Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer


Vol. 25 No. 3 (2022): Special Issue: Writing Pedagogy with Linguistically Diverse Language Learners and Users: The Nexus of Multilingualism, Multiliteracies and Multimodalities

Designing Critical Multilingual Multiliteracies Projects in Two-Way Immersion Classrooms: Affordances and Impacts on Students

November 2, 2021


Language separation policies in two-way bilingual education (TWBE) reflect ideologies of double monolingualism (Heller, 1995) and ignore the sociolinguistic realities of bi/multilingual students (García & Lin, 2017). This case study investigates the design and implementation of collaborative multilingual identity text projects (Prasad, 2018) in a Spanish-English two-way immersion (TWI) school. Identity text pedagogies (Cummins & Early, 2011) that engage bilingual students in creating dual-language multimodal texts have been taken up across a wide variety of contexts. Few studies in the United States, however, have examined how TWI teachers can use multiliteracies pedagogy (New London Group, 1996) with a critical multilingual language awareness (CMLA) focus to move beyond the frame of Spanish-English through the creation of collaborative multilingual and multimodal class books. A thematic analysis of classroom data from our case study demonstrates that implementing critical multilingual multiliteracies projects fostered students’ CMLA while building positive bi/multilingual identities, leveraged students’ linguistic repertoires beyond the language of instruction, and encouraged linguistic risk-taking. This empirical study highlights the possibilities for adopting a collaborative, critical, and creative multilingual multiliteracies approach in TWI settings.


  1. Anstey, M., & Bull, G. (2005). One school's journey: Using multiliteracies to promote school renewal. Practically Primary, 10(3), 10-13.
  2. Auger, N. 2008. Comparons nos langues: un outil d’empowerment pour ne pas oublier son plurilinguisme. In Conscience du Plurilinguisme: Pratiques, Représentations et Interventions, eds. M. Candelier, G. Ioannitou, D. Omer, and M.-T. Vasseur, 185–196. Rennes: Presses universitaires de Rennes Baker, C., & Wright, W. (2017). Foundations of bilingual education and bilingualism (6th ed.). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
  3. Barton, D. (2017). Literacy: An introduction to the ecology of written language. John Wiley & Sons.
  4. Beghetto, R.A., & Yoon, S. S. (2021). Change through creative learning: Toward realizing the creative potential of translanguaging. In C.A. Mullen (Ed.). Handbook of social justice interventions in education. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
  5. Bettney, E. (2021). The negotiation of students’ national identities in a bilingual school in Honduras. Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 20(4), 271-284.
  6. Bettney, E. (2022). “Speak English–Don’t Be Lazy!”: Exploring decolonial approaches to multilingual education through a case study of an international school in Colombia (Doctoral dissertation). The University of Wisconsin-Madison.
  7. Block, D., & Corona, V. (2016). Intersectionality in language and identity research. In S. Preece (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of language and identity (pp. 507-522). New York, NY: Routledge.
  8. Busch, B. (2006). Language biographies for multilingual learning: linguistic and educational considerations. Language biographies for multilingual learning, 24, 5-17.
  9. Busch, B. (2010). School language profiles: Valorizing linguistic resources in heteroglossic situations in South Africa. Language and education, 24(4), 283-294.
  10. Cenoz, J. (2017). Translanguaging in school contexts: International perspectives. Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 16(4), 193-198.
  11. Cenoz, J., & Gorter, D. (2011). A holistic approach to multilingual education: Introduction. The Modern Language Journal, 95(3), 339-343.
  12. Chaparro, S. E. (2019). But mom! I’m not a Spanish boy: Raciolinguistic socialization in a two-way immersion bilingual program. Linguistics and Education, 50, 1-12.
  13. Chisholm, J. S., & Trent, B. (2013). Digital storytelling in a place‐based composition course. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 57(4), 307-318.
  14. Choi, J. (2015). Creative criticality in multilingual texts. In R. Jones & J. Richards (Eds.), Creativity in language teaching (pp. 142-162). New York, NY: Routledge.
  15. Cook, V. (1995). Multicompetence and effects of age. In D. Singleton & Z. Lengyel (Eds,) The age factor in second language acquisition, pp. 51-66. Multilingual Matters.
  16. Cope, B., & Kalantzis, M. (2009). “Multiliteracies”: New literacies, new learning. Pedagogies: An International Journal, 4(3), 164-195.
