Wei Li

Wei Li
University College London | UCL · Institute of Education

PhD, MA, BA, DipEd.

About

173
Publications
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10,421
Citations

Publications

Publications (173)
Data
Mplus Syntax in Li, C., & Wei, L. (2022). Anxiety, enjoyment, and boredom in language learning amongst junior secondary students in rural China: How do they contribute to L2 achievement? Studies in Second Language Acquisition. Published Ahead of Print. DOI: 10.1017/S0272263122000031
Article
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Translanguaging has opened up spaces to recognize the dynamic multilingualism of students in classrooms taught in dominant languages, and problematized concepts such as ‘additive bilingualism’. This article aims to further explore two issues that remain little understood. First, translanguaging is often seen as simply the acknowledgement or use of...
Article
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This study explored how bilingual code-switching habits affect cognitive shifting and inhibition. Habitual code-switching from 31 Mandarin-English bilingual adults were collected through the Language and Social Background Questionnaire (Anderson et al., 2018) and the Bilingual Switching Questionnaire (Rodriguez-Fornells et al., 2012). All participa...
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Building on the control-value theory, the present study examined the independent and joint predictive effects of three emotions, enjoyment, anxiety, and boredom, on L2 achievement over time. The participants of the study were a group of junior secondary English learners in rural China, a population that has hitherto never featured in L2 learning re...
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en This critical essay aims to assess the linguistic ideologies regarding the Chinese writing system by locating them in historical and diasporic contexts and the new digital communication space. Drawing data from a long-term and ongoing digital ethnography of online communication and creative Sinographs in the global Chinese diaspora, it analyses...
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Language play is playing with the rules of language for fun. This article is one of the first attempts at providing an overview of the traditional genres and current trends of language play in and with Chinese, a topic that has received relatively little attention in English. We explore the specific aspects of the Chinese language that are suscepti...
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Following Boaventura de Sousa Santos, the authors of this article reject the type of “abyssal thinking” that erases the existence of counter-hegemonic knowledges and lifeways, adopting instead the “from the inside out” perspective that is required for thinking constructively about the language and education of racialized bilinguals. On the basis of...
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Despite the widespread use of mobile digital devices such as iPads in teaching and learning, there is little research on the ways in which content teachers make use of the technological affordances of the iPad to achieve pedagogical goals in bilingual/multilingual classrooms. This article adopts translanguaging as an analytical perspective to explo...
Article
This is a personal reflection, upon reading the articles in this special issue, on race, nationality and language from a Manchu-Chinese immigrant in the UK's perspective. Through a number of personal stories, I discuss my own experiences with Chineseness on the margins. I also want to explore ways of taking the discussion and research forward in fu...
Article
In this editorial introduction, we outline the key conceptualisations and overarching questions of this collection of studies on the changing faces of the transnational communities in Britain. Using the nexus of migration and language as our critical lens, we examine the internal diversities within the transnational communities in Britain, evident...
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The current study explores how multilingual speakers with three typologically different languages (satellite-framed, verb-framed and equipollent-framed) encode and gauge event similarity in the domain of caused motion. Specifically, it addresses whether, and to what extent, the acquisition of an L2-English and an L3-Japanese reconstructs the lexica...
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Recent studies on classroom discourse have challenged the traditional classroom role set and emphasised equal contributions from the participants and the emergence of knowledge through active participation. Co-learning emphasises the process in which teachers and students attempt to adapt to one another’s behaviour and learn from each other in orde...
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This article revisits the application of Social Network Analysis to the study of language maintenance and language shift in the Chinese community in Britain. An approach that focuses more on individual variations, including variable behaviours by the same speaker in different contexts, is proposed. The approach is illustrated with new data from Chi...
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Recent studies on English-Medium-Instruction (EMI) classroom interaction have begun to look at the role of translanguaging as a pedagogical practice in supporting participants to exploit multilingual and multimodal resources to facilitate content teaching and learning. The present study contributes to this growing body of literature by focussing on...
