Translanguaging in Algerian University EFL Classrooms
: Practices and Attitudes

  • Safia Serai

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Abstract

Assumptions about monolingualism in language pedagogy have been challenged in recent years. Concurrently, language practices involving more than one language, now commonly referred to as translanguaging, have received an increasing amount of attention from different scholars around the world, especially in the educational context (Garcia & Li, 2014; Juvonen & Källkvist, 2021; Mazak & Carroll, 2017; Rabbidge, 2019). This is still a relatively new area
of investigation, and research about teachers’ and students’ translanguaging practices and attitudes is still in its infancy within the context of English language pedagogy at university level.
This study aimed to identify the translanguaging practices of university EFL teachers and students when engaging in classroom talk and the functions achieved through these practices. Furthermore, it examined the participants’ attitudes when translanguaging occurred in the tertiary EFL classrooms. To achieve these research aims, I conducted an exploratory case study at the department of English at Mohamed Lamine Debaghine University, known as Setif 2 University, in Algeria. Algeria is a postcolonial multilingual context where each language has particular significance, linked to history, identity, culture, and power.
The data was collected qualitatively and quantitatively through classroom observations with field notes, interviews with teachers and students, focus group discussions (FGDs), and questionnaires with students.
The findings showed that teachers and students deployed translanguaging practices in the EFL classroom talk, and this followed certain patterns. On the one hand, the teachers used their languages interlingually and intralingually for explanatory and expressive functions, the students deployed their own languages interdiscursively for eliciting information and explanation, feedback and correction, and expressive functions. On the other hand, the teachers
seemed to be unaware of the strategic deployment of their languages, and they referred to these practices as random. The teachers stated that, due to the status of English in Algeria, their translanguaging practices were embraced with open and limited translanguaging spaces, depending on the students’ needs and the content of the module. The students reported their wish for an English-only classroom, except for difficult terminologies and discussions of nonpedagogical
values.
Therefore, the findings of this study contribute to understanding how translanguaging operates in tertiary English language learning and teaching classrooms and thinking critically about the potential challenges and benefits of language teachers’ and students’ translanguaging practices in multilingual contexts like the Algerian one.
Date of Award10 May 2022
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorMario Saraceni (Supervisor) & Peter Watkins (Supervisor)

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