  17. Creese, A., & Blackledge, A. (2010). Translanguaging in the bilingual classroom: A pedagogy for learning and teaching? The Modern Language Journal, 94(1), 103-115.
  18. Creswell, J. W., & Poth, C. N. (2016). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Sage Publications.
  19. Cummins, J. (2007). Rethinking monolingual instructional strategies in multilingual classrooms. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 10(2), 221-240.
  20. Cummins, J. (2009). Pedagogies of choice: Challenging coercive relations of power in classrooms and communities. International journal of bilingual education and bilingualism, 12(3), 261-271.
  21. Cummins, J. (2012). Language awareness and academic achievement among migrant students. In C. Balsiger, D. Bétrix Köhler, J.-F. de Pietro, & C. Perregaux (Eds.), Éveil aux langues et approches plurielles: de la formation des enseignants aux pratiques de classe (pp. 41-5). Paris, France: l’ Harmattan.
  22. Cummins, J., Bismilla, V., Chow, P., Cohen, S., Giampapa, F., Leoni, L., Sandhu, P., & Sastri, P. (2005). Affirming identity in multilingual classrooms. Educational Leadership, 63(1), 38-43.
  23. Cummins, J., Hu, S., Markus, P., & Kristina Montero, M. (2015). Identity texts and academic achievement: Connecting the dots in multilingual school contexts. TESOL Quarterly, 49(3), 555-581
  24. Cummins, J., & Early, M. (2011). Identity texts: The collaborative creation of power in multilingual schools. Stoke-on-Trent, UK: Trentham Books.
  25. de Jong, E. J. (2016). Two-way immersion for the next generation: Models, policies, and principles. International Multilingual Research Journal, 10(1), 6-16.
  26. de Jong, E. J., Yilmaz, T., & Marichal, N. (2019). A multilingualism-as-a-resource orientation in dual language education. Theory into Practice, 58(2), 107-120.
  27. de Pietro, J.-F. (2003). La diversité au fondement des activités réflexives. Repères, 28(1), 161-185.
  28. Diaz-Rico, L., & Weed, K. (2006). Oracy and literacy in English-language development. In M. A. Snow, & D. M. Brinton (Eds.), The cross-cultural, language, and academic development handbook: A complete K-12 reference guide (pp. 74-101). Pearson.
  29. Dalton, B. (2013). Engaging children in close reading: Multimodal commentaries and illustration remix. The Reading Teacher, 66(8), 642-649.
  30. Early, M., & Kendrick, M. (2020). Inquiry-based pedagogies, multimodalities, and multilingualism: Opportunities and challenges in supporting English learner success. Canadian Modern Language Review, 76(2), 139-154.
  31. Fairclough, N. (1992). Critical language awareness. London, UK: Longman.
  32. Fitts, S. (2006). Reconstructing the status quo: Linguistic interaction in a dual-language school. Bilingual Research Journal, 30(2), 337-365.
  33. Flores, N., & García, O. (2013). Linguistic third spaces in education: Teachers’ translanguaging across the bilingual continuum. In D. Little, C. Leung, & P. van Avermaet (Eds.), Managing diversity in education: Languages, policies, pedagogies (pp. 243-256). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
  34. Flores, N., & Rosa, J. (2015). Undoing appropriateness: Raciolinguistic ideologies and language diversity in education. Harvard Educational Review, 85(2), 149-171.
  35. Flores, N., & Schissel, J. L. (2014). Dynamic bilingualism as the norm: Envisioning a heteroglossic approach to standards‐based reform. TESOL Quarterly, 48(3), 454-479.
  36. Fortune, T. W., & Tedick, D. J. (2008). One-way, two-way and indigenous immersion: A call for cross-fertilization. In T. W. Fortune & D. J. Tedick (Eds.), Pathways to Multilingualism: Evolving perspectives on immersion education (pp. 3-21): Clevedon, UK: Multilingual Matters.
  37. Freire, P. (2018). Pedagogy of the oppressed. Bloomsbury publishing.
  38. Frieson, B. L. (2019). (Re) mixin’& flowin’: Examining the literacy practices of African American language speakers in an elementary two-way immersion bilingual program. Unpublished dissertation.
