ThesisPDF Available

"Speak English -Don't Be Lazy!": Exploring Decolonial Approaches to Multilingual Education through a Case Study of an International School in Colombia

Authors:

Abstract

The promotion of language ideologies, policies and pedagogies that treat languages as separate and hierarchical has become a central concern for critical education scholars. In this case study, I explore how school actors at Colegio Colombiano (CC), an international school in Colombia, engaged with critical approaches to bi/multilingual education to leverage the fluid identities and languaging practices of plurilingual teachers and students. In my first data chapter, I place CC within its larger educational context by showing how a logic of coloniality informs both public and private K-12 foreign language education in Colombia. This logic of coloniality reflects a hierarchy of actors within the field of foreign language education in Colombia with external international organizations holding significant power and influence over local priorities. I build on these findings to call international schools into current conversations about decolonizing language education in Colombia. In my second data chapter, I consider how school actors’ language ideologies impacted the creation and enactment of language policies at CC. I describe a spectrum to show how faculty demonstrated a significant shift away from hegemonic ideologies and oppressive language policies through an increasing recognition of the importance of Spanish. While explicit messages about English as superior were no longer officially promoted at CC, colonialistic ideologies and policies persisted which valorized English, denigrated Spanish, and completely ignored other societal and home languages. In my final data chapter, I explore how teachers and students engaged with translanguaging pedagogies. While many teachers expressed a desire to leverage their and their students’ plurilingual repertoires they felt limited by significant obstacles, including the school’s strict model of language separation. Elementary students generally demonstrated a willingness to engage with translanguaging pedagogies, while older students expressed a complex resistance as they negotiated their bilingual identities. In my concluding chapter, I return to the identified logic of coloniality to discuss how international school communities can unveil and interrogate colonialistic understandings of languages, language users and languaging practices. I propose the Decolonizing International Multilingual Education (DIME) framework as a tool to guide schools in the work of decolonizing their language programs.
A preview of the PDF is not available
ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
Article
Full-text available
In this article, we explore glocality within a transnational network of independent schools to understand the interdependence of the global and the local in language policies and practices. Using glocality as a lens, we draw on narrative school profiles written by educators at member schools within the WIDA International School Consortium, a network of 500 K-12 international schools, to examine how global practices are localized within different school contexts. We explore how key aspects of glocality, such as the blurring of boundaries across languages and shifting dynamics of power, become visible as international schools function as hybrid and transnational spaces in which diverse languages and identities intersect. We utilize our role as insider researchers to describe two new directions within our research context. First, we identify a shift from a global network initiated through US-based school-university partnerships towards an increasingly reciprocal exchange among international member schools, with reflexive sharing of ideas and practices between educators and stakeholders across geographic contexts. Second, we identify the increasing presence of a new type of international schools, described in this paper as "glocal" schools, which reflect the deterritorialization of language and an intentional hybridity. The emergence of glocal schools as well as the noted shifts in language and power, illustrate the transcendence of borders and identities closely tied to the concept of glocality. In order to understand the trends observed in this research context, we analyzed 34 narrative school profiles written by member schools and describe connections between macro network-level shifts and micro school-level shifts. Through our analysis, we found individual member schools adapted tools and resources to serve local needs, contextualizing them within a particular program context. As a result, educators shifted how they viewed multilingual learners and multilingualism with respect to English as a medium of instruction. This initial study provides important insights into how glocality as a construct helps explain significant changes occurring within the field of international education.
Article
Full-text available
From the lens of coloniality, monoglossic and hegemonic language ideologies and policies exist within public and private bilingual education in Colombia which oppress students’ and teachers’ diverse linguistic identities and languaging practices. This article draws on critical scholarship which recognizes the need to decolonize language education. As such, it includes a review of key literature from the fields of language ideologies, language policy, and classroom languaging practices to consider alternative approaches to bilingual education from a heteroglossic stance, including translanguaging and critical multilingual language awareness. The literature review suggests that within the Colombian context, hegemonic and monoglossic ideologies and practices are present within international private bilingual schools and through the National Bilingual Program. In addition, an underlying logic of coloniality exists in both public and private language education as both contexts hold foreign languages, expertise, and relationships as more valuable than their local equivalents. However, recent classroom-based research in Colombia indicates promising new heteroglossic approaches which not only acknowledge the benefits, but also support diverse linguistic identities and practices.
