Discourses of Coloniality in the Understanding and Practices of Translanguaging Pedagogy

Gabriela M Dolsa, University of Texas at El Paso


Dual language (DL) education has been regarded as a means toward equity and social justice for linguistic minorities. Several studies, however, question if DL programs can, in fact, overcome inequities in the education of emergent bilinguals. This ethnographic study followed these inquiries and explored how translanguaging theory and pedagogy could transform DL education to better serve social justice purposes in this US-Mexico border context. For translanguaging to achieve this, it is fundamental to know how DL educators understand and practice translanguaging in their classrooms. This study revealed that teachers’ understandings and practices of translanguaging were embedded in ideologies of coloniality that reproduced normative whiteness and perpetuated processes of coloniality within these DL programs. Drawing from coloniality theory (Maldonado-Torres, 2007; Mignolo & Walsh, 2018) and translanguaging theory (García, 2009) this study analyzed DL educators’ discourses that reappropriate concepts intended to dismantle limiting views and practices to achieve equity in the education of emergent bilinguals. This study underscores the necessity of creating a culture of inquiry and ideological exploration when forming DL educators so that they may develop a stance focused on the goals of equity and social justice. Translanguaging pedagogy is a decolonizing tool that can create spaces where pre-service and in-service teachers learn to value their own linguistic richness and identities and to value their students’ identities and linguistic repertoires, as well.

Subject Area

Teacher education|Multicultural Education|Bilingual education

Recommended Citation

Dolsa, Gabriela M, "Discourses of Coloniality in the Understanding and Practices of Translanguaging Pedagogy" (2020). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI28262436.