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Translanguaging Functions and Strategies in Primary CLIL Classrooms: A Case Study

Yu-Ya Weng
National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan


The misconception about Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) as the monolingual approach or overuse of mother tongue frustrates novice CLIL teachers and learners. Translanguaging functions and strategies in CLIL classrooms were hence revealed for clarification in this study. This qualitative research focused on one public primary school in Taipei, Taiwan for two semesters. The collected data (classroom observations, discourses, and interviews) were encoded with teacher talk, analyzed by discourse analysis, and examined by data triangulation. Translanguaging functions and strategies in three subjects, nine classes, and three teachers were decoded.

The findings showed that translanguaging functions (Attention, Time Control, Confirmation, Comment, Correction, and Specification) were served by corresponding translanguaging strategies (Classroom Management, Time Management, IRF Interaction Pattern, Motivational Skills, Error Correction Skills, Visualization Skills, and Multimodality) which varied with subject characteristics. Moreover, “Confirmation and Specification” were two crucial functions that appeared most frequently in genuine communications in three academic subjects. L1 took a significant role for beginners to facilitate critical thinking and discussions, which integrated deeper content with limited language proficiency. In the first semester, students were silent and passive learners; in the second semester, students engaged in communications through IRF interaction Pattern in translanguaging. While balancing content and language, translanguaging functions and strategies served as the bedrock in primary CLIL classrooms.


CLIL, Translanguaging Functions, Translanguaging Strategies

International Joint Conference of APLX, ETRA40, and TESPA 2023