Article
Full-text available
In English-medium instruction (EMI), English-as-a-second-language students will learn all/some subjects through English. Although there are a considerable number of studies which explore classroom interaction in Hong Kong (HK) secondary EMI schools, few studies have investigated EMI lessons which involve South Asian ethnic minorised students. These students share different linguistic and cultural backgrounds and they may not share a common first language with the teacher and other classmates. This study conducts a multimodal conversation analysis of science and mathematics lessons at a HK EMI secondary school, triangulated with interview data, in order to explore how the EMI teacher mobilises various resources to make discipline-specific knowledge accessible and cater for the different needs of all students in the classroom. This study argues that the process of enacting inclusive practices is a process of translanguaging which requires the EMI teacher to mobilise various available multilingual and semiotic resources and draw on what students know collectively for transcending cultural boundaries from the students’ everyday culture to cultures of school science and mathematics.
Article
Full-text available
In times of geocultural subalternization of knowledge and education, English language teaching (ELT) is torn between subalternizingpolicies and subjectivatingpractices. Within this context, ELT teacher educators face policies and discourses aimed at framing their teaching practices, professional lives, and research agendas. However, at the same time, they are expected to engage in practices and processes that allow for personal adaptation and social change. Amid this ambivalence, this reflectionpaper makes a call todecolonize ELT in Colombia. To this effect, this paper reviews some basic epistemologicalperspectives such as colonialism and decolonial studies. Then,itproposes the decolonization of ELT, along witha grammar of decolonialitybased on discursivealternativesabout power, knowledge, and being with the potential ofbringing about a transformative teacher subjectivation. The main conclusion is that the Colombian ELT community needsto first deconstruct dominant structures and strategies thatenactepistemic and cultural dominance of the global north,and thenconstruct alternative discourses and practices that acknowledge and disseminate the singularities of itsknowledge and culture.
Article
Full-text available
Pedagogical translanguaging has emerged as an important strategy facilitating the sustainable use of English as a Medium of Instruction (EMI) in educational settings. This mixed-method study, conducted in an EMI finance classroom at an international school in Shanghai, China, investigates the translanguaging practices of students in classroom interactions as well as their attitudes toward translanguaging as a communicative and pedagogical strategy. Drawing on video-assisted classroom observations and semistructured interviews, this study reveals that the participants’ translanguaging practices are motivated by ease of communication, facilitated by contextual resources, and reflect their strategic maneuvering of the linguistic resources in their repertoires. The data also suggest that the participants are generally positive about translanguaging as an aid in comprehension and for the enhancement of content learning. Some participants, however, expressed reservations about the acceptance of translanguaging as a standard, formal linguistic choice. The findings suggest that EMI teachers should recognize the linguistic resources of students in their entirety and incorporate them into classroom activities to promote biliteracy and the learning of academic content.
Article
This article presents our narration of the emergence and development of a research area about the teaching and learning of the English language in Colombia and the creation of a research group named Critical Studies of Colombian Education Policies. The narration includes a description of the bilingual education policy in Colombia and a literature review of how the themes Different Shades of the Colombian National Plan of Bilingualism and Theoretical and Practical Concerns over Bilingualism have been addressed by authors of local journals, such as How, Profile, Íkala, and Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, in the issues published from 2008 to 2020. The description and literature review link the life stories of our growth as teachers and researchers as related to the research area and research group mentioned above. A final part of the narration refers to our contributions to the ELT field in Colombia through the following two themes: Dimensions of Language Policies: A Political Discourse Perspective and Making Teachers’ Agency Relevant: Bottom-up Approaches to the Study of Language Education Policies.
Chapter
This chapter describes a collaborative Business English project between TESOL teacher-candidates at one university in the United States and a non-profit organization in Kenya as a professional development opportunity for their youth to meet their entrepreneurial goals. Though the intention was to develop curriculum that was responsive to the needs of the Kenyan youth, it became clear that more research and preparation was required for the teacher candidates in order to curate materials and resources, and tailor feedback practices to truly support the linguistically unique and complex needs of the students from a Global Englishes paradigm in this post-colonial context. The chapter concludes with suggestions for adaptations to the curriculum for practitioners seeking to engage in similar language teaching and learning opportunities in post-colonial contexts.