Education

Translanguaging: developing multi-lingual communication in children

education
Translanguaging 2

Research shows that multilingual children can switch between their primary and secondary languages using a process called translanguaging, which enables them to draw on whichever language they need to communicate effectively.

Encouraging multilingual children to engage with questions in their most familiar language, builds their confidence and allows them opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge. Using this approach, young children are encouraged to draw from their full language repertoire, helping them to improve their English language skills using the language practices they already possess.

Translanguaging Aotearoarun by Victoria University of Wellington’s School of Linguistics and Applied Language Studies and Te Kawa a Māuiaims to improve the way translanguaging is used in New Zealand. The project works with communities to collect and analyse observational data from multilingual preschools, and develop resources that support teachers and parents to use translanguaging successfully.

Wellington UniVentures has helped bring this research to the community by connecting Translanguaging Aotearoa with providers of early childhood education in New Zealand and overseas, setting up the website and e-book shop domain, and organising the printing of resource materials.

Watch as Dr Corinne Seales, Developer at Translanguaging Aotearoa, explains more about how translanguaging works.

At a glance

Proven research

The resourceswhich include an interactive poster and two illustrated books—have been tested  to verify their efficacy.

Increased confidence

Children are often embarrassed or hesitant to speak a new language, meaning they are unable to demonstrate their ability. Using the translanguaging approach gives them the confidence to take more risks and participate more in the classroom.

Community involvement

Researchers have worked with communities to collect and analyse observational data from multilingual pre-schools to create resources that support the successful use of translanguaging at school and at home.  

More information

Resources

Two books and a poster have been designed to build vocabulary, cultural understanding and content knowledge for young children. The books—Samoan/English and Māori/English (pictured)—follow the proven principles of how readers move between two languages. 

Further links

Read 'Levelling the language playing field' — Newsroom, 29 May 2020

Listen to Kathryn Ryan interview Dr Corinne Seals — Radio New Zealand, December 2019

Follow the Translanguaging Aotearoa blog

  

To find out more, please contact one of the Wellington UniVentures team below:

Resources

READ

READ: 'Levelling the language playing field' — Newsroom, 29 May 2020

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LISTEN

LISTEN: Kathryn Ryan interview Dr Corinne Seals — Radio New Zealand, December 2019

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FOLLOW

FOLLOW: Translanguaging Aotearoa blog

more
READ

READ: Two books and a poster have been designed to build vocabulary, cultural understanding and content knowledge for young children. The books—Samoan/English and Māori/English—follow the proven principles of how readers move between two languages. 

more
Garry Ward
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Gary Ward

General Manager, Knowledge Services

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Elizabeth Craker
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Elizabeth Craker

Senior Programmes Manager, Education

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