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CLER conversation: Translanguaging for Transformative Learning: Teachers' Stance in a Migration Context in Southern Brazil


Translanguaging for Transformative Learning: Teachers’ Stance in a Migration Context in Southern Brazil - Anamaria Welp, PhD, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul

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Abstract: Translanguaging theory offers a fresh perspective on language education by prioritizing students and their language repertoires, aiming for social justice and transformative education in linguistically marginalized school settings. The translanguaging stance represents the philosophical orientation embraced by teachers in creating a translanguaging classroom. It serves as a mindset and essential framework for effectively educating bilingual students, encompassing our understanding of students' dynamic cultural and language practices, as well as guiding our instructional and assessment approaches (García, Johnson, Seltzer, 2017). This talk explores the stance of a group of teachers at a primary school situated on the outskirts of a major city in southern Brazil before they were introduced to the theory of translanguaging. The school serves a diverse student population, including local, immigrant, and refugee students. Drawing upon critical collaborative research in teacher education, the study findings unveiled that teachers were already aligned with the translanguaging perspective even before being exposed to the theory. They actively utilize students' repertoires to engage with language and subject-specific content, emphasizing the value of students' knowledge and leveraging the cultural and linguistic diversity in the classroom to facilitate meaningful learning experiences for all. Furthermore, teachers' accounts highlight the non-hierarchical learning environment in their classrooms, where both teachers and students mutually learn from one another's contributions during interactions.

Biography: Anamaria Welp holds a PhD in Linguistics from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS). She is an associate professor at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), where she teaches in the English Language Teaching programme. She is a permanent faculty member of the Graduate Programme in Language Studies in the Applied Linguistics Research Area. As a postdoctoral researcher, she has conducted research under the Carolina Foundation at the University of Málaga and under the Fulbright Commission at the City University of New York. Her research interests are in the areas of teacher education, literacy, language teaching materials development, language policy, internationalisation of higher education and bilingual education, with a particular focus on the theory and pedagogy of translanguaging.