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emi content teachers' perspectives on translanguaging


Academic year: 2023

Share "emi content teachers' perspectives on translanguaging"


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The purpose of the study is to explore the perspectives of English Medium Instruction (EMI) teachers regarding the use of translanguaging as a pedagogical tool in teaching. In keeping with the research purpose, the following research questions helped explore teachers' perspectives on the content.


Thus, teachers' translation practices in teaching content subjects may depend on their attitudes towards languages. The results of the research could be important for policy makers as they reveal the perspectives of EMI content teachers regarding the use of translation for teaching in the context of trilingual education policy.

Literature Review

One of these studies was conducted in the Basque Autonomous Community (BAC) by Doiz and Lasagabaster (2017). Based on the qualitative research design, three discussion groups participated in the study.


In keeping with the purpose of the study, which was to explore EMI content teachers' perspectives on translanguaging, maximum variation sampling was employed as it helps the researcher develop many perspectives on the central topic (Creswell, 2012). The department representative asked for the details of the study (see Appendix C) and informed that the researcher had been given access to the designated schools after their permission. After conducting six semi-structured interviews, the researcher began analyzing the qualitative data.

The interpretation of the data included the researcher's personal reflections and views, as opposed to the existing literature. At the beginning of each interview, participants received an informed consent form in which they could be introduced to the purpose of the study and its nature. In addition, participants will have access to the study at the end of the study.


The Kazakh community itself does not seem to encourage speaking foreign languages, as shown in the following excerpt: An often-cited reason for using students' L1, among others, was to provide explanations, as shown by Diana's answer: “ I sometimes use Russian to explain the main points…the main points about the new topic because I want to make sure that students understand it' and from Kamila: 'There are times when I see that students do not understand the topic, and then I use their native language to clarify…'. The interview included a question about the use of translanguaging for specific tasks, or in other words, multilingual tasks in the classroom.

The main reason for this lies in their concern about the students' results in the Cambridge Exam, which is only held in English. The majority of them showed a positive attitude towards the use of translanguaging in class and indicated the following purposes for translanguaging: explanation, discussion, clarification, increasing student involvement and information seeking. They stated that the use of translanguaging can cause students to perform poorly on the Cambridge exam, which is administered only in English.


According to their views, the Kazakh language, which is known as the national language of Kazakhstan, does not play an important role in education. As can be seen, our teachers believed that Russian is more important than Kazakh in teaching, as they could not relate science subjects to the Kazakh language. Similarly, the study by Fierman (2012) also showed that many Kazakhs do not think that knowing the Kazakh language is important for their future, and they do not perceive any significant benefits from knowing it, whereas Russian, along with English, used as the language of wider communication.

The views of the teachers regarding the Russian language can be attributed to the language as a resource orientation according to the framework of Ruiz (1984), because, according to the teachers' opinion, there is a large amount of scientific literature in Russian and knowledge of this language provides the opportunity to communicated with representatives of different nationalities in Kazakhstan. Compared to Russian, Kazakh was seen as a language of culture and history, but nevertheless, the teachers' perceptions of Kazakh revealed in the study cannot be categorized into one of Ruiz's orientations, because the participants do not consider Kazakh as a threat or a. It can be concluded that the Kazakh language is simply not in demand among the interviewed teachers.

The purpose of this research question was to explore EMI content teachers'. perspectives on translanguaging, in particular, what they think about translanguaging, what attitudes they have towards it, why they have these attitudes, and for what purposes they use translanguaging. Some teachers are against using students' L1 while teaching in English because they see it as a barrier to content acquisition. Just like the teachers at NIS, the teachers in Oaxaca expressed their fear about their students' academic performance in standardized tests that are in one language, such as the TOEFL and Cambridge exams.

2018) stated that such monolingual tests affect classroom teaching practice where the use of multiple languages ​​is seen as a barrier. These teachers' beliefs about translation practices can be attributed to Ruiz's focus on language as a problem, as teachers provide a lot of exposure to the English language as opposed to "inclusivity" (Ruiz, 1984, as cited in Hult & Hornberger, 2016, p. 34) and perceive linguistic diversity as a disadvantage in the classroom. Most teachers are positive about the use of translation in teaching content, as they believe that the use of translation can help in.

