Abstract: In spite of all language regulations and statutes South Africa has put in place to acknowledge the cultural and linguistic diversity of her citizenry, education in the country still follows the ‘one school, one language’ monolingual approach. Consequently, this has resulted in the systematic segregation, devaluation, and eventual extinction of some languages. This is exacerbated by the accentuation placed on globalization in our curricula and the expansion of English as the preferred global language of instruction and communication. This approach neglects the requirements of learners while culturally impoverishing third-world nations through the degradation of their linguistic ecology. Analysis of both national and international assessment results suggest language of instruction plays a crucial role in the academic achievement of South African science learners. The current study followed a semi- systematic review design, which relies on qualitative data collection methods. We reviewed studies conducted between the years 2020- 2023 on the use of translanguaging in fourth to sixth-grade Natural Sciences classrooms in South Africa. Findings suggest great efficacy of translanguaging as a culturally and socially just pedagogy that also enhances epistemic access among learners taught through a language different from their home language. We therefore recommend the use of translanguaging pedagogy in Natural Sciences classrooms.
Keywords: Cultural diversity; monolingualism; translanguaging; linguistic repertoire, science education
- Bhasin, A., Castro, M., & Román, D. (2023). Translanguaging through the lens of social justice: unpacking educators’ understanding and practices. International Multilingual Research Journal, 1-14.
- Gee, J. (2015). Social linguistics and literacies: Ideology in discourses. Routledge.
- Flores, S. Y., & Murillo, E. G. (2001). Power, language, and ideology: Historical and contemporary notes on the dismantling of bilingual education. The Urban Review, 33, 183-206.
- RSA (Republic of South Africa) (1997). Language-in-education policy Cape Town: https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_document/201409/languageeducationpolicy19971.pdf
- Charamba, E. (2023). Translanguaging as bona fide practice in a multilingual South African science classroom. International Review of Education, 1-20. DOI: 10.1007/s11159-023-09990-0
- García, O. (2009). Bilingual Education in the 21st Century: A Global Perspective. Malden: Blackwell.
- Gee, J. (2015). Social Linguistics and Literacies: Ideology in Discourses. 5th ed. New York, NY: Routledge.
- Calafato, R. (2019). The non-native speaker teacher as proficient multilingual: A critical review of research from 2009–2018. Lingua, 227, 102700.
- García, O., & Kleifgen, J. A. (2011). Bilingualism for equity and excellence in minority education: The United States. In K. Van den Branden, P. Van Avermaet, & M. Van Houtte (Eds.), Equity and excellence in education (pp. 166–189). New York: Routledge.
- Yilmaz, T. (2021). Translanguaging as a pedagogy for equity of language minoritized students. International Journal of Multilingualism, 18(3), 435-454.
- Department of Basic Education National Senior Certificate School Subject Report. (2022). National Senior Certificate School Subject Report. Pretoria: DBE.
- Department of Education Physical Sciences CAPS Document. (2012). Physical Sciences CAPS Document. Pretoria, South Africa: DBE.
- Msimanga, A., Denley, P., & Gumede, N. (2017). The pedagogical role of language in science teaching and learning in South Africa: A review of research 1990–2015. African Journal of Research in Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 21(3), 245-255.
- Grain, K. M., & Land, D. E. (2017). The social justice turn: Cultivating’critical hope’in an age of despair. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning, 23(1).
- Dixon, K., & Peake, K. (2008). “Straight for English”: Using School Language Policy to Resist Multilingualism. English Teaching: Practice and Critique, 7(1), 73-90.
- Hooijer, E., & Fourie, J. (2009). Teacher’s perspective of multilingual classrooms in a South African school. Education as Change, 13(1), 135-151.
- Charamba, E. (2020). Translanguaging: developing scientific scholarship in a multilingual classroom. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 41(8), 655-672.
- Gonzalez, N. (2005). Beyond culture: The hybridity of funds of knowledge. In. N. Gonzalez, LC Moll & C. Amanti (Eds.), Funds of knowledge: Theorizing practices in households, communities and classrooms (pp. 29-46).
- Stroupe, D., Moon, J., & Michaels, S. (2019). Introduction to special issue: Epistemic tools in science education. Science Education, 103(4), 948-951.
