What is translingualism?

The concept of multilingualism can be complicated when applied to writing. Since standard English is the main language used in all types of writing, it can be hard for bilingual or multilingual writers to fully express themselves. I think it is important to not lose the voices behind multilingual writers especially in higher education. As a person who speaks different languages, I sometimes find it difficult to express my ideas by incorporating all parts of my identity. Although my English literacy journey started when I stepped into my ELL 6th grade class, my journey as a writer truly began in my second grade classroom in the Philippines when I discovered what it was like to write ideas in my native language. However, I have realized that my writing process is quite different and I should view it more as a process than an ability. As I proceed with my journey as a writer and as writing presents its challenges, I have continuously reflected on how I can convey my ideas as a woman of color in the fields of STEM and beyond.

Last short term, I took a course called Theory and Practice of Writing and Tutoring where I was introduced to multilingual writers like Neisha-Anne Green who emphasized the importance of translingualism. As a part of a project for the course, I created a brochure/poster that introduces the distinction between multilingualism and translingualism. I hope that this introduces multilingual students at Bates about the translingualism approach. I also hope that this opens up discussions about how Bates can further support its multilingual students.