code switching’ and ‘Second Language Acquisition/Teaching’ have been fundamentally challenged. As has been acknowledged by scholars in the field, the discussions have at times led to polarized intellectual dispositions premised on particular disciplinary persuasions. In this Critical Review we offer a view from a language education perspective, with particular reference to additional/second/foreign language education in diverse socio-political contexts. We will first provide a historical context for the current debates on translanguaging by drawing attention to earlier efforts to make use of students’ own language to support additional language learning in an era of overwhelming monolingualism in language teaching. After that the discussion moves to the different approaches to translanguaging that have emerged and the pedagogic affordances and values attributed to them. In closing we raise a number conceptual and practice-related issues that would benefit from further deliberation and empirical research. Our view is that we are far from having exhausted the potentialities of translanguaging for educational development that may have impact beyond the classroom.

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