- Charamba, E. (2021). Learning and language: towards a reconceptualization of their mutual interdependences in a multilingual science class. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 42(6), 503-521.
- Ollerhead, S. (2019). Teaching across semiotic modes with multilingual learners: Translanguaging in an Australian classroom. Language and Education, 33(2), 106-122.
- Dragojevic, M., & Giles, H. (2016). I don’t like you because you’re hard to understand: The role of processing fluency in the language attitudes process. Human Communication Research, 42(3), 396-420.
- Ramirez, P., & Ross, L. (2019). Secondary dual-language learners and emerging pedagogies: The intersectionality of language, culture, and community. Theory into Practice, 58(2), 176-184.
- Kress, G. (2010). Multimodality. A Social Semiotic Approach to Contemporary Communication. London: Routledge.
- Stevenson, A. R. (2013). “How Fifth Grade Latino/a Bilingual Students Use Their Linguistic Resources in the Classroom and Laboratory During Science Instruction.” Cultural Studies of Science Education 5 (4): 973–989
- Grosjean, F. (2010). Bilingual: Life and Reality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- Snyder, H. (2019). Literature review as a research methodology: An overview and guidelines. Journal of business research, 104, 333-339.
- Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative research in psychology, 3(2), 77-101.
- Javadi, M., & Zarea, K. (2016). Understanding thematic analysis and its pitfall. Demo, 1(1),33- 39.
- Charamba, E. (2022). Bridging Discourses in Science Education Through Translanguaging Amongst Sixth-Grade Students in the Free State Province. Journal of Educational Studies, 21(3), 26-46.
- Omidire, M. F., & Ayob, S. (2022). The utilisation of translanguaging for learning and teaching in multilingual primary classrooms. Multilingua, 41(1), 105-129.
- Hattingh, A., McKinney, C., Msimanga, A., Probyn, M., & Tyler, R. (2022). Translanguaging in science education in South African classrooms: Challenging constraining ideologies for science teacher education. In Jakobsson, Nygård Larsson & KarlssonTranslanguaging in Science Education (pp. 231-256).
- Charamba, E (2022).Discontinuous Continuities: Translanguaging as a Culturally Responsive Multilingual Pedagogy for Epistemic Access. Cross-Cultural Studies: Education and Science, Vol. 7, Issue 3 (2022), pp. 70-79
- Gort, M. (2015). Transforming literacy learning and teaching through translanguaging and other typical practices associated with “doing being bilingual”. International Multilingual Research Journal, 9(1), 1-6.
- Heugh, K. (2015). Epistemologies in multilingual education: Translanguaging and genre– companions in conversation with policy and practice. Language and Education, 29(3), 280-285.
- Williams, C. (1994). Arfarniad o ddulliau dysgu ac addysgu yng nghyd-destun addysg uwchradd ddwyieithog. Bangor University (United Kingdom).
- Otheguy, R., García, O., & Reid, W. (2015). Clarifying translanguaging and deconstructing named languages: A perspective from linguistics. Applied Linguistics Review, 6(3), 281- 307.
- Wei, L., & García, O. (2022). Not a first language but one repertoire: Translanguaging as a decolonizing project. RELC Journal, 53(2), 313-324.
- Cenoz, J., & Gorter, D. (2022). Pedagogical translanguaging and its application to language classes. RELC Journal, 53(2), 342-354.
Information about Authors: Shalom Nokuthula Ndhlovana: Is a tutor in the School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Fields of Interest: Researches and writes on issues of inclusive education, multilingualism, transformation and decolonization of education.
Erasmos Charamba: Is a Lecturer in the School of Education, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. Fields of Interest: Literacy, science education, multilingualism, inclusive education. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For citation: Shalom Nokuthula Ndhlovana , Erasmos Charamba, (2023).
Sink or Swim? Choosing to Swim Through Translanguaging
Pedagogies in a Culturally Diverse Natural Sciences Classroom.
Cross-Cultural Studies: Education and Science, Vol. 8, Issue 2 (2023), pp. 65-73 (in USA)
Manuscript received 07/06/2023
Accepted for publication: 08/07/2023
CC BY 4.0