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Scholarship on translanguaging and related concepts has challenged traditional assumptions about how people use their multiple languages, urging us to move beyond the boundaries of named linguistic codes and toward conceptualizations of multilingual language use as flexible use of a speaker’s whole linguistic repertoire. Critiques of this theoretical shift have included assertions of translanguaging’s conceptual and practical limits—limits to its transformative potential as well as limits to its practical use. This paper takes up, in particular, the question of why we academics may assert the value of translanguaging in schools and communities while still largely failing to move beyond monoglossic English norms in our own academic spaces of professional practice (Jaspers, 2018), especially in the dissemination of research. Acknowledging this hegemony as well as its potential disruption, we present a counterexample of an academic research conference that developed as a trilingual, translingual space unlike most other spaces of research dissemination. In this polyvocal, translingual reflection, we describe and analyze the event from the perspectives of conference organizers, keynote speakers, and attendees. We explore the factors that constituted the transformative nature of the conference’s translanguaging space and offer some preliminary principles of language planning for translingual academic spaces.


This article was originally published in Applied Linguistics Review, available at

The article includes sections in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.



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