Article
This introductory paper offers a framing of writing (in) the city as a way of making and knowing cities. We link individual contributions in this collection to earlier research that has examined displayed discourse in urban spaces or considered writing as a metaphor for studying cities.
Article
The present study contributes to a well-established line of applied linguistics research in educational contexts on how teachers can make connections between their students’ out-of-school knowledge and experiences and what they learn in the classroom by examining a hitherto under-explored context, namely English-medium-instruction (EMI) mathematics...
Article
This article is an ethnography of an investigation of an under-explored sociolinguistic phenomenon, namely handwritten signs in public spaces, against a context of urban regeneration and socio-cultural transformation. These signs are a subset of urban communicates that involve handwriting, lettering or the painting of letters and text using differe...
Article
This paper analyses Kongish Daily, a Facebook page that trans-scripts local news in Hong Kong into a creative and dynamic mix of Cantonese in traditional Chinese characters, Romanisation and made-up characters, simplified Chinese, pinyin, English, Hong Kong English, other phonetic symbols, emoji and other signs and images. We trace the origin of th...
Article
Gunther Kress died of a heart attack on June 20, 2019 in Rome, Italy. He was on his way from the hotel to the A-Mode (Approaches to Multimodal Digital Environments: from theories to practices) conference venue to give his plenary speech when he fell ill and passed away later that day in hospital. The world lost a leading thinker in social semiotics...
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Can ‘non‐native’ speakers of English innovate in English? This seemly simple question bothers sociolinguists and sociolinguistic research because we feel uncertain whether the ‘inventive’ productions by ‘non‐native’ speakers should be treated as evidence of creativity or mistakes. This article aims to tackle this question from a translanguaging per...
Article
This article offers an alternative view of mobile learning, moving away from a focus on technology to an emphasis on the mobilization of multiple resources by the learner and the interactivity between the learner and the environment. We present an analysis of an episode of self-directed online learning by a multilingual learner using the perspectiv...
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This paper seeks to address the question how people go about intercultural differences in an institutional setting which aims to mediate between the socio-legal system and the ‘outsiders’ of the system, i.e. ordinary citizens, through an investigation of professional interactions between a legal advisor and her clients of Eastern European backgroun...
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The original discussion of Translanguaging as a pedagogical practice by Williams and Baker included modalities of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. As it has been developed as a theoretical concept, Translanguaging embraces the multimodal social semiotic view that linguistic signs are part of a wider repertoire of modal resources that sign...
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Languages differ typologically in motion event encoding (Talmy, 2000). Furthermore, the cross-linguistic variations in lexicalization modulate cognition in a dynamic and task-dependent manner (Slobin, 1996a). This study aims to investigate whether early Cantonese–English bilinguals behave differently from monolinguals in each language when lexicali...
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This article explores language learning as a process of translanguaging and of cultural translation. We draw examples from a sociolinguistic ethnography of translanguaging practices in a karate club in east London, UK. Formulaic Japanese is taught as part of karate techniques, practised as the language of performance and rituals and valued as the k...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
The volume offers introductions to the notions of competence plurilingue (Véronique Castellotti), translanguaging (Li Wei) and Tertiärsprachendidaktik (Britta Hufeisen) in which the authors, from their respective standpoints, will comment on fundamental differences and possible synergies. We call for theoretical papers or empirical studies in the a...
Article
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The purpose of this article is to explore the role of embodied repertories in teaching and learning in a multi-ethnic karate club in East London and its implications for language teaching and learning. We do so through the lens of translanguaging and apply the concept of translanguaging space where diverse semiotic systems are integrated and orches...
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This article discusses a relatively under-explored phenomenon that we call Tranßcripting – writing, designing and digitally generating new scripts with elements from different scriptal and semiotic systems. The data are drawn from examples of such scripts created by multilingual Chinese users in everyday online social interaction. We analyse the dy...
Article
Full-text available
This article discusses a relatively under-explored phenomenon that we call Tranßcripting - writing, designing and digitally generating new scripts with elements from different scriptal and semiotic systems. The data are drawn from examples of such scripts created by multilingual Chinese users in everyday online social interaction. We analyse the dy...
