Creating a Translingual and Transcultural Class: A Reflexive Investigation


  • Nagmeh Babaee Yorkville University


Translingualism, Transculturalsim, Academic Writing, Reflexive Research


This qualitative case study, informed by transcultural and translingual approaches to education, will demonstrate how the researcher/instructor creates a space where the English as an Additional Language (EAL) students and herself engage in co-constructing new knowledge. The educational materials and course outline, teaching techniques, and the instructor’s reflective notes, which had been collected in an undergraduate writing course in 2020, were revisited and coded to identify how the instructor creates a transcultural and translingual learning space. These strategies include (1) encouraging the students to share examples of formal and informal words and grammatical structures in their first language before they learn English formal writing and (2) taking notes in their first language, (3) giving examples of informal and formal words from the instructor’s first language; and (4) having the students critique each other’s paper. Employing these strategies assists the students to develop metalinguistic awareness about communication styles in various languages and removes the instructor from the center of the teaching stage. This balances power relationships between the students and her, acknowledges the students’ bilingual and bicultural competence, and utilizes it in constructing new knowledge. This research implies that a transcultural and translingual space can be created in the larger English as a Medium of Instruction context, where the students and instructor co-construct knowledge in an inclusive environment, and the boundaries among English and the languages and cultures represented in class are blurred. Finally, suggestions for instructors to create this space will be offered.