Exploring multilingual identity navigations and linguistic journeys for teacher candidates

Çermikli Ayvaz B., Akgün Özpolat E., Çomoğlu H. İ., Galloway E. P.

TESOL 2024 INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION, Florida, United States Of America, 20 - 23 March 2024

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Summary Text
  • City: Florida
  • Country: United States Of America
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Abstract: This proposal comes from an international Research-Practice-Partnership funded by U.S. Mission in Turkey. The study explores 15 pre-service English language teachers’  linguistic journeys and navigations of funds of identity (Esteban-Guitart & Moll, 2014) through written reflections and multimodal-language-autobiographies. Findings indicate multimodal engagement affords deep and rich engagement in reflection for pre-service-teachers. (50)   

The study explores the following research question:  How can we make visible the identity navigations of teachers and students to create a shared empathy and understanding for their learning journeys? Norton (2010) underscores the importance of making meaningful connections in literacy instruction to learners’ multilingual and multicultural identities. Particularly promising are multimodal literacy tools (language autobiographies, language portraits, identity texts) (Cummins, 2006; 2010), which make visible multilingual learners’ (MLs) identity navigation and afford space and opportunity for MLs to tell their own narratives through a creative medium that decreases the linguistic cognitive load (Busch et al., 2006; Canagarajah, 2019; Esteban-Guitart & Moll, 2014; Holzer, 2021; Neville & Johnson, 2022; Norton & Pavlenko, 2019). 

This presentation focuses on how multimodal literacy tools can be leveraged to engage pre-service-teachers and their ML students. multimodal-language-autobiographies help pre-service-teachers consider their experience in language learning in alignment with their students in linguistically and culturally diverse classrooms to create more equitable, humanizing pedagogies.  Presenters will share findings from a narrative case study aimed to explore pre-service-teachers’ linguistic journeys and funds of identities to engage them in reflective practices to see the alignments between theirs and their learners’ language learning experiences and identity navigations. Data sources include language autobiographies and written reflections of PELTs, interviews with the PELTs and researchers’ observations. The data was coded thematically. Themes generated revealed the areas in which multimodal engagement peaked. Findings indicate multimodal-language-autobiographies and reflections afford deep and rich engagement in forms of drawing, prose and poetry and multimedia products where pre-service-teachers critically think about their language learning and future teaching. A gradual deepening in reflections from pre-service-teachers and promising implications for designing humanizing pedagogies for multilingual classrooms will be shared to make clear connections to classroom practices.