Negotiating translingual literacy: An enactment

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This article argues that an understanding of writing as translingual requires a shift to a different orientation to literacy-i.e., from autonomous and situated to negotiated. Such an orientation treats the text as co-constructed in time and space-with parity for readers and writers in shaping the meaning and form-and thus performed rather than preconstructed, making the multimodal and multisensory dimensions of the text fully functional. Going beyond the native/nonnative and monolingual/multilingual speaker binaries, this study demonstrates that both student groups can orient themselves to such literate practices in the context of suitable pedagogical affordances. Drawing from teacher research informed by an ethnographic perspective, the study identifies four types of negotiation strategies adopted by writers to code-mesh and readers to interpret texts: envoicing, recontextualization, interaction, and entextualization. Envoicing strategies set the conditions for negotiation, as it is a consideration of voice that motivates writers to decide the extent and nature of code-meshing; recontextualization strategies prepare the ground for negotiation; interactional strategies are adopted to co-construct meaning; and entextualization strategies reveal the temporal and spatial shaping of the text to facilitate and respond to these negotiations. The analysis points to the value of a dialogical pedagogy that can further develop the negotiation strategies students already bring to the classroom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)40-67
Number of pages28
JournalResearch in the Teaching of English
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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