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Translanguaging practices in subject matter teaching and learning in bilingual or multilingual contexts

Pratiques translangagières dans l’enseignement-apprentissage des disciplines en contexte bilingue ou plurilingue

Revue « Lidil », numéro 67

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Published on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 by Céline Guilleux


Ce numéro de Lidil aura pour objet l’analyse de pratiques translangagières en classe dans les contextes où deux langues, ou plus, sont utilisées comme médiums d’enseignement, que ce soit à l’échelle d’un système éducatif - comme dans le cas de pays tels que le Burundi ou Madagascar - ou à celle d’établissements, voire de quelques classes, comme dans le cas de programmes de type CLIL-EMILE.


N° 67 – may 2023


  • Sophie Babault, UMR 8163 Savoirs, Textes, Langage, Université de Lille
  • Margaret Bento, EA 4071 Éducation, Discours, Apprentissages, Université de Paris


The purpose of this issue will be to analyse translanguaging practices in the classroom in contexts where two or more languages are used as mediums of instruction, whether at the level of an education system - as in the case of countries such as Burundi or Madagascar - or at the level of schools or even classes - as in the case of CLIL-EMILE-type programmes. Although they are extremely diverse (Baker, 2011), most bilingual programmes are still organised according to a distribution of languages between different subjects or levels of education, which leads to many problems from a didactic point of view: artificial compartmentalisation between the languages used, didactic breaks when switching to another language, lack of explicit bridges between the knowledge developed in one language or another, insufficient consideration of possible language difficulties of students, etc. Faced with this, a significant number of researchers and practitioners (among others Babault, 2013; Babault, Markey, 2016; Causa, 2009; Cavalli, 2005; Coste, 2003; Coyle, 2013; Coyle, Hood, Marsh, 2010; Duverger, 2007; Gajo, 2006; Gajo, Grobet, Steffen, 2015; Garcia, Wei, 2013; Poza, 2018 ; Steffen, Borel, 2011) argue for didactic approaches using languages in a complementary way not only for a better learning of disciplinary knowledge but also with a view to developing solid bi- or plurilingual skills, as the valorisation of the whole language repertoire brings in its wake a significant social added value. In various regions of the world, experiments have been launched to implement such types of approaches.

Drawing on the definition of translanguaging proposed by García (2009: 45), we mean by translanguaging practices in the teaching-learning of disciplines didactic approaches based on an articulation between two or more languages for the construction of students' academic knowledge and skills in subjects such as mathematics, science, history, geography, etc. This articulation may take place at different levels: teaching process stages, class interactions, learning strategies, teaching materials (e.g. by involving publishers, with possible economic and political consequences).

Understanding the ways in which translanguaging practices are implemented requires not only didactic analyses but also linguistic and sociolinguistic insights into subject matter teaching & learning. The status of languages within and outside the school raises the question of their place in the language practices associated with the construction of school knowledge The issue of the language heterogeneity of students also raises questions: a class with only two languages spoken by students is easier to manage from this point of view than when a class has several languages (4, 5, 6 or more), where some languages may be less used than others.

This issue will therefore aim to shed light on these translanguaging practices through contributions from experienced and young researchers in the light of field experiments and/or observations. Whatever the field considered, all the contributions will contribute to the scientific aim of the issue, which is to understand how teaching & learning practices that take into account the use of several languages are implemented. All contributions will have to be supported by data and explain how the data are collected and processed. In this way, we wish to shed light on the dynamics of teaching and learning in bi- or multilingual environments by identifying and analysing practices which aim to make use of language repertoires in a thoughtful, didactic way, in order to avoid the dysfunctions outlined above. The contributions may fall under one of the following headings (this list is not exhaustive) :

  • classroom practices;
  • teaching & learning methodologies;
  • initial or in-service teacher training;
  • school textbooks;
  • the sociolinguistic dimension of the status of languages; 

By suggesting this series of focuses, this issue aims at taking stock of translanguaging practices in subject matter teaching: experiments, contributions, constraints, etc. The work collected will help to provide a cross-examination of both didactics and linguistics researchers involved in subject matter teaching & learning in a bi- or multilingual context.

