Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Dr. Alyssa Cavazos
Dr. Genevieve Garcia de Mueller
Dr. Randall Monty
I take the work of Lorimer and Nowacek in “Transfer and Translingualism,” as a starting point to address these questions. In “Transfer and Translingualism” they argue that transfer and translingualism “both index movement among contexts, practices, or meaning” while “neither suggests a neutral carrying over of knowledge from one context or language to another” (260) and thus acknowledge prior knowledge and prior experience. Lorimer and Nowacek call for transfer researchers to look at language diversity “beyond recognition of difference to the matrices of power that regulate that difference” and to ask questions about how to measure transfer (261-262). Consequently, in my data collection and analysis, I look specifically for language diversity rather than ignoring it or coding it as “zero transfer.”
To answer these questions, I use a semi-practitioner inquiry and grounded approach to conducted two semester long case studies, with three sequential interviews for each participant. Preliminary results indicate that that while students may be more comfortable in Spanish, they see school and classwork and writing, even their notes, as an academic setting requiring the use of English only. While they may be processing information in one language, they are communicating in another. Consequently, they may not always be able to show that they are thinking critically in English, and chose to stay silent because of the language difference. Leonard, Rebecca Lorimer, and Rebecca Nowacek. "Transfer and translingualism." College English78.3 (2016): 258.
Dibrell, Norma Denae, "How Do We Teach All Students in Monolingual Classrooms? A Study of Transfer and Translingualism" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 240.