The expanding orientations to translingualism are motivated by a gradual shift from the structuralist paradigm that has been treated as foundational in modern linguistics. Structuralism encouraged scholars to consider language, like other social constructs, as organized as a self-defining and closed structure, set apart from spatiotemporal 'context' (which included diverse considerations such as history, geography, politics, and society). Translingualism calls for a shift from these structuralist assumptions to consider more mobile, expansive, situated, and holistic practices. In this article, I articulate how a poststructuralist paradigm might help us theorize and practice translingualism according to a spatial orientation that embeds communication in space and time, considering all resources as working together as an assemblage in shaping meaning. I illustrate from my ongoing research with international STEM scholars in a Midwestern American university to theorize how translingualism will redefine the role of constructs such as language, non-verbal artifacts, and context in communicative proficiency.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Language and Linguistics
- Linguistics and Language