Translanguaging On and With the Land: Anti-coloniality, (Re)connection and Learning with Refugee Learners

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Non-dominant multilingual learners, particularly those who have experienced forced displacement, are often met by educational environments where deficit discourses, monolingual norms and colonial silencing persist. This work examines how co-learners from refugee backgrounds in a multiyear land-based program, Soil Camp, have co-created spaces to challenge dominant norms, power dynamics and colonial histories. Alongside racialized facilitators, the children co-constructed environments that affirmed their multilingual identities and empowered agency within the teaching and learning spaces—a significant shift away from monolingual norms seen in formal schooling and dominant societal settings. Based on video-based interaction analyses, the findings illustrate the transformative power of translanguaging practices that validate multilingual identities and intergenerational knowledge systems, resulting in the co-creation of new social realities for learning, exhibited in moment-to-moment interactions. This work on earth-centered translanguaging practice seeks to connect to silenced intergenerational and new knowledge beyond named languages while attending to historicity and power, transcending human and more-than-human (MTH) divides. Children provided glimpses of their semiotic repertoires through highlighted child-led moments, which foraged new pathways for embodied representations of community, identity and MTH (re)connection. The result is translanguaging spaces where linguistic fluidity and embodied communicative practices sustain (re)connection on and with the land.
translanguaging, earth-centered translanguaging, embodied communicative practices, co-constructed learning environments, community, identity and more-than-human (re)connection, forcefuly displaced refugee learners, racialized multilingual teachers, land-based learning, learning sciences, justice-oriented design, Indigenous language-land connections, displacement, resettlement, geopolitics and histories, story, Soil Camp
Thraya, S. (2023). Translanguaging on and with the land: anti-coloniality, (re)connection and learning with refugee learners (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from