Dobrochna Futro


Research title: Translanguaging art: Investigation into multilingual practices of contemporary artists and their implications for language pedagogy

Research Summary

In my interdisciplinary PhD thesis, I explore the possibility to use insights gained from researching how contemporary art engages with multilingualism to design new approaches to language learning and develop resources for teaching the Polish language in Scottish primary schools.

I study how works by the Polish-born artists Małgorzata Dawidek, Krzysztof Wodiczko and Monika Szydłowska create different spaces of learning through their engagement with languaging in migratory contexts and use my findings to develop a pedagogical model that will be piloted with young learners of Polish in a Scottish primary school but will be applicable across other languages.

Polish is now, after English, the most commonly spoken language in Scottish schools and my project will result in providing teachers with resources for teaching Polish in a multilingual and multicultural context.

I explore research into multilingualism as it is undertaken by contemporary artists and evaluate its potential for language pedagogy, test affordances of an art-centred, indigenous and multilingual investigation into multimodal and intra-modal code-switching practices of contemporary artists and examine what (and how) we can learn about multilingualism from art that combines languages with other artistic means of expression.

I employ the concept of art practice-as-research and art-as-pedagogy and situate my research within the framework of translanguaging, migratory aesthetics, and critical indigenous pedagogy.

Higher Education
PhD in Modern Languages and Cultures, University of Glasgow (in progress)
MA in History of Art, University College London
MA in Polish Philology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
Extramural Research Diploma in Arts Management, Birkbeck College, University of London


  • 2020 University of Glasgow, College of Arts Collaborative Research Award; Polish Consulate in Edinburgh; Linguistic Association of Great Britain Small Grant (w/ M. Nitecka Brache, D. MacKenna, M Mroczkowski, Dandan Chan)
  • 2020 University of Glasgow, College of Arts Research Training Support Award
  • 2019 Cultural Literacy Europe Bursary
  • 2019 King’s College London, OWRI/AHRC Language Acts and Worldmaking Small Grant for Multilingual devised theatre project (with M. Nitecka-Barche)
  • 2019 University of Glasgow, College of Arts Research Training Support Award
  • 2019 University of Oxford, OWRI/AHRC Creative Multilingualism PhD Project Grant for Dancing through the language learning project (with M. Nitecka-Barche) supported by ESRC Social Sciences Festival, University of Aberdeen and Bilingualism Matters University of Edinburgh
  • 2019 British Association of Applied Linguistics/Cambridge University Press Scholarship
  • 2019 University of Glasgow, College of Arts Research Training Support Award
  • 2018 University of Glasgow, College of Arts Research Support Award
  • 2018 Alfried Krupp Wissenschaftskolleg Greifswald Travel Scholarship
  • 2018 AHRC DTP Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities Studentship
  • 2018 Ella Maxwell Travel Scholarship
  • 2018 SGSAH, Cohort Development Fund Award (with M. Nitecka-Barche & D. MacKenna)
  • 2018 University of Glasgow, College of Arts Research Support Award
  • 2018 University of London, SOAS, OWRI/AHRC Creative Multilingualism Scholarship


