Comparison of Translanguaging Practices and Ideologies in Secondary and Tertiary ESL Settings in Malaysia: Teachers' Perspective



Prior studies on translanguaging have only focused on either preschool, primary, secondary, or tertiary education levels separately. There is very little research that compares the use of translanguaging across two or more educational levels. To address this paucity, this preliminary study is carried out to explore and compare translanguaging practices and ideologies in Malaysian tertiary and secondary education settings. The study investigated (a) teachers' practices of translanguaging in secondary and tertiary ESL classrooms; and (b) their perspectives on translanguaging in these two different contexts. The pilot study employed a qualitative approach in which two participants consisting of a teacher from a secondary school and a teacher from a public university in Malaysia were interviewed in semi-structured interview sessions. The data were then thematically analysed using Romanowski's (2019) translanguaging strategy framework. Three additional sub-strategies were discovered from the findings and hence added to the framework for analysis. Results show that teachers from both educational settings use translanguaging in all three categories of translanguaging strategies proposed by Romanowski (2019), namely the explanatory, managerial, and interpersonal strategies. Nevertheless, there are differences in the usage of the sub-strategies under each category in secondary and tertiary ESL classrooms. Besides that, while translanguaging is generally accepted as an effective pedagogical tool, to some degree, teachers are still restricted by the monolingual approach in ESL classrooms. The study recommends that teachers in different educational contexts should select the most appropriate translanguaging strategies for their learners and be mindful with their implementation.


Keywords: Translanguaging Practices; Teachers’ Perspectives; ESL/EFL Classroom; Secondary and Tertiary Education

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