Article
This article argues that imagination plays a key role in whether and how members of transnational families individually and collectively maintain or relinquish their heritage languages and adopt other languages as part of their multilingual repertoires. Imagination is defined here as the vision of where and what one might be or become at some futur...
Article
The primary aim of this article is to put forward an argument that imagination plays a key role in whether and how members of transnational families individually and collectively maintain or relinquish their heritage languages and adopt other languages as part of their multilingual repertoires. Imagination is defined here as the vision of where and...
Article
Full-text available
During the first half of 2017, four scholars who know English‐medium instruction (EMI) well and view it from different perspectives took part in a round‐robin exchange. The forum contributors answered six sets of questions on aspects of EMI: defining terms; learning English in an EMI environment; the political or policy framework; learning a subjec...
Article
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In this article, we present an analytical approach that focuses on how transnational and translingual learners mobilize their multilingual, multimodal, and multisemiotic repertoires, as well as their learning and work experiences, as resources in language learning. The approach is that of translanguaging , which seeks to push the boundaries not onl...
Article
This article seeks to develop Translanguaging as a theory of language and discuss the theoretical motivations behind and the added values of the concept. I contextualize Translanguaging in the linguistic realities of the 21st century, especially the fluid and dynamic practices that transcend the boundaries between named languages, language varietie...
Article
Full-text available
Aims and objectives/purpose/research questions: The main research question we seek to answer in the present study is: "What effect does reduced input in the non-dominant and dispreferred language have on the acquisition of Russian gender morphology by a bilingual Turkish-Russian child: Is it still sufficient for its monolingual-like development or...
Article
Full-text available
This article seeks to develop Translanguaging as a theory of language and discuss the theoretical motivations behind and the added values of the concept. I contextualize Translanguaging in the linguistic realities of the 21st century, especially the fluid and dynamic practices that transcend the boundaries between named languages, language varietie...
Article
Full-text available
This article investigates how spatial layout, the display of goods, body movement and gaze work alongside verbalised linguistic codes in creating a Translanguaging Space, using data from a linguistic ethnography project in a family retail shop in East London. We argue that while positioning itself as a “Polski Sklep” (Polish shop) in London, the sh...
Article
This study contributes to the discussion about the status of the weaker language (WL) by investigating whether reduced input in Russian in a Turkish-dominant environment is sufficient for monolingual-like acquisition of the WL. We focus on the acquisition of Russian cases by a Turkish-Russian child who has acquired his Russian in the Turkish-domina...
Chapter
This chapter outlines key research perspectives on bilingualism and bilingual education. Three broad perspectives are identified: linguistic, psycholinguistic, and sociolinguistic. The chapter focuses on theoretical questions and methodological approaches within each of the three broad perspectives and highlights the differences and links across ea...
Chapter
Translanguaging research has recently increased in visibility. But research in what we now term translanguaging is not new. This chapter traces its development from its Welsh origins to worldwide translanguaging research today. It grounds this development in the increased questioning of monolingual practices, especially in education, that were the...
Article
The article examines the significance of questions such as “where are you really from?” in everyday conversational interactions. Defining this kind of talk as nationality and ethnicity talk (NET), i. e. discourse that either explicitly or inexplicitly evokes one’s nationality or ethnicity in everyday conversation, the paper discusses what constitut...
Article
Abstract The article examines the significance of questions such as “where are you really from?” in everyday conversational interactions. Defining this kind of talk as nationality and ethnicity talk (NET), i.e. discourse that either explicitly or inexplicitly evokes one’s nationality or ethnicity in everyday conversation, the paper discusses what c...
Article
Building on the extensive ELF research that aims to reconceptualise English as a resource that can be appropriated and exploited without allegiance to its historically native speakers, this article explores the issue of English in China by examining New Chinglish that has been created and shared by a new generation of Chinese speakers of English in...
Article
Transnational and multilingual families have become commonplace in the twenty-first century. Yet relatively few attempts have been made from applied and socio-linguistic perspectives to understand what is going on within such families; how their transnational and multilingual experiences impact on the family dynamics and their everyday life; how th...
