Language awareness and the online experiences of transnational Chinese dual language teachers during the global pandemic


  • Meiheng Chen Michigan State University
  • Sandro R Barros Michigan State University



Chinese transnational teachers, dual language immersion programmes, translanguaging, language awareness


The experience of transnational teachers who serve in bilingual education programmes in the US remains, by and large, under-examined in the literature. To fill this gap, this study adopted a phenomenological methodology attuning, specifically, to the impact that the shift to online instruction had on the language awareness of five transnational Chinese teachers working at dual language immersion programmes during the Covid-19 pandemic. Using conversations with these professionals as the data source, and mobilising standard language ideology and translanguaging as interpretative frameworks, this study identified three aspects of teachers’ language awareness related to the transition online: (1) contradictions in the linguistic and curricular push towards achieving linguistic homogeneity within dual language immersion programmes, (2) the influence of monoglossic language policies in practical teaching decisions and (3) the surfacing of translingual pedagogies as a demand of the online space.

Author Biographies

Meiheng Chen, Michigan State University

Meiheng Chen is currently a PhD student in the Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education program in the Department of Teacher Education at Michigan State University. She is interested in exploring Chinese language teachers’ attitudes towards translanguaging pedagogy and how teachers can promote student engagement through translanguaging strategies in the Dual Chinese Language Immersion Program. Particularly, she is interested in better understanding how Chinese language teachers balance target language instruction while creating a translanguaging environment for learners.

Sandro R Barros, Michigan State University

Sandro R. Barros is an Assistant Professor in the Curriculum, Instruction and Teacher Education program at Michigan State University. He is the author of Paulo Freire and multilingual education (with Luciana C. de Oliveira, Routledge) and The dissidence of Reinaldo Arenas (with Rafael Ocasio and Angela L. Willis, University of Florida Press). His academic research traverses the fields of the Humanities and Social Sciences to study multilingual development, culture and language politics across K-16 schools and other sites of cultural production.


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How to Cite

Chen, M., & Barros, S. R. (2022). Language awareness and the online experiences of transnational Chinese dual language teachers during the global pandemic. Journal of Multilingual Theories and Practices, 3(1), 101–126.




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