Beyond Bilingual: Translanguaging Experiments in a Reading & Composition Course at an Aspiring Hispanic Serving Institution 

Fall 2021 Fellow: Karina Palau

What happens when we re-envision a bilingual Spanish-English, Reading & Composition (R&C) course as an opportunity to recognize students’ unbordered language identities and value their dynamic languaging practices? Informed by emerging research on translanguaging, this forthcoming article reports on pedagogical strategies tried in a Fall 2022 pilot course at UC Berkeley: “Movimentos Latinos: Latinx Border Crossings in the Americas.” While translanguaging theorists have struggled to articulate clear and practical interventions that instructors can implement in an effort to turn translanguaging ideals into teaching practices, the article describes pedagogical experiments that aimed to enhance both student experience and the curricular goals of an R&C course at a critical turning point in the University’s mission to attain HSI status and become a ‘Latinx-thriving campus.’ By outlining interventions at the level of course design and classroom activities, I propose that reaching beyond a bilingual framework to a translanguaging one has the potential to foster a sense of belonging for Spanish-speakers of all levels and produce improved learning outcomes by deepening students’ awareness of language(s)-in-use.

The full paper will be submitted for publication.