Translanguaging: An Enactive-Performative Approach to Language Education - Université Paris-Est-Créteil-Val-de-Marne Access content directly
Book Sections Year : 2020

Translanguaging: An Enactive-Performative Approach to Language Education


In this chapter, we describe the concept of translanguaging (translangager) at the intersection of Francisco Varela's enaction paradigm (1999) and the performative turn in cultural studies (Fischer-Lichte, 2004; Sting, 2012). We will shed light on two processes that unfold in relation to each other: empathising and living aesthetic experiences that ‘anchor abstract knowledge in a sensitive and embodied knowledge of the world’ (Aden, 2008: 11). Linking the biological roots of language (Maturana & Varela, 1987) and the aesthetic roots of poetic languages (Lecoq, 1997), we pave the way for an enactive-performative pedagogy for languages (Aden, 2017a; Aden & Eschenauer, 2014). From here we map out language education within a framework of translangageance that we define as the process of emergence of a common language that makes sense, through all forms of language (Eschenauer, 2017). First, we present translanguaging (translangager, Aden, 2012) within Varela’s paradigm of enaction, then we introduce the performative approach that allows us to implement an enactive pedagogy. We go on to illustrate our translanguaging model with a study led by the second author carried out in a plurilingual and pluricultural lower secondary school in the suburbs of Paris. We followed a cohort of 20 students aged 11 to 14 over a period of four years (2011-2015). We assessed the impact of theatre workshops co-led by artists and teachers and used as part of the students’ language education. This collaborative approach builds on the local ecology of languages (home, foreign and school languages) and takes into account the students’ voices and their capacity to navigate between all their languages and cultures. We show how the mechanisms of empathy (kinesthetic, emotional and cognitive), which engage all forms of language (corporal, cultural, linguistic) interwoven with aesthetic experience, form the very essence of translangageance. We will see that this pedagogical approach leads to a new configuration of human relations and social bonds.
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hal-04538630 , version 1 (09-04-2024)


  • HAL Id : hal-04538630 , version 1


Joëlle Aden, Sandrine Eschenauer. Translanguaging: An Enactive-Performative Approach to Language Education. Emilee Moore, Jessica Bradley, James Simpson. Translanguaging as Transformation: The Collaborative Construction of New Linguistic Realities, Multilingual Matters, pp.102_117, 2020, 9781788928038. ⟨hal-04538630⟩
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