Promoting Translingual & Transcultural Competence
包圭漪, Author and Speaker
叶宪, Principal/President, Homa & Sekey Books
Cathy Bao Bean, Dongdong Chen & Shawn Xian Ye are all submitting this proposal in order for each to discuss different aspects of the title subjects such that, together, they constitute a single panel that, responding to both the “Student Motivation” and “Pedagogy” conference themes, addresses the complex process of how to raise translingual and transcultural competence.
While language instruction generally uses the “medium” of textbooks as a source for “meaning” or vocabulary, motivation to learn from those textbooks has many, often intermittent, sometimes unreliable sources—from the ambitions of learners, teachers, and their families to the requirements of schools, jobs, and travel. Our panel will describe how we three collaborated to collectively, and simultaneously, provide “medium, meaning, and motivation” to heritage and non-heritage learners in form and format.
This ground-breaking form and format has been developed by us such that the “medium” is not only a book with text, vocabulary and exercises but also is a means to promote the cultural “medium” through text consisting of thought-provoking yet humorous stories reinforced by innovative exercises that motivate because they provide and promote proficiency and understanding of the Chinese language and culture while doing the same for the English/American language and culture. In other words, students can learn more about themselves and others by understanding their own, their family’s, their community’s, their bosses’ (bi)cultural identities. By revealing the text and context in two languages and cultural settings, the impact of the “5 Cs”—Communication, Culture, Connections, Comparisons and Communities—are at least doubled.
However, this doubling is not just to have one idea in English and another in Chinese but to commingle the two. Insofar as Chen and Bao Bean believe that one cannot teach what one does not know, they have derived an approach to teaching language that is the basis for their collaboration and pedagogy. By commingling, not just adjoining, resources, one not only compensates for the other’s lack but also provides students with an integrated means to learn from both in a way that increases their understanding of a second language and culture by better understanding their first. And vice versa.
This kind of commingling is encouraged by a series of exercises that encourage the thinker to “play” with words and ideas. For example: