Publication |Sophia Linguistica

Positives and Negatives of Translanguaging Use in a CLIL Mathematics Classroom


Corey Fegan


Translanguaging, the view of multiple language systems existing as a cohesive
system within a speaker, and its use within a content and language integrated
learning (CLIL) classroom has been noted and examined. Some researchers
view the mixing of language systems as a potential system of scaffolding
within a classroom, while others believe this limits translanguaging, which
diminishes its use as a bilingual’s natural means of communication. This paper
investigates the use of translanguaging within a Japanese elementary school CLIL
mathematics classroom, and the effect it had on content learning, the L1 Japanese
language system, and the L2 English system that was often the primary means
of communication in the classroom. Translanguaging was found to have both
positive and negative effects: while the Japanese language system as well as the
content being discussed were explored in detail with introduction to new registerappropriate
terminology, the L2 English system did not receive the same registerappropriate
terminology or discussion. Suggestions for how to critically engage
with translanguaging as a pedagogical tool in the classroom are forwarded, along
with warnings of non-critically adopting translanguaging as a tool of bilingual