  • Futro, Dobrochna ‘Participatory exploration of translanguaging in and through art in a (foreign) language classroom.’ Paper to be presented at the AILA World Congress, Groningen, the Netherlands, August 2021
  • Futro, Dobrochna ‘Multilingual practices of contemporary artists and translanguaging literacies in foreign language teaching’ Paper presented at the Research in the Arts, the Arts in Research Symposium/Cultural Literacy in Europe & University of Łódź, 14-15 May 2020
  • Futro, Dobrochna ‘Translanguaging Art’. Poster presented at the 5th Postgraduate Conference in Translation Studies & Comparative Literature ‘ Fluidity’, University of Glasgow, 13 May 2020
  • Futro, Dobrochna ‘Translanguaging Art. Contemporary artists’ conceptualisations of a translanguaging space.’ Paper presented at the TLANG2 conference ‘Languaging in Times of Change’, University of Stirling, UK, 26-27 September 2019
  • Hirsu, Lavinia; Futro, Dobrochna ‘Creative practices under the banner of translanguaging.’ Presentation at the Creative Inquiry in Applied Linguistics: Purposes, Practices, Possibilities British Association of Applied Linguistics / Cambridge University Press Seminar, Centre for Language Education Research, University of Leeds, 10–11 July 2019.
  • Futro, Dobrochna ‘Translanguaging art - unlocking the transformative potential of contemporary art for language teaching in the multilingual context.’ Paper to be presented at the New Approaches to Transmedia and Language Pedagogy to be presented at the International Conference, Manchester Metropolitan University, 27-28 June 2019
  • Futro, Dobrochna ‘Translanguaging Art’. Poster presented at the Bilingualism Matters Seminar, University of Edinburgh, of Edinburgh, 7 June 2019
  • Futro, Dobrochna ‘Translanguaging Art. Across languages and modes in Monika Szydłowska’s ‘Do you miss your country?’. Paper to be presented at the Across Languages: Translingualism in Contemporary Women’s Writing conference, Senate House, University of London, 30-31 May 2019
  • Futro, Dobrochna 'Pickled gherkins, father throats and a nose as a site of resistance in the Slavic and Turkic languages. Aesthetics and activism in the work of Slavs & Tatars.' Paper presented at the  Performing Multilingualism in World Literatures: Aesthetics and Activism Conference, University of Oxford, 20-22 September 2018
  • Futro, Dobrochna 'Translanguaging or translanguaged? The politics of language in selected works by Krzysztof Wodiczko'. Paper to be presented at the Language, Translation, and Migration: Conference and Public Summit 2018, University of Warwick, 24-26 May 2018
  • Futro, Dobrochna 'Translanguaging art. Recreating Kristevan thetic space as a space of learning. Paper with an experiential coda to be presented at the UNESCO Spring School, The Arts of Integrating: Stories of Refugee Hospitality and Agency,  9-11 May 2018
  • Futro, Dobrochna 'Translanguaging Art. Situating the relationship between language and multilingual identity within the context of contemporary art'. Paper presented at the Creative Multilingualism Conference 2018: Creative Multilingual Identities, Institute of Education, University of Reading, 2-3 February 2018
  • Futro, Dobrochna 'Translanguaging art'. Paper presented at the Multilingualisms in World Literature Conference, SOAS, University of London, 18-20 January 2018


  • Creative activities for Language Learners at home, British Council Webinar, 6 May 2020 (w/ Dr Lavinia Hirsu & Dr Sally Zacharias)
  • Translanguaging Idioms workshop, M Gallery, Language Hub Glasgow, 27 February 2020
  • Language Portraits workshop, M Gallery, Language Hub Glasgow, 2 February 2020 (w/ Marta Adamowicz)
  • Creative Inquiry and art-based research methods, guest seminar for TESOL students, University of Glasgow, December 2017 (w/ Dangeni) 
  • Monolingual? Multilingual? Translingual? Creativity in and beyond languages, ESRC Festival of Social Sciences, Glasgow, November 2019 (devised w/Dr Lavinia Hirsu)
  • Bilingual art-making workshopPublic Engagement Best Practices session at the Bilingualism Matters Annual Conference, September 2019
  • Ready to translanguage? A guide for practitioners on how to engage creatively with languages in multilingual contexts, seminar at the Scottish Learning Festival 2019, September 2019 (devised w/ Dr Lavinia Hirsu)
  • Translanguaging in and through art workshop, June 2019(w/ D. MacKenna and M. Nitecka-Barche)
  • A series of workshops exploring language and identity through art with Polish bilingual families. Glasgow EAL & Dalmarnock Primary School, March – June 2019
  • Translanguaging in Monika Szydłowska’s comic ‘Do you miss your country?’ workshop for children, Comics Night at the Museum, Hunterian Museum, December 2018
  • Do you fancy a cuppa? Glasgow Science Centre, Public Engagement event, December 2018 (w/ Liexu Cai) 
  • On the Border of Art and Language Teaching in the Multilingual World, PhD training workshop, June 2018 (w/ M. Nitecka-Barche & D. MacKenna)


Additional Information

Current roles:

Past roles: