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Translanguaging is a powerful mechanism or a strategic language option of bilinguals to express experiences, to construct understandings and to interpret their bilingual reality through the daily use of the two languages (Garcia, 2009).
García (2009; 2011) views translanguaging - “or engaging in bilingual or multilingual discourse practices” (2009, p. 44) - as an approach to bilingualism that is centred not on languages, but on the observable, natural communicative practice of bilinguals and, if properly interpreted and understood and practiced in schools, as a means to enhance pupils’ cognitive, language and literacy abilities:
Translanguaging includes code-switching, the shift between two languages in context, and it also includes translation; however it differs from both of these simple practices in that it refers to the process by which bilingual students perform bilingually in the myriad ways of classrooms – reading, writing, taking notes, discussing, signing etc.
Translanguaging is not only a way to ‘scaffold’ instruction, to make sense of learning and language; rather, translanguaging is part of the metadiscursive regimes that students in the twenty-first century must perform (García, 2011, p. 147)
García, O. (2009). Bilingual education in the 21st century: a global perspective. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
García, O. (2011). Educating New York’s bilingual children; constructing a future from thepast. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. 14, 2: 133-153