Mireia Trenchs (U. Pompeu Fabra)

When translingual practices and cosmopolitan stances go beyond institutional, compartmentalized language uses: A case study of (de facto) multilingual high school classrooms in Catalonia

The research reported in this session belongs to the state-funded TRANSLINGUAM Project (Ref. FFI2014-52663-P) which intends to investigate language practices and attitudes derived from socialization and academic interactions in the sociocultural and linguistic complexity of superdiverse (Blommaert, 2010) educational contexts in Catalonia. The research data include researchers’ observations in two high schools in the Barcelona area, audio recordings in classes devoted to small-group academic activities and interviews with students from apparently different linguistic family backgrounds. This paper specifically focuses on reported and self-reported multilingual language practices co-constructed and negotiated by high school students, as well as on language attitudes and actual practices in the classroom supporting or contradicting those reports. The analysis reveals coherent —though neither exclusive nor free from conflict— manifestations of cosmopolitan stances (Newman, Trenchs-Parera, & Ng, 2008) and translingual communicative practices (Garcia & Wei, 2014; Rampton, 1995) that can only be interpreted when situated in the context of Catalonia’s current educational model, official language policies, local national-identity tensions, recent and past family trajectories of migration and the emergence of flexible ethnolinguistic identities.


Blommaert, J. (2010). The Sociolinguistics of Globalization. Cambridge: CUP.

Garcia, O. & Wei, L. (2014). Translanguaging: Language, Bilingualism and Education. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Newman, M., Trenchs-Parera, M. & Ng, S. (2008). “Normalizing bilingualism: The effects of the Catalonian linguistic normalization policy one generation after.” Journal of Sociolinguistics, 12(3), 306-333.

Rampton, B. (1995). Crossing: Language and Ethnicity among Adolescents. London/NY: Longman.Woolard, K. A. (2016). Singular and Plural. Ideologies of Linguistic Authority in 21st Century Catalonia. Oxford: OUP.