International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism
This study explores how Japanese EFL students engaged in translingual practices during a telecollaborative project that connected two college classrooms in the US and Japan. The project aimed at encouraging the students’ creative uses of languages, promoting an appreciation for their multiple linguistic resources, and nurturing their sense of ownership of languages informed by translingual practices. Contrary to our expectations, students in Japan exhibited great efforts to write in monolingual English and/or Japanese, which prompted us to investigate the reasons behind their language choices. Based on data analyses drawing on poststructural theory of subjectivities, we argue that the students’ language practices were shaped by local discourses that value privileged English, single language uses, and embodiment of ‘Japaneseness.’ As a result, students in Japan maintained single language uses in order to represent themselves in a positive light. Accordingly, they did not appreciate the language plurality demonstrated by their partners in the US. This result led us to contend that creating a local community that recognizes and appreciates linguistic diversity is essential in order for students to enjoy using multiple linguistic resources creatively and freely, and to gain confidence to claim ownership of their languages.
Translingual practice, telecollaboration, subjectivities, monolingualism, Japan
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Licensed to Smith College and distributed CC-BY under the Smith College Faculty Open Access Policy.
Kato, Reiko and Kumagai, Yuri, "Translingual Practices in a ‘Monolingual’ Society: Discourses, Learners’ Subjectivities and Language Choices" (2020). East Asian Languages & Cultures: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.