A Right to Choose, a Right to Know the Options: Promoting Translingual Policy in the English Composition Classroom and Throughout the University

Faculty Mentor

Justin Young


Media is loading

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Publication Date





Since the 1970s, when there was a significant jump in college students who did not speak what is typically referred to as “Standard English” at home, English Composition scholars have attempted to understand how best to address pedagogical theory in a diverse classroom. Today’s English Composition students may speak any number of “Englishes” or other languages at home—including Spanglish, Digital English, African American English, Feminine English, and more. Many scholars have posited that code switching, or encouraging students to speak their own languages at home and to use Standard English in the classroom, is the best course of action. However, an extensive literature review of the work of seven leading compositional scholars including classroom data, historical analysis, and personal accounts from the students and instructors in the classrooms shows that code switching continues to enforce oppressively white, patriarchal standards on students. In response, research shows that universities should make a concerted effort toward adopting translingual practices in the classroom, which would allow students to use the version of English most comfortable to them whenever possible. Not only does translingualism subvert oppressive pedagogical standards, it also results in better learning outcomes for students, the opportunity for more creative and comprehensive assignments, and higher quality preparation for the diverse work environment awaiting students post-graduation. In addition to presenting the outcomes of my literature review, I have created a policy proposal that both argues for, and outlines the details of, implementing translingualism not only in the English Composition classroom but throughout the university.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

This document is currently not available here.