Should standard Arabic have "the lion's share?": Teacher ideologies in L2 Arabic through the lens of pedagogical translanguaging





  • Mahmoud Azaz Email University of Arizona, USA
  • Yousra Abourehab Email University of Arizona, USA


With the multilingual turn in applied linguistics, translanguaging has been envisioned as a pedagogical approach in multiple contexts (Creese & Blackledge, 2010; Galante, 2020; Yilmaz, 2019). Recent discussions have turned to teachers’ perspectives to understand how teachers’ monolingual ideologies and beliefs could limit the potential of such approaches (Hillman et al., 2019; Holdway & Hitchcock, 2018; Tian, 2020). With a focus on Arabic as a multidialectal and multiglossic language, this paper examines teachers’ translanguaging ideologies and practices and their nexus to language learning and intercultural communication. It used a focused, semi-structured interview to determine to what degree teachers’ practices were consistent or in conflict with their ideologies regarding translanguaging. They were challenged with positions from translanguaging pedagogy to initiate their conceptual development. A discrepancy was found between teachers’ ideologies and practices. That is, whereas they initially hesitated to accept translanguaging as a legitimate pedagogy, they were indeed translanguaging. This discrepancy is argued to limit learning. A qualitative analysis of the interviews with some teachers showed the emergence of an internally persuasive discourse about the potential of translanguaging. In light of teacher reflections that specified legitimate challenges, we argue for the judicious adoption of translanguaging pedagogy in multilingual and multicultural settings and discuss pedagogical implications and future research directions.

Keywords: pedagogical translanguaging, L2 Arabic, teacher ideologies, teacher practices, Arabic dialects

Suggested Citation:

Azaz, M., & Abourehab, Y. (2021). Should standard Arabic have "the lion’s share?": Teacher ideologies in L2 Arabic through the lens of pedagogical translanguaging. Intercultural Communication Education, 4(1), 90–105.