Representing language and identity: Translanguaging poetry pedagogy

Dutton, J. (Speaker), Kathleen Rushton (Speaker)

    Activity: Talk or presentationPresentation


    Students in Australian classrooms come from a range of linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Tensions however exist between the intentions to address diversity and the competing influence of a high-stakes context that prioritises monolingual practices, and often diminishes teachers’ use of engaging, inclusive pedagogy (Berliner, 2011; Dutton & Rushton, 2018b). Viewed through the lens of socio-spatial theory (Lefebvre, 1991; Soja 1980), these tensions highlight how the ideal of education for diversity is re-shaped by everyday routines resulting in monolingual ‘firstspace’ practices that do little to maintain and develop the knowledge of language and culture central to students’ engagement with learning, literacy, and wellbeing (D’warte, 2014; Garcia, Johnson & Seltzer, 2017). This paper reports ethnographic research in which secondary English teachers asked ‘what if?’ and reimagined their EAL/D classrooms. They looked to translanguaging and the writing of poetry – translanguaging poetry pedagogy – to create ‘space’ to support a dynamic process in which students employed flexible use of all their languages (Allard, 2017) in the production of identity text poems (Cummins & Early, 2011). The resulting translanguaging space (Li Wei, 2014) and the symbolic propensities of poetry facilitated powerful representations of the students’ experiences of negotiating their cultural backgrounds and reinforces the need for resources and pedagogies that honour the languages and identity of all students.
    Period8 Jul 2020
    Event titleAATE/IFTE National Conference: If...: Inventing Futures; Ideas in Flight; Implementing Frameworks
    Event typeConference
    LocationSydney, Australia, New South Wales
    Degree of RecognitionInternational