  39. Fullan, M., & Edwards, M. (2022). Spirit work and the science of collaboration. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
  40. Galante, A. (2020). “The moment I realized I am plurilingual”: Plurilingual tasks for creative representations in EAP at a Canadian university. Applied Linguistics Review, 11(4), 551-580.
  41. García, O. (2009). Bilingual education in the 21st century: A global perspective. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
  42. García, O. (2010). Languaging and ethnifying. In J. A. Fishman & O. Garcia (Eds). Handbook of language and ethnic identity (pp. 519-521). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
  43. García, O. (2017). Critical multilingual language awareness and teacher education. In J. Cenoz, D. Gorter, & S. May (Eds.), Language awareness and multilingualism (3rd ed) (pp. 263-280). Switzerland: Springer.
  44. García, O., Bartlett, L., & Kleifgen, J. (2007). From biliteracy to pluriliteracies. Handbook of multilingualism and multilingual communication, 5, 207-228.
  45. García, O., & Flores, N. (2013). Multilingualism and common core state standards in the United States. In S. May (Ed.), The multilingual turn: Implications for SLA, TESOL, and bilingual education (pp. 147-166). New York, NY: Routledge.
  46. García, O., & Kleifgen, J. A. (2018). Educating emergent bilinguals: Policies, programs, and practices for English learners. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
  47. García, O., & Leiva, C. (2014). Theorizing and enacting translanguaging for social justice. In A. Blackledge, & A. Creese (Eds.), Heteroglossia as practice and pedagogy (pp. 199-218). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: SpringerScience+Business Media.
  48. García, O., & Lin, A. (2017). Translanguaging in bilingual education. In O. García, A. Lin, & S. May (Eds.), Bilingual and multilingual education (3rd ed.) (pp. 117-130). Switzerland: Springer.
  49. García, & Menken, K. (2014). Cultivating an ecology of multilingualism in schools. In B. Spolsky, O. Inbar-Lourie, & M. Tannenbaum (Eds.), Challenges for language education and policy: Making space for people (pp. 95–108). New York, NY: Routledge.
  50. Garrett, P., & Cots, J. M. (Eds.). (2018). The Routledge handbook of language awareness. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.
  51. Gutiérrez, K. D. (2008). Developing a sociocritical literacy in the third space. Reading research quarterly, 43(2), 148-164.Hamman, L. (2018). Translanguaging and positioning in two-way dual language classrooms: A case for criticality. Language and Education, 32(1), 21-42.
  52. Hamman-Ortiz, L. (2019). Troubling the “two” in two-way bilingual education. Bilingual Research Journal, 42(4), 387-407.
  53. Hamman-Ortiz, L., & Prasad, G. (2022). Reimagining bilingual education: A
  54. linguistically expansive orientation, Journal of Language, Identity & Education,
  55. Heller, M. (1995). Language choice, social institutions, and symbolic domination.
  56. Language in society, 24(3), 373-405.
  57. Hélot, C., Van Gorp, K., Frijns, C., & Sierens, S. (2018). Introduction: Towards critical
  58. multilingual language awareness for 21st century schools. In Language awareness in multilingual classrooms in Europe (pp. 1-20). De Gruyter Mouton.
  59. Howard, E. R. (2002). Two-way immersion: A key to global awareess. Educational Leadership, 60(2), 62-64.
  60. James, C., & Garrett, P. (Eds.). (1992). Language awareness in the classroom. London, UK: Routledge.
  61. Jasor, I., Jeannot-Fourcaud, B., & Payant, C. (2022). À la découverte de mon identité plurilingue: portraits de langues d’élèves guadeloupéens. Le language et l’homme], 56, 53-71.
  62. Jewitt, C. (2008). Multimodality and literacy in school classrooms. Review of Research in Education, 32(1), 241-267.
  63. Jiménez, R. T., David, S., Fagan, K., Risko, V. J., Pacheco, M., Pray, L., & Gonzales, M. (2015). Using translation to drive conceptual development for students becoming literate in English as an additional language. Research in the Teaching of English, 49(3), 248-271.
  64. Kalan, A. (2022). Negotiating writing identities across languages: translanguaging as enrichment of semiotic trajectories. TESL Canada Journal, 38(2), 63-87.
  65. Kalantzis, M., & Cope, B. (2012). New learning: A charter for change in education. Critical Studies in Education, 53(1), 83-94.
