We tend to think of languages as distinct entities. Learning a language requires you to focus only on the grammar and vocabulary of that particular language. There is a danger in mixing together old and new languages, because you should be fluent in the new one by now. This way of thinking, on the other hand, is completely at odds with reality. There is commonly a mixture of two or more languages in ordinary conversation between monolinguals and bilinguals. “Translanguaging” is a term used to describe this phenomena.
Translanguaging is a relatively recent concept in the field of linguistics. It’s only been popular in the last two decades as a counterpoint to the widely held belief among monolinguals that the human brain processes languages independently. To begin, let’s take a closer look at the phrase “translanguaging” and how it might change our understanding of language.
Table of Contents
Translanguaging As a Concept Defined
Why Do People Use Code-Switching And Translanguaging?
Translating And Teaching
For the most part, translanguaging has been used primarily for educational purposes, notably for children. Once upon a time, the conventional wisdom held that the most effective approach to raising a bilingual kid was to teach each language on its own. In recent years, several instructors have started trying out a different approach.
Three language teachers outlined some specific strategies for teaching two languages at the same time in an article for Language Magazine. Students were required to compose multilingual texts and learn how to navigate between languages as part of the course work.
It’s a more holistic approach to learning, and it involves careful preparation to ensure that the two languages are being given equal attention. As they put it: “Translanguaging activity offered a place for my emergent bilingual students to harness their whole language repertoires, boosting the development of crucial literacy skills and enhancing their learning experience.”
This method of teaching isn’t universally seen as a success. To teach two languages at the same time would be ineffective, according to many linguists, who think that each language has its own grammar.
Using this paradigm, more individuals are likely to experiment with innovative ways of teaching bilingualism in the future. It’s becoming more popular in regions where kids are already bilingual because it meets the students where they are in terms of their educational background.
If you can take away anything from this, though, it is that there are already billions of individuals around the globe who do not give any thought to the fact that they speak multiple languages at the same time.
Focusing on “correct” speech restricts our perception of the world’s diversity, even if monolingualism is popular in the western world. Translanguaging may become the standard in the future since communication is complex.