Perceptions of Translanguaging and Social Identity of Heritage Learners in an Arabic Classroom
Keywords:heritage language learners, translanguaging practices, self-categorization, social identity
The field of Heritage Language (HL) education has recently gained more ground in applied linguistics and teaching (Dávila, 2017). A considerable amount of research focusing on Arabic Heritage Learners (HLLs) has raised conversations around translanguaging practices and their effects on language learning progress for heritage language learners (e.g., Abourehab & Azaz, 2020; Al Masaeed, 2020; Albirini & Chakrani, 2017). Other studies found value in HLLs’ sense of belonging to their heritage communities and how this may positively affect their learning process (e.g., Sehlaoui, 2008). This study investigates the effects of both translanguaging practices and social identity theory on the progress of Arabic HLLs in the classroom. Following a mixed-method design, ten participants were recruited for the study where two questionnaires on translanguaging and social identity were conducted followed by interviews. Contrary to previous research findings, results of this study indicate that Arabic HLLs hold negative perceptions of translanguaging practices, while they categorize themselves as members of their heritage communities.
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