I first met Cristina Paul at Twitter Math Camp this summer. She recently began her blog entitled Neglected Thoughts, and her first post speaks powerfully of her experiences as a dual language mathematics teacher and of her work with the UCLA Mathematics Project. She is an advocate of her Latinx charges, and urges us to respectfully observe the rich knowledge dual language teachers possess. You have probably seen her Spanish versions of WODB on Twitter like this example:
Her most recent post, On Fidelity, seeks to explain the importance of translanguaging and all its nuances. Although I had a basic knowledge of it, Cristina, a trilingual herself, patiently explained the answers to some of my questions. This post offers so much more.
Translanguaging is more than switching from one language to the next, as I once thought. As she explained in a DM:
Translanguaging is the idea that bilinguals are not two monolinguals trapped in one brain. It acknowledges the richness of our lived experiences and that multilinguals should have opportunities to use their full linguistic repertoire. Translanguaging does not believe in siloing languages. Although it does recognize that sometimes one language may need to be protected from being overtaken by a “language of power”.
Her blog post begins with her description of her journey as a student in a monolingual world. She then describes how the embrace of translanguaging has evolved in her life and teaching of students and leading professional development. She gives us a new view of what is possible when we let go of our assumptions and our allegiance to conventional views of teaching and learning.
As I read her piece, so many thoughts emerged related to student and educator identity, and how it shapes our learning and teaching experiences. Cristina offers us quite a bit to chew on here, and I look forward to her continued writing.
Written by Marian Dingle (@DingleTeach)