Chapter
This chapter outlines key research perspectives on bilingualism and bilingual education. Three broad perspectives are identified: linguistic, psycholinguistic, and sociolinguistic. The chapter focuses on theoretical questions and methodological approaches within each of the three broad perspectives and highlights the differences and links across ea...
Chapter
Translanguaging research has recently increased in visibility. But research in what we now term translanguaging is not new. This chapter traces its development from its Welsh origins to worldwide translanguaging research today. It grounds this development in the increased questioning of monolingual practices, especially in education, that were the...
Chapter
Despite the apparent connection, the concept of multi-competence (MC) was not proposed as a corrective to the Chomskyan competence-performance distinction (e.g. Chomsky 1965), nor was it intended to add to the expanding list of usage-focused competences (e.g. communicative competence, symbolic competence). As discussed in detail in Chapter 1 of thi...
Book
How are two or more languages learned and contained in the same mind or the same community? This handbook presents an up-to-date view of the concept of multi-competence, exploring the research questions it has generated and the methods that have been used to investigate it. The book brings together psychologists, sociolinguists, Second Language Acq...
Article
Full-text available
Aims and objectives/purpose/research questions: This study aims to contribute to the discussion about the weaker language development by examining the effect of restricted input and use on the acquisition of the morphological category of aspect in Russian by a Turkish–Russian bilingual child in a Turkish-dominant environment. The main goal the stud...
Article
Full-text available
This study further explores the theme of bilingual creativity with the present focus on code-switching. Specifically, it investigates whether code-switching practice has an impact on creativity. In line with the previous research, selective attention was proposed as a potential cognitive mechanism, which on the one hand would benefit from extensive...
Article
Full-text available
In a multilingual society, language not only reflects culture and heritage, but also has implications for social status and the degree of integration in society. Different languages can be a barrier between monolingual communities, and the dynamics of language choice could explain the prosperity or demise of local languages in an international sett...
Article
The articles in this thematic issue document studies of grassroots actions in promoting multilingualism across different sectors of society as well as in different social and professional domains. In doing so, the contributors raise issues of the relevance of the notion of community in the age of superdiversity and the researcher's responsibility i...
Article
This article examines multilingual interactions in the complementary school classroom for ethnic Chinese children in the UK. Through a detailed analysis of classroom exchanges amongst the children and their teachers, the study aims to demonstrate how they alternate between different varieties of Chinese and English and different modes of communicat...
Article
Full-text available
Code-switching (CS) is central to many bilingual communities and, though linguistic and sociolinguistic research has characterised different types of code-switches (alternations, insertions, dense CS), the cognitive control processes (CPs) that mediate them are not well understood. A key issue is how during CS speakers produce the right words in th...
Article
Chinese has been the fastest growing modern foreign language in British schools and universities in the last decade, due largely to the perceived growing importance of mainland China as a global economic and political power and the substantial investment in Confucius Institutes (CIs) and Classrooms (CCs) by the Chinese government. This article focu...
Book
This book addresses how the new linguistic concept of ‘Translanguaging’ has contributed to our understandings of language, bilingualism and education, with potential to transform not only semiotic systems and speaker subjectivities, but also social structures.
Chapter
In contrast to the pupil-directed translanguaging presented in Chapter 5, this chapter looks at translanguaging to teach, that is, at teacher-directed translanguaging, and its transformative potential. Translanguaging as pedagogy is contextualized through cases of how teachers with different characteristics use it in a variety of classrooms. The ch...
Chapter
This chapter traces the development of a theory of translanguaging in education, from its Welsh beginnings, and its relationship to the important educational concepts of creativity and criticality. The chapter explicitly states why it is important to go from bilingualism in education to translanguaging in education, and the impact of this shift to...
Chapter
The short conclusion reminds readers that translanguaging extends our traditional definitions of language and bilingualism and disrupts traditional boundaries; and although important in mediating complex social and cognitive activities, it is seldom used in schools. The conclusion reminds readers of the potential of translanguaging as a way to prod...
