Translanguaging in Chinese-as-Second-Language (CSL) classrooms for kindergarten non-Chinese speaking learners of multilingual multicultural backgrounds

Elizabeth K. Y. LOH, Sing Pui Tikky TO-CHAN, Emily P. HE

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Translanguaging originally referred to a pedagogical practice in bilingual classrooms where languages alternate for both receptive and productive uses (Cen William, 1994). Translanguaging has later been given deeper theoretical meaning; it is theorized as complex, fluid, and multiple discursive meaning making practices in bi/multilingual contexts (García, 2009; García & Li, 2014; García & Lin, 2016). Although translanguaging has been investigated as a pedagogical strategy in bi/multilingual contexts such as content and language integrated learning (CLIL) classrooms where English is used as the medium of instruction (Lin, 2013; Lin & Wu, 2015; Lin & He, 2017), it has remained under-researched in Chinese-as-second-language contexts where translanguaging is practiced to facilitate communication between the Chinese teacher and the non-Chinese speaking (NCS) learners during the teaching of Chinese as a second language (Tse & Loh, 2014). Due to the multilingual and multicultural backgrounds of the NCS learners, especially kindergarten learners who are emerging bilinguals, it is difficult to help (young) NCS learners to acquire the integration of 形 (form), 音 (sound) and 義 (meaning) which are fundamental aspects of the learning of Chinese characters. This research examines the effects of translanguaging in CSL classrooms of kindergarten NCS learners by focusing on: 1) Whether translanguaging can facilitate kindergarten NCS students’ acquisition of Chinese characters? 2) How translanguaging and trans-semiotizing (Lin, 2013) facilitate the teaching and learning of Chinese as a second language in multilingual and multicultural learning backgrounds? 140 learners of three grades (K1, K2 and K3) from both EMI and CMI kindergartens in Hong Kong will participate in this research. 70 students in the experiment group will receive lessons which allow translanguaging between both Chinese and English as medium of instruction in the Chinese lessons while the other 70 students in the control group receive only Chinese as medium of instruction. The lessons of both experiment and control groups will be videotaped and the teachers and parents of the students will be interviewed after the one-year intervention. Quasi-experimental design will be adopted to compare the pre-test and post-test results of NCS CSL learners of both the experiment group and the control group. Both qualitative and quantitative data will be applied to explain the effects of translanguaging and Tran-semiotizing in the CSL classrooms of NCS students of multilingual and multicultural backgrounds. Copyright © 2018 CACLER-5.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


European Monetary Institute
Hong Kong


Loh, E. K. Y., To-Chan, T. S. P., & He, E. P. (2018, June). Translanguaging in Chinese-as-Second-Language (CSL) classrooms for kindergarten non-Chinese speaking learners of multilingual multicultural backgrounds. Paper presented at the 5th International Conference on Chinese as a Second Language Research, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.