Understanding Korean-American first-graders’ written translanguaging practices

Chaehyun Lee, Georgia Earnest García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Qualitative discourse analysis and case study methodologies were employed, along with heteroglossic and sociocultural theories, to analyze the written translanguaging practices of four Korean-American first-graders over 14 weeks at a Korean heritage language school in the U.S. Written translanguaging characterized 21–31% of the writing produced by the three students who preferred English, and 3% of the writing produced by the student who preferred Korean. All four students demonstrated written translanguaging for metalinguistic and sociolinguistic functions, demonstrating their agency, bilingual identities, and audience orientation. Two students employed metatalk to problem-solve their writing, indicating metacognitive insight. The three students who translanguaged often appeared to be more interested in communication than in the form of their writing. The fourth student's written translanguaging involved transliteration for English proper nouns and unknown Korean words. Because the students were not taught translanguaging, their use of it appeared to be a natural byproduct of their bilingual status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100998
JournalLinguistics and Education
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Biliteracy
  • Discourse analysis
  • Heritage language learning
  • Heteroglossia perspectives
  • Translanguaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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