Translingual Approaches in World Language Education: Perspectives from Arabic Learning Contexts

A couple of weeks ago, I co-organized a colloquium with Khaled Al Masaeed at the American Association of Applied Linguistics Conference titled “Translingual Approaches in World Language Education: Perspectives from Arabic Learning Contexts”. Although I have attended the AAAL conference most years since 2007, and it is probably my favorite conference, there are usually only 1-3 presentations focused on Arabic. So, to have an entire colloquium focused on Arabic was a dream come true! 

There were five presentations followed by a discussant in our colloquium, and I thought I’d give a short summary of them here. 

The first three presentations presented research focused on multidialectal practices in a variety of contexts: study abroad, community schools, and university classrooms. 

The next two presentations took a more pedagogical focus, describing the incorporation of translingual practices in Arabic classrooms. 

I gave the final presentation, “Translanguaging Pedagogies in the Arabic Language Classroom”, describing our 2019 implementation of a social media unit in our Intermediate Arabic class, and how we drew students’ attention to multilingual and multidialectal features to try to develop their sociolinguistic competence. I also presented student reactions, from positive ones focused on the connections they were able to make through using arabizi on social media, to those who were worried about using too much English (and sometimes these were the same exact students!). 


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