Benefits of Translanguaging and Transculturation Exchanges Between International Higher Degree Research Students and English Medium Research Supervisors

  • Minglin LiEmail author
  • Beryl Exley
Part of the Multilingual Education Yearbook book series (MEYB)


Discussions around internationalisation in Higher Degree Research (HDR) supervision have advocated a “deparochialising” (Lingard in Globalisation, Societies and Education 4(2):287–302, 2006, p. 187) of research education for international students via approaches that make use of students’ existing language, culture and theoretical knowledge. Ideas include taking up reflexive and collaborative learning (Ryan in Teachers and Teaching 17(6):631–648, 2011) and HDR supervisors of international students being open to translanguaging (Li & García in Research methods in language and education. Encyclopedia of Language and Education. Springer, Cham, Switzerland, pp. 1–14, 2016) and transculturation practices (Choy, Singh, & Li in Education Sciences, 7(19), 2017). We explore interview data from international HDR students from language backgrounds other than English and some English speaking HDR supervisors working with international HDR students to document their assumptions about translanguaging and transculturation practices. The transcripts reveal these are regular practices for these participants. Both sets of participants agree that translanguaging and transculturation practices (i) enhance the specificity of the communication, (ii) promote the expertise of the HDR student, (iii) provide two-way learning, and (iv) feed into new knowledge generating practices. Translanguaging and transculturation practices are thus more than the reciprocal exchange of ideas; they are new forms of pedagogic processes whereby communicative work changes research processes, practices and systems of knowledge production, transfer, and acquisition that benefit both the HDR student and the HDR supervisor.


Higher Degree Research (HDR) Cross-cultural HDR supervision Translanguaging and transculturation Internationalisation in HDR education 