Chapter
Chapter 5 turns to how translanguaging is used by students to learn. We develop here the concept of pupil-directed translanguaging. After a discussion of its meaning, the chapter presents cases of how translanguaging is used by kindergarteners who are at the beginning stages of the bilingual continuum, and by bilingual students in order to write.
Chapter
In some ways this chapter summarizes and contextualizes the chapters in Part II, and presents important challenges to translanguaging in education. The chapter starts by presenting Principles and Strategies for translanguaging as pedagogy. Because teacher education would be so important for the acceptance of translanguaging in classrooms, the chapt...
Chapter
This first chapter explores the shifts that have recently taken place as traditional understandings of language and bilingualism are transformed. After reflecting on views of language, the chapter introduces the concept of languaging, and follows its emergence among scholars and as it has developed in the sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic litera...
Chapter
As the first chapter in Part II, this chapter turns its attention to education. Focusing on the growing multilingualism in schools, the chapter reviews traditional definitions and types of bilingual education. It frames foreign/second language education, as well as bilingual education, as ways of enacting parallel monolingualisms, and then reviews...
Chapter
This chapter traces the development of a translanguaging theory from its origins in Wales. It draws differences between translanguaging and code-switching, describes it as the discursive norm among bilinguals, and considers the speakers’ construction of a translanguaging space. The chapter also looks at the relationship of translanguaging to Dynami...
Article
Full-text available
The nature of diaspora is changing in the 21st century. Yet many of the communication issues remain the same. At the heart of it is multilingual and intercultural communication across time and space. There is much that applied linguists can contribute to the understanding of diaspora in the era of globalization. This article discusses some of the c...
Article
There are thousands of ethnic Chinese students from different backgrounds in British universities today, a fact that has not been fully appreciated or studied from an applied linguistics perspective. For example, there are third- or fourth-generation British-born Chinese; there are students from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore who have recei...
Article
Full-text available
The present study investigates inter-individual variation (linked to personality traits, multilingualism and sociobiographical variables) in attitudes towards code-switching (CS) among 2070 multilinguals. Data were collected through an on-line questionnaire. We found that high levels of Tolerance of Ambiguity and Cognitive Empathy, and low levels o...
Chapter
Book synopsis: In this complete survey of the theories, methods, and key findings within applied linguistics, students are introduced to core research questions and the various approaches to tackling these. • Provides a comprehensive introduction to this interdisciplinary field of research and practice, dealing with practical issues of language a...
Chapter
Book synopsis: In this complete survey of the theories, methods, and key findings within applied linguistics, students are introduced to core research questions and the various approaches to tackling these. • Provides a comprehensive introduction to this interdisciplinary field of research and practice, dealing with practical issues of language a...
Chapter
Book synopsis: In this complete survey of the theories, methods, and key findings within applied linguistics, students are introduced to core research questions and the various approaches to tackling these. • Provides a comprehensive introduction to this interdisciplinary field of research and practice, dealing with practical issues of language a...
Chapter
Book synopsis: In this complete survey of the theories, methods, and key findings within applied linguistics, students are introduced to core research questions and the various approaches to tackling these. • Provides a comprehensive introduction to this interdisciplinary field of research and practice, dealing with practical issues of language a...
Article
Global migration has had significant impact on the traditional configuration of the classroom role set. The language teacher may be teaching a group of learners with highly mixed interests, abilities, learning histories and exposures to the target language, while the language learner may be confronted with so many different models of the target lan...
Article
Full-text available
The present study investigates the link between multilingualism and the personality trait Tolerance of Ambiguity (TA) among 2158 mono-, bi- and multilinguals. Monolinguals and bilinguals scored significantly lower on TA compared to multilinguals. A high level of global proficiency of various languages was linked to higher TA scores. A stay abroad o...
Chapter
This article synthesizes the key research questions in the field of bilingualism and multilingualism, including the conditions that facilitate the learning and use of multiple languages, and what it means to be a bilingual or multilingual individual. It begins with a discussion of the key pathways to bilingualism, moving on to the personal, environ...
