Translanguaging approach to TESOL in Taiwan

I. Chung Ke, Shumin Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Informed by the concepts of multiliteracy and multimodality, the term "translanguaging" (García & Li, 2014) highlights the changing nature of language in action in a reality in which linguistic symbols and resources from multiple languages are utilized together with other meaning-carrying modes such as gestures, texts, pictures, and songs. The rationale for a translanguaging approach in ELT stems from the changing roles of a language teacher, from providing linguistic knowledge and skills to building learners' self-learning capacity, learner agency and L2 identities. Instead of passively memorizing linguistic rules, self-learning learners play with newly-acquired linguistic resources to merge them into their existing personal repertoire and linguistic identities. This paper discusses the viability of a translanguaging approach in TESOL in Taiwanese contexts. The background and rationale for the need of translanguaging is first presented. After expounding the concept of translanguaging and how it differs from code-mixing, the benefits, limitations, and potentials of the translanguaging approach are addressed. We then use an example of translanguaging practices in an EFL classroom in a rural junior high school in Taiwan to illustrate the potentials of translanguaging pedagogy for developing learner agency and identities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-61
Number of pages29
JournalEnglish Teaching and Learning
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • Identity
  • Multilingualism
  • Translanguaging

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