Creative Language Practices through a Translingual Lens

We would like to invite you to an afternoon of creative ideas, strategies and resources for multilingual contexts! If you work with pupils in a school context or language learners in a community context, you are welcome to join us!

A team of researchers from the University of Glasgow together with a team of creative artists and a group of teachers in Glasgow’s EAL Service have joined forces to develop activities and pedagogical ideas for working with languages through a translingual lens. With the support of the Glasgow’s EAL Service, we have developed a series of workshops where we exchanged ideas, created activities and trialled strategies in our own contexts. We are now happy to share these resources with you and we hope you will enjoy learning about our projects. The event will include a series of short presentations where you will be introduced to our free Language Kit and the creative resources that teachers in our group have developed as part of this project. Since the presentations will be practice-oriented, we hope that by the end of the event you will leave with many ideas to try in your own context. We also hope to learn from your own experiences and continue the conversation on how we can use our language resources creatively.

Details of this free event are as follows:

Date:  Thursday 16 May

Time:  4pm – 6pm

Venue:  Kelvin Hall Lecture Theatre

If you would like to attend please email or call 0141 582 0217

We look forward to seeing you there.

Translanguaging in Schools

Our subsequent two workshops were devoted to the work developed in schools by teachers who worked with us as part of the project.  Inspired by the activities and discussions of translanguaging covered in the workshops they developed their own projects in schools.

During those two workshops, our absolutely fabulous team of EAL teachers presented their work-in-progress. They took us onto the amazing journey: along Victoria Road where students displayed their posters promoting healthy linguistic diet in shops, cafes and a library,  through the world of mythical creatures from various cultures and languages, in and out the spoken and written, multilingual and action-based storytelling in several schools to the digital performance of multilingual poems created,  performed and video-recorded  by students. It was a real treat!



We are happy to launch the hashtag #TLiswhen (#Translanguaging is when….)! We invite you to share your stories with us on Twitter on

When is translanguaging happening?
Where is translanguaging happening?
How do we translanguage?
Moments, anecdotes, images, emojis, etc.

We hope that collectively we will discover the many forms and facets in which we language in different spaces, with different people and for lots of purposes.

Teaching Resources at the Mitchell Library

Resources we are creating as part of the Creative Language Practices project are to become available to schools through the Mitchell Library – with the help of the School Library Outreach team. To find out what it means in practice we visited the library and discovered a true gem: a huge room full of shelves and boxes with teaching resources on any subject you can dream about!

What was not there! Costumes, games, fluffy toys, stones, dinosaurs, objects from far away and from very close, and of course millions and trillions of books – including dual language books, books in Scots, Gaelic, Urdu, Arabic, Polish, Spanish, French, Italian, Hungarian… –  just to be borrowed and read.  The service is provided by the Mitchell Library to schools completely free of charge. For more details visit School Library Outreach or follow them on Twitter

Music Making Games with Richy Carey

In the third workshop of the Creative Practices: Exploring Translanguaging Research in Pedagogical Contexts and Beyond project we learned how to use our bodies, voices and languages to make music. Richy, an an artist and a sound-maker, has shared with us his great experience built with various communities of children and adults. During the workshop, we collaborated playing Word Samba with our names and places of birth. We tested our skills in ordering a multilingual dish and we conducted and responded to others collaboratively making translanguaging music. Words don’t do justice to this activity that easily fills any space with voices in all languages, at higher and lower pitch, with each person sounding out bits of their languages. This is a great activity that can be easily adapted to a variety of contexts; after all, who doesn’t want to be a conductor?! We will soon make available more details on the activity, so you can follow our website for more Resources.

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All the World is Our Stage: Primary School Pupils Never Lost in Translanguaging

This project  led by Eneida Garcia Villanueva (Heriot-Watt University) reflected on the multilingual, multicultural and superdiverse society represented in Glasgow today through the medium of a multilingual performance.  Eneida worked with pupils from the Whinhill Primary on creating a multilingual play, which they subsequently performed in a local theatre to main language stakeholders in Scotland, families, MPs, policy makers and pupils and teachers from other schools.

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Becoming ‘Translingualisters’ with Sara Pinto

In the second workshop of the Creative Practices: Exploring Translanguaging Research in Pedagogical Contexts and Beyond project we discussed various definitions of translanguaging. Subsequently, Sara Pinto introduced the team to the idea of creating a visual dictionary. I learned today that I am a ‘translingualister’! I write and illustrate – she started the workshop with a big smile. Sara pointed out that making visual collages is a very good metaphor for the practices explored by the team. Making collages is, in its essence, taking things from all places and creatively moving them around – she said, suggesting that this is what one does when translanguaging.

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Dreaming in the Language of Drawing with Elina Karadzhova

The Edinburgh Multilingual Stories Festival organised by  Bilingualism Matters, Theatre Sans Accents and the Polish Cultural Festival Association brought together artists, researchers, children and communities to celebrate the diversity of Scotland’s many multilingual families and communities. It  offered an opportunity for bilinguals to creatively explore and express what it means to learn and speak more than one language. For monolinguals, this was a good opportunity to get a glimpse of the bilingual experience.

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Translanguaging Comics Created by Monika Szydłowska

We started the first workshop of the Creative Practices: Exploring Translanguaging Research in Pedagogical Contexts and Beyond project playing with toys borrowed from a child’s drawer. Erasers, Lego blocks, tiny boxes and metal balls, transformers, miniature cars, keys, strings… what wasn’t there… Whilst doing it, we tried to imagine language as a physical object and considered the metaphors used to describe it.

This introductory activity engaged us to think out of the box. In fact, we started with a box and ended up with the metaphors that we use whenever we speak about our languages. Language as a container, language as a fluid, language as a tool — all these metaphors made their way onto the table via real objects. Looking at language in this way made us think more carefully about what we’re truly saying when we’re saying: I use my language… I have  a language, My languages are… (more on this activity will be included in the upcoming Resources section of our website).

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