  66. Kapoyannis, T. (2019). Literacy engagement in multilingual and multicultural learning spaces. TESL Canada Journal, 36(2), 1-25.
  67. Kalantzis, M., & Cope, B. (2005). Changing the role of schools. In B. Cope & M. Kalantzis (Eds.) Multiliteracies: Literacy learning and the design of social futures (pp. 117-144). Routledge.
  68. Kress, G., & Jewitt, C. (2003). Introduction. In C. Jewitt & G. Kress (Eds.), Multimodal literacy (pp.1-18). New York, NY: Peter Lang.
  69. Krumm, Hans-Jürgen & Jenkins, Eva-Maria (2001). Kinder und ihre Sprachen – lebendige Mehrsprachigkeit: Sprachenportraits gesammelt und kommentiert von Hans-Jürgen Krumm. Vienna: Eviva.
  70. Lau, S. M. C., & Van Viegen, S. (Eds.). (2020). Plurilingual pedagogies: Critical and creative endeavors for equitable language (in) education. Springer International Publishing.
  71. Lewis, G., Jones, B., & Baker, C. (2012). Translanguaging: Origins and development from school to street and beyond. Educational Research and Evaluation, 18(7), 641-654.
  72. Liberman, Z., Woodward, A. L., Keysar, B., & Kinzler, K. D. (2017). Exposure to multiple languages enhances communication skills in infancy. Developmental Science, 20(1), e12420.
  73. Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Newberry Park.Martin-Beltrán, M. (2010). Positioning proficiency: How students and teachers (de) construct language proficiency at school. Linguistics and Education, 21(4), 257-281.
  74. Martínez, R. A., Durán, L., & Hikida, M. (2017). Becoming “Spanish learners”: Identity and interaction among multilingual children in a Spanish-English dual language classroom. International Multilingual Research Journal, 11(3), 167-183.
  75. Menken, K., Rosario, V. P., & Valerio, L. A. G. (2018). Increasing multilingualism in schoolscapes: New scenery and language education policies. Linguistic landscape, 4(2), 101-127.
  76. Mills, K. (2006). 'Mr Travelling-at-will Ted Doyle': Discourses in a multiliteracies classroom. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 29(2), 132-149.
  77. Mills, K. (2011). 'Now I know their secrets': Kineikonic texts in the literacy classroom. Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 34(1), 24-37.
  78. New London Group. (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies: Designing social futures. Harvard EducationalReview, 66(1), 60-92.
  79. Ovando, C. J. (2003). Bilingual education in the United States: Historical development and current issues. Bilingual research journal, 27(1), 1-24.
  80. Pacheco, M. B., Smith, B. E., Deig, A., & Amgott, N. A. (2021). Scaffolding multimodal composition with emergent bilingual students. Journal of Literacy Research, 53(2), 149-173.
  81. Pahl, K., & Rowsell, J. (2005). Literacy and education: Understanding the new literacy studies in the classroom. Paul Chapman.
  82. Palmer, D. K. (2019). “You're not a Spanish-Speaker!”-“We are all bilingual”: The purple kids on being and becoming bilingual in a dual-language kindergarten classroom. In J. MacSwanb & C. J. Faltis (Eds.) Codeswitching in the classroom: Critical perspectives on teaching, learning, policy, and ideology (pp. 247-267). Routledge.
  83. Paris, D. (2012). Culturally sustaining pedagogy: A needed change in stance, terminology, and practice. Educational Researcher, 41(3), 93-97.
  84. Paris, D., & Alim, H. S. (2017). Culturally sustaining pedagogies: Teaching and learning for justice in a changing world. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
  85. Payant, C., & Galante, A. (2022). Plurilingualism and translanguaging: Pedagogical approaches for empowerment and validation—An introduction. TESL Canada Journal, 38(2), vi-xxii.
  86. Payant, C., & Maatouk, Z. (2022). Collaborative writing in a third language: How writers use and view their plurilingual repertoire during collaborative writing tasks. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics/Revue canadienne de linguistique appliquée, 25(1), 127-151.
  87. Pennington, M. C. (2011). Broadening horizons: The special topic issue on identity texts, literacy engagement, and multilingual classrooms. Writing and Pedagogy, 3(2), 175-176
  88. Phipps, A. (2019). Decolonising multilingualism: Struggles to decreate. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.
