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Translanguaging in Self-Access Language Advising: Informing Language Policy

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Author(s): John Adamson | Naoki Fujimoto-Adamson

Journal: Studies in Self-Access Learning Journal
ISSN 2185-3762

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 59;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: self-access | translanguaging | language policy

ABSTRACT
This study investigates language advising in a self-access center (SAC) with the purpose of informing language policy. This center is located in a new Japanese university and has shifted from an initially teacher-imposed ‘English-only’ language policy into one which encourages “translanguaging” (Blackledge & Creese, 2010, p. 105) between the students’ and center advisors’ (termed as mentors in this center) L1 (Japanese) and their L2 (English). Data from audio-recordings of interaction with advisors and students and between students themselves, interviews with mentors, and student questionnaires all reveal how translanguaging occurs in practice and how it helps to create a learning space in which the “local, pragmatic coping tactics” (Lin, 2005, p. 46) of code-switching offer a more viable approach for learning than under its initial monolingual policy. Mentor interviews and student questionnaires indicate generally positive attitudes towards translanguaging; however, some students still favor an ‘English-only’ policy. Conclusions reveal that a looser language policy in the center is emerging in which mentors now guide students towards their own individualized language policies. It is argued in this paper that this “code choice” (Levine, 2011) in language use is therefore aligned more closely to the principles of student-direction in self-access use.
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