Mag. Lena Schwarzl, BA

Ein mehrperspektivischer Blick in das Translanguaging-Klassenzimmer – selbstbezogene Überzeugungen und Klassenklima im Fokus

Supervision: Eva Vetter
Period: 2016-2020
Former staff member Sprachlehr- und -lernforschung

This doctoral thesis discusses the results of a study, in which translanguaging was regularly used from September 2017 to February 2018 in a primary (4th grade) and in a lower secondary school class (5th grade) in Vienna. The main aims of the study were twofold: I wanted to know how the use of translanguaging affects classroom work and how this was related to students’ self-related convictions and class atmosphere. The implementation of translanguaging was evaluated using a mixed-methods design. Data was collected in a pre- and a posttest questionnaire survey with the students, both quantitative (all cases) and case-related, consisting mainly of variables measuring self-related convictions, class atmosphere, and variables focusing on the students’ perception of the intervention. Lessons were observed using an ethnographic approach, allowing a deep understanding of the research field. At the end of the intervention, semi-structured interviews with one teacher of each class provided insights into their perspective and positioning. A range of methods were used for data analysis: the questionnaire was analyzed with SPSS (mostly descriptive analyses), the ethnographic fieldnotes were coded into categories and transformed into a thick description, and Viennese Critical Discourse Analysis was used for the interviews.

The results support the conclusion that the highly diverse linguistic resources of students strongly challenge the implementation of translanguaging pedagogy because students who know languages shared by many of their peers and in which many texts are available most benefit socio-emotionally from the implementation of translanguaging. Students who do not know those languages, however, barely get the chance to use their linguistic resources in class and some of them react with strong frustration. These findings contribute to the research literature on translanguaging in that they show how translanguaging pedagogy can be both beneficial and harmful, depending on the extent to which linguistic competences are shared and valued.

Here is the link to the doctoral thesis.

Here the link to an article based on the doctoral thesis:

Lena Cataldo-Schwarzl (2022) Invisible. Inaudible. Marginalised: unique languages in a superdiverse translanguaging-classroom, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, DOI: 10.1080/01434632.2022.2044831