B-MEIS Webinar: Envisioning TESOL through a Translanguaging Lens

When:  Sep 15, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM (ET)


Since the “multilingual turn” (May, 2014) in the field of language education, translanguaging (García, 2009) has emerged as a critical and liberating frame: it recognizes language learners as resourceful agents with multilingual repertoires and abilities, and poses a challenge to the monolingual orthodoxy and native-speakerism which dominates the TESOL field. Theoretically, translanguaging legitimizes and values all English varieties and their users, and promotes teaching English as “a heterogeneous language with multiple grammars, vocabulary, accents, and pragmatic discourse conventions” (Marlina, 2014, p. 7). Pedagogically, it employs the inclusion of multilingual learners’ full linguistic repertoires and builds upon their diverse cultural and linguistic needs in English teaching and learning (García, 2014).

This webinar focuses on envisioning TESOL through a translanguaging lens from different perspectives. It aims to open critical dialogues on theorizing and implementing translanguaging in TESOL. Panelists describe:

(1) Why a translanguaging lens in TESOL is necessary by examining linguistic inequality issues in TESOL and exploring both theoretical and pedagogical promises of translanguaging in imbuing agency and transformation into English teaching and learning process;
(2) How teachers’ different language ideologies towards translanguaging affect their teaching strategies and students’ learning strategies in a university-level IEP in the U.S.;
(3) How translanguaging can be integrated in both instruction and assessment through a participatory action research project with preservice English teachers in a university TESOL classroom in Oaxaca, México;
(4) The implications of translanguaging for TESOL practitioners: (1) how translanguaging fits into current approaches to SLA (e.g. Douglas Fir Group, 2016), (2) the ideology of translanguaging, and (3) the potential of translanguaging as pedagogy.

Translanguaging offers counter-narratives to conventional, monolingual language teaching approach. Presenters provide PowerPoint slides illustrating theoretical and pedagogical implications of translanguaging in TESOL to inform teachers’ classroom practices.


Zhongfeng Tian is an Assistant Professor in TESL Teacher Education/Applied Linguistics at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA), USA. His research interests include bi/multilingualism, bilingual education, translanguaging, TESOL, teacher education, and critical pedagogies. He was a former English teacher in China, Cambodia, and the U.S. He has co-edited a special issue entitled “Positive Synergies: Translanguaging and Critical Theories in Education” with Holly Link for the Translation and Translanguaging in Multilingual Contexts (TTMC) journal.

Laila Aghai is an Assistant Professor of TESOL/ELL Education and the Director of the Indigenous Language Education Program at the University of North Dakota, USA. As a language educator, she has taught English as a second and foreign language in the U.S. and overseas. Her research is focused on TESOL, translanguaging, applied linguistics, multilingual education, and language ideologies. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Language, Identity and Education.

Peter Sayer is an Associate Professor of Language Education Studies at the Ohio State University, USA. His work in the U.S. and Mexico focuses on TESOL, bilingual education, sociolinguistics, and language education policy. He is the author of Tensions and Ambiguities in English Language Teaching (2012, Routledge). He is a former Fulbright Scholar to Mexico where he was a lead consultant to the Mexican Ministry of Education for the National English Program in Primary Schools. He is currently the editor of the TESOL Journal.

Jamie L. Schissel is Associate Professor, TESOL at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA. Jamie’s research centers on equity in relation to educational policies and assessments in participatory action research projects with linguistically and culturally diverse communities in the United States, Mexico, and Peru. Her book Social Consequences of Testing for Language-minoritized Bilinguals in the United States (Multilingual Matters) was published in 2019. She has served as a co-editor of the special issue “The Construct of Multilingualism in Language Testing” for Language Assessment Quarterly (December, 2019).