Translanguaging with Adult English Language Learners: Adapting the TRANSLATE Protocol to Adult English Language Education

Alayna Klco, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

3:15 pm – 3:45 pm (Room 235)



Translanguaging, a theory and pedagogy that encourages the use of students’ full
linguistic and cultural repertoires, has emerged as an increasingly popular framework in English language learner education. This piece reviews, analyzes, and builds on the translanguaging exercises proposed and studied by Project TRANSLATE, which uses pedagogical translation as a social practice to incorporate translanguaging into K-12 classrooms. Current research explores translanguaging as a theory more extensively than translanguaging as a pedagogy. In research where pedagogy is the focus, K-12 classrooms are the predominant context studied. This article aims to add to the existing body of research by focusing on the less explored pedagogical applications of translanguaging for adult English language learner (ELL) education. Collaborative translation, as the core of Project TRANSLATE, is reviewed along with existing literature on defining characteristics of adult ELL education. Adult ELL classes were found to differ dramatically from a K-12 setting in the materials used, learner backgrounds, and course objectives. This research proposes that effectively implementing the TRANSLATE protocol in adult ELL may require modification of text choice, presentation style, and emphasis on target language use. The use of this adapted collaborative translation in adult ELL classes deliberately makes space for students to take advantage of their complete linguistic and cultural knowledge.

This paper would like to acknowledge the extensive research done by the Project TRANSLATE
collaborators. Their work serves as the foundation for the proposed adaptations to the
TRANSLATE protocol for adult ELL settings.