IMRJ13-179: “What Do You Want to Say?” How adolescents use translanguaging to expand learning

Melinda Martin-Beltran


This study investigated how students learning English and students learning Spanish activated multilingual repertoire as they participated in one high school program that aimed to promote reciprocal learning and teaching of multilingual literacy practices. Grounded in sociocultural theory, we examined how students drew upon Spanish, English and translanguaging as cultural and cognitive tools to mediate learning in a Third Space. Data collection included participant observations in forty sessions, student writing, interviews and audio/video recordings of peer interactions as they engaged in composing and revising of text together. Using interactional ethnography and discourse analysis, we analyzed mediation of learning opportunities across and between languages and found evidence of students co-constructing knowledge and expanding multilingual repertoire. By shedding light on an alternative educational context that mobilizes young people’s diverse funds of knowledge, findings have implications for educational practices that support equity for culturally and linguistically diverse students.