I am currently working with six researchers from five different countries (USA, Canada, Russia, South Africa, Singapore) to collect and analyze a corpus of written and audio/video recorded data of the literate and linguistic practices and perspectives of students in discrete multilingual educational contexts from around the world. Our project builds from recent work in writing studies in the United States that explores the constructs of “translingualism” (Horner) and “transcultural literacy” (Lu), “translingual orientation” and “negotiated literacies” (Canagarajah), “multicompetencies” (Cook), “pluriliteracies” (Garcia), “codemeshing” (Young/Canagarajah), “rhetorical attunement” (Lorimer) and the investigations of the composing strategies of multilingual and English as additional language (EAL) students in English writing classrooms in the United States (Horner, Lu, Matsuda, Canagarajah, Jordan, Poe Alexander, Lorimer).
As researchers, we believe it is crucial to examine both the local contexts of student writing and the broader national and international contexts, policies, and even laws, that students in our university classrooms across the world must navigate to access their abilities to negotiate literacies and write and communicate effectively in a wide variety of contexts and languages. To that end, we hope to hear from students around the world, share that data with researchers from other sociopolitical contexts, and to continually question the assumptions we hold surrounding our students’ linguistic resources and practices. Our goals are to further identify the characteristics of multilingual/translingual literacies, attend to the impact of local, institutional, and national language policies on those literacy practices, and explore the implications for teaching with an awareness of and openness multilingual literacy strategies, practices, and policies.