Date of Award

Spring 2019


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Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA) in English: Teaching English as a Second Language




The author critically reviews the TESOL practice known as translanguaging which incorporates the student’s acquired language(s) within the syntax of the target language (TL) as a means to foster understanding. It is suggested that the learner’s entire linguistic repertoire better fosters the learner’s understanding of the material. Within the last 20 years, the practice has gained popularity, and proponents’ advocacy for incorporating home languages within the writing classroom has come to be understood as a necessity for student success. Leonard (2014) identifies students' drawing upon all of their linguistic resources as "rhetorical attunement" and argues that multilingual writers become better writers in the TL when they claim all of their voices. Like Leonard, the author recognizes the importance of home language representation within language classes because it is a major part of the learner’s identity to which their sense of self is tied. At the same time, the author argues that translanguaging may reduce the student’s access to the target language, resulting in potentially lower TL proficiency and ultimately fewer opportunities for professional opportunities within the United States. Triangulated data sources include: (1) the researcher’s experiences and research in language learning, (2) personal correspondence with a Russian-speaking ESL instructor, and (3) data gathered from the focus group, “Multilingual’s Information Processing.” The present study is an exploration of the role of translanguaging in the college composition classroom and the role of the instructor in that setting.