Submission guidelines

Abstract submissions should not exceed 3 pages (including bibliography).

The complete articles will not exceed 40 000 signs (including spaces).

Articles may be written in French or English or Spanish.

The style sheet and instructions for authors can be found at the following: https://journals.openedition.org/lidil/3303

Proposals and articles should be sent at the two following addresses:

  • s.babault@yahoo.fr
  • margaret.bento@parisdescartes.fr 

Key dates

  • 15 November 2021: deadline for submission of paper proposals

  • 15 June 2022: Deadline for submission of articles for selected proposals (we point out that acceptance of a proposal does not mean that the paper will be automatically accepted) December 2022: return of the evaluation of the papers
  • 2 May 2022: submission of final versions of papers
  • May 2023: publication


BABAULT, Sophie. (2013). Les manuels bilingues : outils pour un partenariat efficace entre les langues d’enseignement ? Glottopol, revue de sociolinguistique en ligne, 22, 188-199. <www.univ-rouen.fr/dyalang/glottopol>.

BABAULT, Sophie & MARKEY, Michael. (2016). Articulation langue 1- langue 2 dans le répertoire langagier des élèves inscrits en programme immersif : quelles ressources lexicales pour les cours de sciences ? Revue Canadienne des Langues Vivantes the Canadian Modern Language Review, 72(4), 454-479.

BAKER, Colin. (2001). Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. Multilingual Matters.

CAUSA, Mariella.  (2009).  Enseignement  d’une  LE  et  d’une  DNL :  mettre  en  place  une compétence discursive » dans la production écrite de niveau avancé. Synergie Roumanie, 4, 179-188.

CAVALLI, Marisa. (2005). Éducation bilingue et plurilingue. Le cas du Val d’Aoste. Didier.

COSTE, Daniel. (2003). Construire des savoirs en plusieurs langues. Les enjeux disciplinaires de l’enseignement bilingue. ABED.

COYLE, Do. (2013). Listening to learners: An investigation into “successful learning” across CLIL contexts. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 16(3), 244–266.

COYLE, Do, HOOD Philip & MARSH David. (2010). CLIL: content and language integrated learning. Cambridge University Press.

DUVERGER, Jean. (2007). Didactiser l’alternance des langues en cours de DNL. Tréma, 28, 81-88.

GAJO, Laurent. (2006). Types de savoirs dans l’enseignement bilingue : problématicité opacité densité. Éducation et sociétés plurilingues, 20, 76-87.

GAJO, Laurent, GROBET, Anne & STEFFEN, Gabriela. (2015). Saisir le niveau méso-interactionnel dans l’interaction didactique : autour des notions de saturation et de méso-alternance. Bulletin VALS-ASLA, 101, 27-49.

GARCÍA, OFELIA. (2009). Bilingual education in the 21st century: A global perspective. Wiley-Blackwell.

GARCIA, Ofelia & WEI, Li. (2014). Translanguagin; Language, Bilingualism and Education. Palgrave Macmillan. 

POZA, Luis. (2018) The language of ciencia: translanguaging and learning in a bilingual science classroom. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 21(1), 1-19. 

STEFFEN, Gabriela & BOREL, Stéphane. (2011). Les activités de reformulation dans et pour la conceptualisation des savoirs scientifiques. Passages du monolinguisme au bilinguisme. Cahiers de l'ILSL, 30, 45-164.


  • Monday, November 15, 2021

Attached files


  • enseignement, apprentissage, plurilinguisme


  • Margaret Bento
    courriel : margaret [dot] bento [at] parisdescartes [dot] fr

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Julie Sorba
    courriel : julie [dot] sorba [at] univ-grenoble-alpes [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Translanguaging practices in subject matter teaching and learning in bilingual or multilingual contexts », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, March 16, 2021, https://calenda.org/854831

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