  1. Baker, C. (2001/2011). Foundations of bilingual education and bilingualism (3rd ed.). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  2. Bhabha, H. (1994). The location of culture. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Canagarajah, S. (2011). Codemeshing in academic writing: Identifying teachable strategies of translanguaging. The Modern Language Journal, 95(3), 401–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Choy, S., Singh, P., & Li, M. (2017). Trans-cultural, trans-language practices: Potentialities for rethinking doctoral education pedagogies. Education Sciences, 7(19). Scholar
  5. Creese, A., & Blackledge, A. (2010). Translanguaging in the bilingual classroom: A pedagogy for learning and teaching? Modern Language Journal, 94(1), 103–115.Google Scholar
  6. de Bot, K., Lowie, W., & Verspoor, M. (2007). A dynamic systems theory approach to second language acquisition. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 10(1), 7–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dooley, K., Exley, B., & Poulus, D. (2016). Research on critical EFL literacies: An illustrative analysis of some college level programs in Taiwan. English Teaching & Learning, 40(4), 39–64.Google Scholar
  8. Exley, B., Davis, J., & Dooley, K. (2016). Empirical reference points for Bernstein’s model of pedagogic rights: Recontextualising the reconciliation agenda to Australian schooling. In P. Vitale & B. Exley (Eds.), Pedagogic rights and democratic education: Bernsteinian explorations of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment (pp. 33–46). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  9. Exley, B., Whatman, S., & Singh, P. (2018). Postcolonial, decolonial research dilemmas: Fieldwork in Australian Indigenous contexts. Qualitative Research, 18(5), 526–537.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Filipi, A. (2019). Language alternation as an interactional practice in the foreign language classroom. In I. Liyanage & T. Walker (Eds.), Multilingual education yearbook 2019: Media of instruction & multilingual settings (pp. 25–42). New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  11. García, O. (2009). Bilingual education in the 21st century: A global perspective. Malden: Wiley/Blackwell.Google Scholar
  12. García, O. (2014). U.S. Spanish and Education: Global and Local Intersections. Language Policy, Politics, and Diversity in Education: Review of Research in Education, 38(1), 58–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Garcia, O., & Kano, N. (2014). Translanguaging as process and pedagogy: Developing the English writing of Japanese students in the US. In J. Conteh & G. Meier (Eds.), The multilingual turn in languages education: Opportunities and challenges (pp. 258–277). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. García, O., & Kleifgen, J. A. (2010). Educating emergent bilinguals: Policies, programs, and practices for English language learners. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  15. Gay, L. R., & Airasian, P. (2003). Educational research: Competencies for analysis and applications (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Merrill-Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  16. Grosjean, F. (1982). Life with two languages: An introduction to bilingualism. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Johnson, B., & Turner, L. (2003). Data collection strategies in mixed methods research. In A. Tashakkori & C. Teddlie (Eds.), Handbook of mixed methods in social and behavioral research (pp. 297–319). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  18. Kaufhold, K. (2018). Creating translanguaging spaces in students’ academic writing practices. Linguistics and Education, 45(2018), 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lewis, G., Jones, B., & Baker, C. (2013). 100 bilingual lessons: Distributing two languages in classrooms. In C. Abello-Contesse, P. Chandler, M. López-Jiménez, M. Torreblanca-López, & R. Chacón-Beltrán (Eds.), Bilingualism and multilingualism in school settings (pp. 107–135). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  20. Li, W. (2011). Moment analysis and translanguaging space: Discursive construction of identities by multilingual Chinese youth in Britain. Journal of Pragmatics, 43, 1222–1235.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Li, W., & García, O. (2016). From researching translanguaging to translanguaging research. In K. King, Y. Lai, & S. May (Eds.), Research methods in language and education. Encyclopedia of Language and Education (3rd ed., pp. 1–14). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. Scholar
  22. Lingard, B. (2006). Globalisation, the research imagination and deparochialising the study of education. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 4(2), 287–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Manathunga, C. (2007). Intercultural postgraduate supervision: Ethnographic journeys of identity and power. In D. Palfreyman & D. McBride (Eds.), Learning and teaching across cultures in higher education (pp. 93–113). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Manathunga, C. (2011). Moments of transculturation and assimilation: Post-colonial explorations of supervision and culture. Innovations in Education & Teaching International, 48(4), 367–376.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Manathunga, C. (2013). Culture as a place of thought: Supervising diverse candidates. In A. Engels-Schwarzpaul & M. Peters (Eds.), Of other thoughts: Non-traditional ways to the Doctorate: A guidebook for candidates and supervisor (pp. 67–82). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Manathunga, C. (2017). Intercultural doctoral supervision: The centrality of place, time and other forms of knowledge. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 16(1), 113–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Mazak, C. (2017). Introduction: Theorizing translanguaging practices in higher education. In C. Mazak & K. Carroll (Eds.), Translanguaging in higher education: Beyond monolingual ideologies (pp. 1–28). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
  28. Merriam, S., & Kim, Y. S. (2008). Non-Western perspectives on learning and knowing. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education, 119, 71–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  30. Pratt, M. L. (1991). Arts of the contact zone. Profession, 91, 33–40.Google Scholar
  31. Robson, C. (2002). Real world research: A resource for social scientists and practitioner-researchers. Oxford, UK; Madden, MASS.: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
  32. Ryan, J. (2011). Teaching and learning for international students: Towards a transcultural approach. Teachers and Teaching, 17(6), 631–648. Scholar
  33. Singh, M. (2009). Using Chinese knowledge in internationalising research education: Jacques Rancière, an ignorant supervisor and doctoral students from China. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 7(2), 185–201.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Singh, M., & Chen, X. (2012). Ignorance and pedagogies of intellectual equality: Internationalising Australian HDR education programs and pedagogies through engaging Chinese theoretical tools. In A. Lee & S. Danby (Eds.), Reshaping HDR education: Changing programs and pedagogies (pp. 187–203). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  35. Singh, M., Manathunga, C., Bunda, T., & Qi, J. (2016). Mobilising Indigenous and non-western theoretic-linguistic knowledge in HDR education. Knowledge Cultures, 4(1), 54–68.Google Scholar
  36. Taylor, D. (1991). Transculturating transculturation. Performing Arts Journal, 13(2), 90–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Velasco, P., & García, O. (2014). Translanguaging and the writing of bilingual learners. Bilingual Research Journal, 37, 6–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Williams, C. (1994). Arfarniad o ddulliau dysgu ac addysgu yng nghyd-destun addysg uwchradd ddwyieithog [Evaluation of teaching and learning methods in the context of bilingual secondary education]. (Unpublished Ph.D. thesis). University of Wales, Bangor, UK.Google Scholar
  39. Winchester-Seeto, T., Homewood, J., Thogersen, J., Jacenyik-Trawoger, C., Manathunga, C., Reid, A., & Holbrook, A. (2014). Doctoral supervision in a cross-cultural context: Issues affecting supervisors and candidates. Higher Education Research & Development, 33(3), 610–626.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Wisker, G., & Robinson, G. (2014). Examiner practices and culturally inflected doctoral theses. Discourse, 35, 190–205.Google Scholar
  41. Zamel, V. (1997). Toward a model of transculturation. TESOL Quarterly, 31(2), 341–352.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Humanities, Languages and Social SciencesGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.School of Education and Professional StudiesGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia

Personalised recommendations