Assessing student perspectives on pedagogical translanguaging: A case study of a Puerto Rican university classroom
Rivera, Adrian J.
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This thesis details the results of a study into the translanguaging habits of students in an upper-level psychology classroom at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez. It seeks to add to a relatively limited knowledge base regarding how student language ideologies can impact their use of translanguaging. Each of the 29 student participants are bilinguals who are under the instruction of a native English speaking bilingual professor, who utilizes a flexible bilingual pedagogical approach to teaching. As such, students are permitted to use Spanish and English interchangeably as they feel the need or desire to do so. For the purposes of the study, two surveys were issued: one which dealt with the student’s linguistic backgrounds and one regarding their feelings on the instructor’s teaching strategies. The survey results showed students tended to hold neutral to positive feelings on translanguaging and code-switching in the classroom. Through the surveys, six students were selected for in-depth case study analysis which compared their beliefs about translanguaging to their translanguaging practices shown through one academic semester. The results of the data analysis of the survey responses and individual cases seemed to counteract the belief of bilinguals cutting corners in their work when it comes to language mixing. Most students would go out of their way to try and work within one language on their homework, whether they selected to work with English or Spanish. Key words: translanguaging, flexible bilingual pedagogy, language ideologies.