Translanguaging as a Practical Theory of Language: Implications for practice and research

Strathcona Building - Lecture Theatre 1 (R18 on campus map)
Monday 19 June 2017 (15:45-17:00)

Angela Creese

Sarah Martin 

Speaker: Professor Li Wei, UCL Institute of Education

The MOSAIC Centre for Research on Multilingualism is pleased to host a public lecture by Professor Li Wei.

As part of a full week of activities, lectures and performances on ‘Translanguaging’ for the TLANG  international summer school, we are delighted that Professor Li Wei will commence  proceedings by providing a state-of-the-art lecture setting out the theoretical underpinnings of this developing concept.

The cost is free but we ask you to register online.


The notion of Translanguaging has, in the last ten years or so, attracted a considerable amount of attention in the applied linguistics community and beyond. In this talk, I will review the geneses of and different approaches to Translanguaging and explore the theoretical motivations behind the concept.

I will argue that Translanguaging offers a new way of conceptualizing Language that is more relevant to the linguistic practices of the 21st century, whilst respecting historical facts about human language development. I will discuss the bigger theoretical questions Translanguaging enables us to address and also highlight the necessity to bridge the artificial, and ideological, divide between the socio-cultural and what’s been called the cognitive, approaches to dynamic multilingual practices. 

Li Wei is Chair of Applied Linguistics and Director of the UCL Centre for Applied Linguistics at the UCL Institute of Education, University College London, UK, and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, UK. His publications have appeared in journals ranging from Applied Linguistics, Modern Language Journal, Journal of Pragmatics, Language in Society  to Language, Cognition and Neuroscience, and Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics. He is Principal Editor of the International Journal of Bilingualism (Sage, SSCI, AHCI) and Applied Linguistics Review (De Gruyter, SSCI, AHCI) and series editor for ‘Research Methods in Language and Linguistics’ (Wiley-Blackwell). His recent publications include The Cambridge Handbook of Linguistic Multi-Competence (with Vivian Cook, 2016) and Translanguaging: Language, Bilingualism and Education (with Ofelia Garcia, 2014) which won the 2015 British Association of Applied Linguistics (BAAL) Book Prize.