  89. Prada, J. (2022). Articulating translanguaging as a pedagogy of empowerment for racialized, language minoritized bilinguals: From concepto to proyecto through digital storytelling. TESL Canada Journal, 38(2), 171-185.
  90. Prasad, G. (2014). Portraits of plurilingualism in a French international school in Toronto: Exploring the role of visual methods to access students’ representations of their linguistically diverse identities. Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 17(1), 51-77.
  91. Prasad, G. (2017). Parents as Multilingual Experts. Education Canada. pp. 28-31.
  92. Prasad, G. (2018). Building students’ language awareness and literacy engagement through the creation of collaborative multilingual identity texts 2.0. In C. Hélot, C. Frijns, K. van Gorp, & S. Sierens (Eds.), Language awareness in multilingual classrooms in Europe: From theory to practice (pp. 207-234). Berlin, Germany: Mouton De Gruyter Publishers.
  93. Prasad, G. (2021). Plurilingual possibilities in the US: Beyond translanguaging with minoritized bilinguals to critical multilingual language awareness for all learners. In E. Piccardo, A. Germain-Rutherford, & G. Lawrence (Eds.). The Routledge handbook of plurilingual language education (pp. 400-408). New York, NY: Routledge., G. (2022). Unbecoming a monolingual anglophone. In G. Prasad, N. Auger, & E. Le Pichon-Vortsman (Eds.). Multilingualism and education: Researchers' pathways and perspectives (pp. 232-239). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  94. Prasad, G., & Lory, M. P. (2020). Linguistic and cultural collaboration in schools: Reconciling majority and minoritized language users. TESOL Quarterly, 54(4), 797-822.
  95. Rowsell, J., & Pahl, K. (2007). Sedimented identities in texts: Instances of practice. Reading Research Quarterly, 42(3), 388-404.
  96. Rymes, B. (2014). Communicating beyond language: Everyday encounters with diversity. New York, NY: Routledge.
  97. Rymes, B., Flores, N., & Pomerantz, A. (2016). The common core state standards and English learners: Finding the silver lining. Language, 92(4), e257-e273.
  98. Sánchez, M., García, O., & Solorza, M. (2018). Reframing language allocation policy in dual language bilingual education. Bilingual Research Journal, 41(1), 37-51.
  99. Seltzer, K., & García, O. (2020). Broadening the view: Taking up a translanguaging pedagogy with all language–minoritized students. In Z. Tian, L. Aghai, P. Sayer, & J. Schissel (Eds.), Envisioning TESOL through a translanguaging lens (pp. 23-42). Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
  100. Smith, B. E., & Axelrod, D. (2019). Scaffolding multimodal composing in the multilingual classroom. Expanding literacy practices multiple modes and languages for multilingual students. In L. C. De Oliveira, & B. E. Smith (Eds.). Expanding literacy practices across multiple modes and languages for multilingual students (pp. 83-96). Charlotte, NC: Information Age.
  101. Soares, C. T., Duarte, J., & Günther-van der Meij, M. (2020). ‘Red is the colour of the heart’: Making young children’s multilingualism visible through language portraits. Language and education, 35(1), 22-41.
  102. Stake, R. E. (2006). Multiple case study analysis. Guilford.
  103. Tian, Z., & Shepard‐Carey, L. (2020). (Re)imagining the future of translanguaging pedagogies in TESOL through teacher–researcher collaboration. TESOL Quarterly, 54(4), 1131-1143.
  104. Valdés, G. (1997). Dual-language immersion programs: A cautionary note concerning the education of language-minority students. Harvard Educational Review, 67(3), 391-430.
  105. Wang, F., & Hannafin, M. J. (2005). Design-based research and technology-enhanced learning environments. Educational Technology Research and Development, 53(4), 5-23.
  106. Wei, L. (2011). Moment analysis and translanguaging space: Discursive construction of identities by multilingual Chinese youth in Britain. Journal of Pragmatics, 43(5), 1222-1235.
  107. Wei, L. (2018). Translanguaging as a practical theory of language. Applied Linguistics, 39(1), 9-30.
  108. Werner, R., & Todeva, E. (2022). Plurilingualism and multimodality: The metanoia within reach. TESL Canada Journal, 38(2), 214–227.
  109. Yin, R. K. (2003). Design and methods: Case study research, Thousand Oaks.