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How Effective Are Monolingual Language, Writing, and Assessment Practices for Multilingual Students in English courses in College? An Exploration of Multilingual Pedagogical Perspectives (Maria Chiras, McGill University, Canada)

What:
Talk
When:
4:00 PM, Thursday 29 Apr 2021 EDT (30 minutes)
Where:
  Virtual session
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Maria Chiras, McGill University, Canada

Title: How Effective Are Monolingual Language, Writing, and Assessment Practices for Multilingual Students in English courses in College? An Exploration of Multilingual Pedagogical Perspectives

Keywords: Multilingual Students; Monolingual Language Writing and Assessment Practices; Multilingual Pedagogical Perspectives; English in Quebec Colleges

Abstract:

In Quebec, Canada, language and education policies legislate a unique linguistic landscape, privileging monolingual ideologies in language education, writing, and assessment practices, which can marginalize multilingual and multicultural students who have diverse and complex language and education backgrounds and experiences (Mahboob & Szenes, 2010; Pennycook, 2010). Although linguistic and cultural diversity is a reality in Quebec, this diversity is often overlooked in educational settings, including in English courses in English colleges.

The fact that students’ linguistic practices transcend current language instruction has incited scholars to question monolingual or the “myth of linguistic homogeneity” (Matsuda, 2013). Monolingual policies assume that separating languages is the default best practice for students. However, monolingual language instruction is problematic for multilingual students (García, 2009; Matsuda, 2013), in particular, since language proficiency is the main site where success or failure is determined for students in higher education (Strickland, 2001).

To address issues of diversity in language education, multilingual and translingual perspectives seek to move beyond monolingual approaches to language education by valuing and integrating students’ cultural and linguistic competencies in the classroom (Galante, 2019; Lau et al., 2016; Matsuda, 2013). Multilingual and translingual approaches support the view that students’ complex and diverse language use is an integral component and resource in their learning process (Galante, 2019; Lau et al., 2016; Matsuda, 2013).

This presentation is part of a larger study examining discourses about language education in ministerial and college policies related to first-year English courses. Using critical discourse perspectives, I will begin by examining the relationship between student success and language and writing for multilingual students. Second, I will address how writing, language education, and assessment criteria is conceptualized, how students are considered and constructed in curricula and policies. Finally, I will conclude by proposing pedagogical and assessment practices for language education in multilingual education environments.