Doing Translingual Dispositions

By Lee, Jerry Won; Jenks, Christopher | College Composition and Communication, December 2016 | Go to article overview

Doing Translingual Dispositions


Lee, Jerry Won, Jenks, Christopher, College Composition and Communication


The 2011 College English manifesto, Language Difference in Writing: Toward a Translingual Turn," written by Bruce Horner, Min-Zhan Lu, Jacqueline Jones Royster, and John Trimbur, and endorsed by fifty established scholars in US college composition, encourages the field to recognize the inherent plurality of language resources at play in any communicative act and compels teacher-scholars in composition to view language differences as resources to be cultivated. Beyond emphasizing the importance of developing intercultural communicative competence, the authors make the point that all language users today need to adopt a "translingual disposition" (Horner et al. 311). Suresh Canagarajah elaborates on this point by analyzing interviews with Subsaharan African migrants who use English as a foreign language to demonstrate the centrality of "a strong ethic of collaboration" to translingual competence (Translingual 180). Rebecca Lorimer Leonard makes a similar point in arguing that certain language users, through a lifetime of treating linguistic and cultural plurality as the norm, develop "rhetorical attunement," or "a literate understanding that assumes multiplicity and invites the negotiation of meaning across difference" (228). In other words, it may be argued that a translingual disposition, a general openness to language plurality and difference, is requisite to the development of skills such as translingual competence and rhetorical attunement. This article seeks to understand and analyze the ways in which translingual dispositions manifest themselves in textual artifacts.

In this essay, we investigate how translingual dispositions emerge in student writing that was composed as part of a global partnership between two courses, one delivered in a US university and another in a Hong Kong university. However, it is not our intention to simply offer suggestions and advice for teachers wishing to adopt a similar partnership. Rather, the purpose of this essay is to articulate how our experiences enable a reconsideration and extension of the critical point that a translingual approach to writing is of central significance to all students of composition, but also, and perhaps more importantly, to explore the multilayered and unpredictable ways in which translingual dispositions can manifest themselves in student writing. We show that an examination of writing provides a window into the varied ways in which students negotiate their linguistic identities and construct their ideological commitments to language difference. Although composition can become a space that facilitates opportunities for students to "do" translingual dispositions, these dispositions are constitutive of a constellation of highly complex sociocultural issues and experiences and therefore cannot be expected to be actualized or articulated in a preconceived and uniform manner.

We first draw on existing scholarship to explain what translingual dispositions are and argue for the urgency of doing translingual dispositions in composition. Next, we describe the rationale for the global partnership, along with an explanation of the pedagogical value of the associated readings and major assignment. We then identify the various ways in which students, including ostensibly monolingual students, can develop a disposition toward linguistic openness. Afterward, we provide further analysis of student writing in order to demonstrate the multifaceted nature of, as well as the pedagogical value of doing, translingual dispositions. We conclude by identifying several theoretical and pedagogical issues that warrant discussion in further developing a translingual turn in the field of composition.

What Are Translingual Dispositions? Why in Composition?

A translingual disposition is described by Horner et al. as a general openness "toward language and language differences" (311). This disposition allows individuals to move beyond preconceived, limited notions of standardness and correctness, and it therefore facilitates interactions involving different Englishes. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Doing Translingual Dispositions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.