Functions of Translanguaging Performed by Korean-American Emergent Bilinguals
International Journal of Elementary Education
Volume 9, Issue 3, September 2020, Pages: 50-59
Received: Jul. 30, 2020; Accepted: Aug. 13, 2020; Published: Sep. 8, 2020
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Chaehyun Lee, Department of Educational Instruction and Learning, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Durant, USA
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In this article, I employed a qualitative discourse analysis method from a heteroglossic perspective to investigate first-grade Korean American bilingual students’ translanguaging practices in a Korean heritage language (HL) school. Although the instruction was delivered exclusively in Korean in the HL classroom, the students were allowed to use English and translanguage if they needed. The transcripts of audio-recordings of students' spoken language were the main resources for this qualitative study. I first examined the incidence of the students' translanguaging. In performing the analysis of translanguaging function, I adopted Jakobson's [1] six functions of language (directive, expressive, referential, phatic, metalinguistic, and poetic). The findings showed that the function of students' translanguaging was documented in the five following categories: referential, directive, expressive, metalinguistic, and poetic. The close analysis revealed that 14 different subsidiary functions were further discovered under the five functional categories. The functional analysis of the students’ translanguaging performance indicates that their translanguaging was not accidental or deficient, but they were sophisticated, systematic, and purposeful. The findings imply that engaging in translanguaging when communicating even in a monoglossic classroom setting (such as an HL classroom) is considered as a natural phenomenon among bilingual students as they were activating and developing their bilingualism through everyday translanguaging practices. The article provides implications for teachers of bilingual learners.
Bilingual Education, Korean Bilinguals, Heritage Language Learning, Translanguaging, Heteroglossia, Discourse Analysis
To cite this article
Chaehyun Lee, Functions of Translanguaging Performed by Korean-American Emergent Bilinguals, International Journal of Elementary Education. Vol. 9, No. 3, 2020, pp. 50-59. doi: 10.11648/j.ijeedu.20200903.11
Copyright © 2020 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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