Translanguaging in Kazakhstan
The end of March 2022 marked the completion of an important project. Implementing a Translingual Approach in a Trilingual Environment (Kazakhstan) is an international project which took place from April 2020-March 2022, covering the difficult period of the pandemic and capturing language teachers’ work in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The project was led by Dr. Lavinia Hirsu, School of Education (University of Glasgow), Dr. Natalya Pak, Associate Professor (Department of Languages, International Information Technology (IT) University, Almaty, Kazakhstan) and Dr. Seth Agbo, Associate Professor (Leadership & Policy Studies, Lakehead University, Ontario, Canada). In this project, the research team involved 20 primary and secondary teachers from the Almaty city and region, and 4 creative artists with expertise in photography and collage, arts education and visual thinking, singing and choreography.
The aim of this project was to develop a series of creative and innovative approaches and pedagogies to language learning and teaching. We took inspiration from theories on translanguaging and arts-based methods, as well as from our creative artists’ expertise who pushed the participants in the project to think and practice languages in new ways. The activities emerging from this project are available at the project website.
The research team met with several stakeholders from the education sector, such as Ministry officials and rectors of universities, to share information about the project and its outcomes, with the intent of extending the project beyond the Almaty area into the rural parts of Kazakhstan in the near future. The stakeholders indicated great interest in the project.
The work developed by the research team, the teachers and the creative artists will continue with a webinar planned for late spring and hosted online by the Department of Languages, International Information Technology (IT) University, Almaty, Kazakhstan. In this webinar, we will share project findings with other language teachers and researchers in Kazakhstan. The research team is also currently working on organising a regional conference planned for October 2022 where they will explore topics emerging from this project in collaboration with colleagues from Kazakhstan and neighbouring countries. If you are interested in joining this conference or the network that we are currently building, please contact us at Lavinia.Hirsu@glasgow.ac.uk
First published: 14 April 2022