Marshall High School did not support language diversity and yet teachers used translation practices in science classes. Another reason for teachers' positive attitude towards translation was the possibility of working with students with poor English skills. In this regard, our teachers can explain and explain unclear content to their students in their native language.

Yuvayapan (2019) who investigated the use of translation by teachers as they believed it increased the participation of students with low English levels. The teachers' perceptions of translation, who were positive about its use, can be categorized into Ruiz's language-as-resource orientation because they support linguistic diversity in the classroom and see the use of L1 as a resource that provides improvement. EMI content teachers use translation for a variety of reasons: to explain when introducing a new topic, to encourage students to respond.

For example, according to the survey in the study by Ofaletse and Oats (2019), many teachers believed that using students' L1 creates a relaxed atmosphere in the class, thereby improving class participation. The study by Allard (2017) also showed that the use of Spanish, which in his study was students' L1, increased student participation, as accepting responses in students' L1 enabled the participation of a wider variety of students , even new ones arrived. . Basque teachers in CLIL institutions used students' L1 with the content acquisition to stimulate discussions and to address disciplinary issues within the classroom (Doiz & . Lasagabaster, 2017).

This finding supports previous research conducted by Yupayapan (2019), which revealed students' use of Turkish to discuss topics during class observations. Regardless of their stance on translanguaging, almost all teachers allow the use of translanguaging in assignments.

Doiz and Lasagabaster (2017) stated that there are three components .. of translation practices in EMI: “1) inside and outside the classroom, 2) materials and 3) assessment tasks” (p. 168). Among these three components, NIS teachers reported using translation in assessment materials and tasks. Some participants in the Ofaletse and Oats (2019) study also argued that teaching in one language and assessing in another wastes time and does not contribute to learning.

However, this study revealed very different findings according to teachers who were negative about the use of translanguaging and seemed to use students' L1 for classroom tasks. The study by Schissel et al. 2018) also showed that some teachers in Oaxaca used Spanish and English as assessment tools in the EMI classroom. During these assessments, instructions for the task were given in Spanish and students were required to provide their responses in English.

While answering interview questions about the use of students' L1, some teachers only considered the Russian language. This may be the reason why most of the teachers use Russian for translanguage in EMI classrooms. The majority of participants appeared to feel positive about the use of students' L1 in EMI classes, while the two respondents showed negative.

As previously mentioned, there were teachers with negative attitudes, and they perceived the use of L1 as an obstacle in learning and believed that this practice can negatively affect their students' test results. It appeared that in this study teachers who had negative attitudes towards translanguage use the students' L1 in assignments. This finding differed from those discussed earlier, as the previous studies showed opposite results, where teachers who expressed positive attitudes did not support the use of students' L1 in assignments.


This study also revealed a possible link between teachers' attitudes towards language and their multilingual practices, as the findings showed that teachers who expressed negative attitudes towards Kazakh in STEM education did not use this language for translation in EMI classrooms. Teachers' and students' perceptions of the role of the first language in foreign language and science teaching at Bilim Innovation Lyceum [Unpublished master's thesis]. English as a lingua franca in Namibia: Teachers' attitudes towards English as a medium of instruction in classrooms.

Считаете ли вы, что все три языка (казахский, русский и английский) одинаково необходимы в нашем обществе/в образовании? В настоящее время я пишу диссертацию и провожу исследование на тему «Взгляды учителей контента EMI на транслингвистику в средней школе», которая тесно связана с системой образования в Назарбаев Интеллектуальных школах. Содержание EMI ​​Взгляды учителей на транслингвистику в средней школе ОПИСАНИЕ: Вам предлагается принять участие в качественном исследовании транслингвистики (целенаправленного использования разных языков) в средней школе в Казахстане.

The purpose of this study is to explore EMI Content Teachers' language attitudes and perspectives on translanguaging. Do you think that all three languages ​​(Kazakh, Russian and English) are equally necessary in our society/in education?

Ақпарат көздері


 Institutional support, educational environment, education and literacy level and language status and its function as factors partly had an effect on the participants’ use of mainly