Translanguaging in science education
This project examines and clarifies situations in science teaching and learning where teachers and students use translanguaging to create understanding or meaning for the content. In a translanguaging science classroom (TSC), multiple languages and/or several languages resources or other multimodal resources are used to create understanding or meaning. Accordingly, the project contributes to the field by illustrating the importance of supporting each students’ access to the linguistic tools embodied in the content of the sciences, and by promoting the use of all available resources to relate the content of the sciences to prior experiences and thus ensure continuity of learning in multilingual science classrooms. Instead of adapting the language use to students’ linguistic abilities in the second language, the use of the available linguistic resources that are obtainable in a TSC is needed in the students’ appropriation of the scientific content. This enables dialogic negotiation processes between students’ prior experiences and the school science discourse, which in turn creates increased conditions for students science learning and gives students increased empowerment in science education. This means that students’ functional and pragmatic use of language in a TSC can be used to create increased possibilities for multilingual students’ opportunities to further develop and deepen their knowledge in science. However, this requires an increased knowledge of how teaching can take advantage of and confirm the multilingual students’ prior experiences and knowledge, and meet these students’ needs for a cognitively challenging and interactive teaching where high expectations are combined with scaffolding.