Challenging the Translingual Turn: Student-Teachers’ Perceptions, Practices and Networks

This project explored the potential and limitations of the translingual turn for TESOL student-teachers who move from their MA studies into the workplace. If we are to recognize that language learners are always engaged in translingual practices, to what extent do teachers actively engage within the same translingual framework in their classrooms? The research explored student-teachers' language ideologies at the beginning of their postgraduate studies, their changing perceptions and practices during their studies, and the take-up and implementation of new pedagogies when they return in their home countries. The project mapped out pedagogical changes, expectations, and practices collected from student-teachers, as well as other direct stakeholders in the students' working contexts (such as programme coordinators, supervisors, and other language professionals). Findings from this research will indicated possible ways of supporting a translingual agenda to make a more sustainable impact on local stakeholders who may be less familiar or open to a translingual approach.

PI and Co-Is

PI: Dr. Lavinia Hirsu, University of Glasgow, School of Education

Co-I: Dr. Sally Zacharias, University of Glasgow, School of Education

Start and End Date

31 January 2018 - 31 March 2019

Funder and Funding Amount

British Council – ELTRA scheme


Related Publications

Hirsu, L. and Zacharias, S. Engaging with/in Translanguaging. (2018). BAAL News, 113. Retrieved from

Project News

Findings from the project have been shared with scholars and practitioners at the following conferences:

“Challenging Student-teachers’ Language Ideologies in Translingual Contexts.” Communication in the Multilingual City, Birmingham, March 28th-29,th 2018.

“Competing language metaphors, ideologies, and practices in contexts of mobility and dynamic experiences.” 14th BAAL Language Learning and Teaching SIG conference: Language teaching and learning in unstable times, and in changing political landscapes. University of Southampton, July 12 -13, 2018.

“Embracing a translingual approach: between pedagogical risk and daily practice”. BAAL Annual Conference: Taking Risks in Applied Linguistics, York, September 6-8, 2018.

“Negotiating language ideologies and practices in the TESOL Programme.” SERA, Glasgow, November 22, 2018.

In response to the need for pedagogical support in implementing classroom activities informed by translanguaging, the two researchers have teamed up with 4 creative artists and are currently developing a series of CPD workshops for EAL teachers working in multilingual environments in Glasgow. This extension-project aims to create impact in classrooms and their immediate communities (of pupils, parents and teachers). The workshops are funded by the generous support of Glasgow Knowledge Exchange Fund and in partnership with GCC, the EAL Unit, led by Maria Walker.

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