Translanguaging – researchers and practitioners in dialogue is a two-day international conference on translanguaging to be hosted by The School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences (HumUS) at Örebro University, Sweden, on 28 and 29 March, 2017.
Abstract submission deadline: 30 November, 2016
Conference registration for all participants: 1 December, 2016
Conference registration deadline: 31 January, 2017
Translanguaging describes both multilingual communication competence and pedagogical practice. The concept highlights the capacity of bi- and multilinguals to make themselves understood and produce nuanced meanings by gliding between languages on the basis of their whole linguistic repertoires. In bilingual education, translanguaging foregrounds a flexible juxtaposition of different ‘languages’ for meaningful learning with others in instructional processes.
Translanguaging has introduced progressive perspectives and theoretical claims which have given distinction to the place of the concept within sociolinguistics, multilingualism and visually-oriented research. Translanguaging theory moves beyond the autonomous linguistic systems of traditional bilingualism and even the view that bilingual performance is supported by the interdependence of two (or more) linguistic systems. It proposes a view of bilingualism as resourced by a single repertoire of language features from which translinguals draw strategically to meet multilingual demands and goals. Bilingual as dual competence is reconceptualized as the capacity to communicate with a single, integrated, set of both signed and spoken language assets. Consonant with this claim, is the notion that multilinguals operate communicatively on the basis of their own idiolects rather than with primary orientation to the structures of named languages which are viewed not as linguistic entities, but as socially and politically defined. Thus translanguaging challenges traditional school practices of assessing communicative proficiency and offers new ways of perceiving and promoting the linguistic and intellectual development of bilingual students.
While translanguaging scholarship multiplies, a growing number of educational leaders and teachers express interest in in the potential pedagogical prospects of translanguaging for content and language integrated learning. However, the development of scholarly thinking has not always lent itself to educational application. Canagarajah (2014), for example, mentions a romanticization of translanguaging and a cognitive, individualistic, orientation to translanguaging competence at the expense of social and interactional issues. Theoretical imbalance, in effect, hinders the pedagogical currency of translanguaging. The conference title emphasizes the vision to bring researchers and practitioners from different educational arenas into dialogue around the opportunities and challenges of translanguaging as enabling both communicative and pedagogical participation in classrooms. The aim is also for participants to engage critically and constructively with the theoretical and methodological challenges arising from the use of translanguaging in multilingual analysis and educational approaches.
Keynote speakers confirmed for the conference are:
• Deborah Chen-Pichler, Linguistics Gallaudet University, USA.
• Maaike Hajer, Dutch language arts and applied linguistics, Nijmegen University, NL.
• Holly Link, Educational Linguistics, University of Pennsylvania, USA.
In addition to the perspectives and inspirations from the keynote speakers, the conference platforms 18 presentation and discussion sessions with the purpose of displaying a variety of current research and educational projects which make strategic use of translanguaging (see Preliminary programme). The sessions are planned as arenas for presentation, discussion and interactive engagement with topics which provide focus on the conference theme.
Abstract submission for these sessions is now open. An abstract of maximum 820 words is required which is structured by a form that you can download here. On completion, this form should be sent to Kicki Ekberg, the conference administrator (kicki.ekberg[at]oru.se). The deadline for submitting abstracts is 31 October, 2016. After this a ‘blind’ two-reviewer procedure will ‘select’ the 18 conference presentations and presenters will be informed about the result of their submission at the end of November or beginning of December.
Each present and discuss session will be allocated 25 minutes. We strongly recommend that you plan a 15-minute presentation to allow for 10 minutes of discussion. Since we are requiring a relatively long abstract, we will not be inviting the selected presenters to submit a longer paper. A longer paper version of your presentation for distribution at the session could be a good strategy for homing rapidly in what is central or crucial in your contribution and supplying further information for those who are interested.