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Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Education (also CAGS)

Year Degree Awarded

2017

Month Degree Awarded

September

First Advisor

Jennifer Randall

Second Advisor

Stephen G. Sireci

Third Advisor

Jonathan D. Rosa

Subject Categories

Anthropological Linguistics and Sociolinguistics | Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Other Linguistics | Science and Mathematics Education

Abstract

Translanguaging is a view around languages that normalizes diglossia without separation: the linguistic resources of the bilinguals are considered one integrated system. Translanguaging is also a language practice of bilinguals, who select features from their entire linguistic repertoire to make sense of the world around them. Translanguaging is widely used by students and teachers in the bilingual classroom, as it allows students to build upon their entire set of resources, enhance learning outcomes, perform identities, and develop their languages even further. However, translanguaging is rarely used in assessments of bilinguals. Assessments of bilinguals, especially large-scale tests, are typically monolingual in focus and not appropriate for a large portion of the population, who cannot perform as one or two monolinguals. While psychometricians and test developers have spent large amount of resources in developing and testing linguistic accommodations, their efforts are not entirely solving the problems faced by bilinguals. Translanguaging is a framework that may overcome the limitations of linguistic accommodations. However, there is few research on how to properly implement translanguaging in assessments, particularly, in content assessments. The purpose of this work was to evaluate the effectiveness and appropriateness of implementing a translingual administration of the EGMA assessment in the region of Mbandaka, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Using a mixed-methods design, I looked at the effect of translanguaging on scores and the alignment of the framework with the classroom practices enounced by teachers. The results of this study show that the translingual version of the EGMA had a positive effect on the scores of girls who identified as bilinguals, and improved the reliability estimates of all the tasks. The results also show that the translingual EGMA is more appropriate for the context of Mbandaka, yet there are characteristics that prevent us from considering the test fully appropriate for the region. Further research must shed light on the particular aspects of the translingual administration that explained the improvements observed in this study. Future studies should also clarify potential routes to a better and more effective implementation of translanguaging in content assessments.

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