Writing through partnership: Fostering translanguaging in children who are emergent bilinguals

Eurydice Bouchereau Bauer, Vivian Presiado, Soria Colomer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A critical function of schooling is to provide young writers with opportunities to explore real-life, out-of-school experiences through writing. However, literacy instruction in U.S. schools primarily (and sometimes almost exclusively) focuses on the tested skills, with little recognition of children’s diverse backgrounds and experiences. The predominance of English-only instruction further limits the potential for many children who speak languages other than English at home to develop a sense of agency that is fundamental to academic development. Although bilingual and bidialectal children bring rich linguistic and cultural repertoires that could serve as resources for the development of school-based reading and writing, curriculum is seldom structured to take advantage of these resources. This study reports on two minoritized kindergarten students in a dual language (DL) classroom. The study documents how the teacher’s use of “buddy pairs” created a classroom environment where students could take risks and participate in translanguaging. Results show that both emergent bilingual students benefited from a classroom environment in which their home language was valued and translanguaging was encouraged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-37
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Literacy Research
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Emergent bilinguals
  • Translanguaging
  • Writer’s workshop

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

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