Article
Full-text available
The present study investigates the link between multilingualism and the personality trait of cognitive empathy among 2158 mono- and multilinguals. Data were collected through an online questionnaire. Statistical analyses revealed that the knowledge of more languages was not linked to cognitive empathy. Bilingual upbringing and the experience of hav...
Article
This article examines the multilingual and multimodal practices of British Chinese children in complementary school classes from a multicompetence perspective. Using classroom interaction data from a number of Chinese complementary schools in 3 different cities in England, the article argues that the multicompetence perspective enables a holistic l...
Book
This volume contributes to the debates about the social aspects of bilingualism, focusing on the various opportunities and challenges bilingualism presents to today's society. The contributions in this volume are of a prospective stance, delineating directions for future research on bilingualism and/or identifying important issues which have been u...
Article
Translanguaging is both going between different linguistic structures and systems and going beyond them. It includes the full range of linguistic performances of multilingual language users for purposes that transcend the combination of structures, the alternation between systems, the transmission of information and the representation of values, id...
Book
The Routledge Applied Linguistics Reader is an essential collection of readings for students of Applied Linguistics. Divided into five sections: Language Teaching and Learning, Second Language Acquisition, Applied Linguistics, Identity and Power and Language Use in Professional Contexts, the Reader takes a broad interpretation of the subject from i...
Article
Full-text available
Book synopsis: Although there is an extensive literature on the teaching of English as a Second or Other Language, there is very little published research on the teaching or learning of Chinese in similar contexts. This book is the first to bring together research into the teaching and learning of Chinese as a foreign language to non-native speaker...
Chapter
One aspect of English in Europe today, particularly in Britain, is the fact that many children with an L1 that is not English acquire English outside the home at a very early age. This paper focuses on the acquisition of English by young Chinese children who were born in China but moved to Britain at around one year of age. As such this paper addre...
Article
The so-called Chinese diasporas, i.e. Chinese communities outside Greater China (China, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan), have traditionally been dialect dominant; that is, the vast majority of Chinese immigrants are speakers of (especially Southern) dialects. Cantonese and Hokkien are two of the most prominent dialects. With globalization and the ris...

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Projects

Projects (6)
Project
the National Social Science Fund of China 国家社科基金青年项目《学习环境对农村留守儿童英语学习行为的影响及其心理机制研究》(项目号19CYY017)(2019-)
Project
The latest British Council report suggests that there are approximately 9000 English-Medium-Instruction (EMI) programmes in the world (Dearden, 2014). In EMI, English-as-a-Second-Language students will learn all/some subjects through English. Recently, such a practice is challenged by applied linguists who argue that the knowledge of other languages that the learners already have plays a crucial role in learning and that translanguaging can facilitate content learning. Translanguaging refers to the exploitation of multiple languages and semiotic resources in the multilinguals’ repertoires. Yet there is limited research on translanguaging as a pedagogy in content classrooms, as well as on EMI teachers’ reflections on their translanguaging practices. This study will conduct a linguistic ethnographic investigation in Hong Kong EMI secondary geography and history classrooms. Methodologically, this study will integrate Multimodal Conversation Analysis (MCA) with Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. MCA is different from conventional Conversation Analysis since MCA focuses on the multimodal dimension of talk-in-interaction. This unique combination involves observing participant’s pedagogical practices over time as well as understanding the teachers’ reflections on classroom practices. This study will explore how translanguaging is employed to achieve the teachers' pedagogical goals at particular moments in the lessons and how teachers’ understandings of their translanguaging practices are articulated through interviews. The findings can offer an empirical basis for developing translanguaging as an alternative approach to current EMI policy and practice and discovering the classroom conditions required for the translanguaging practices to succeed. This allows teachers to employ translanguaging to achieve their pedagogical goals, bridge communication gaps and empower the learners. Principal Investigator: Kevin W. H. Tai Main Supervisor: Professor Li Wei Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) +3 Doctoral Award (approximately £75,000) ESRC Grant Reference: ES/P000592/1 https://gtr.ukri.org/projects?ref=studentship-2229366
Project
The effects of emotions on memory consolidation