Translanguaging practices in an ELF transnational university in China: A multimodal analysis

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Abstract

This article investigates multilingual students’ language practices in an internationalized university in China where English works as the lingua franca for students and teachers. In this study, we explored a spatial conceptualization of language drawing on recent theoretical development in applied linguistics (e.g., Canagarajah, 2018a, 2018b; Kramsch & Whiteside, 2008; Wagner, 2018) to inform our understanding of grass-root language practices in a way of transcending the language/context distinction. A multimodal discourse analytical approach informed by Busch (2012) is used to offer an in-depth reading of individuals’ experience of language use and beliefs about language. Illustrated with three cases of multilingual students with diverse linguistic and sociocultural backgrounds, the findings suggest that local translanguaging practices are emergent and assembled linguistic repertoires in relation to the sociolinguistic spaces where the languages and language policy are situated. Findings also highlight multilingual users’ agency and capability in strategically configuring their semiotic resources to accommodate their communicative and social needs. This study discusses the interplay of overt and covert language policy in the situated interactional contexts. Relative findings provide insights into a more holistic approach to LPP in ELF higher education context that accentuates communicative strategy development rather than policing individuals with rigid language norms. Copyright © 2019 Inaugural Conference on Language Teaching and Learning.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

Citation

Ou, W., & Gu, M. M. (2019, June). Translanguaging practices in an ELF transnational university in China: A multimodal analysis. Paper presented at the Inaugural Conference on Language Teaching and Learning: Cognition and Identity: Transforming Language Education and Research, Empowering Teachers and Learners, The Education University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

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