‘Do You Know a Few Words?’: Towards a Framework for Understanding Translanguaging and Dialogic Interaction in Primary Education

Activity: Talk and presentationAcademic presentationAcademic


Given the increasing importance of multilingualism in schools across Europe as well as dialogic interaction for pupils’ language and content learning (Duarte 2018; Rojas-Drummond 2019; Yuzlu and Dikilitas 2021), it becomes imperative to gain deeper insights into the relation between these two dimensions in education. Rather than studying them separately, we propose the use of a heuristic model of multilingual classroom interaction in which both dimensions as well as both the teacher’s and pupils’ perspectives are considered. Using data from three Dutch primary schools participating in an educational design research program aimed at stimulating the use of multiple languages through a translanguaging-based approach (García, 2009; Duarte, 2018) and dialogic interaction, we use a mixed-methods approach to demonstrate how data on discourse practices in whole class interaction can be analysed and interpreted using the heuristic model. Our data suggest that the nature of classroom interaction (i.e. tending towards more mono- or dialogic interaction) might influence the use and function of other languages in the classroom in translanguaging informed settings. The proposed model allows us to gain a better understanding of the relationship between translanguaging practices and dialogic interaction.
Held atUniversity of Oxford, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational