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Translanguaging practices in adult education for deaf migrants

Práticas translinguísticas na educação de imigrantes adultos surdos


In the last decade, Sweden has received many deaf migrants with very diverse linguistic and educational backgrounds. When arriving in Sweden, they are expected to learn Swedish Sign Language (STS) and Swedish. For this study, we have used data from project Mulder, a four-year research project that aims to generate knowledge about deaf migrants’ multilingual situation in Sweden. The focus is on two folk high schools with programmes designated for deaf migrants. In this article, we describe how adult education for deaf migrants is organised in Sweden and examine how translanguaging practices are formed there. We found that translanguaging is a natural and common part of the multilingual classrooms, but also that the opportunities to translanguage depend highly on the individual’s repertoires and whether particular individuals have one or more languages in common or have a lingua franca. We also found that translanguaging is not always helpful in learning contexts if the teachers are not conscious and insightful when they mix languages.

intramodal translanguaging; visually-oriented; folk high school; deaf education

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