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Translanguaging as methodology to study language cafés: implications for managing multilingual data

Polo-Pérez, N.; Holmes, P



This article explores the affordances of translanguaging as methodology by reflecting upon the role of the multilingual repertoires of research participants (including the researcher) in shaping an ethnographic inquiry on “language cafés” (LCs), understood as public events which provide a non-formal learning space for (foreign) language socialisation. Drawing on the “researching multilingually” framework proposed by Holmes et al. (2013, 2016), we reflect on the affordances and complexities of using different languages in the research process. In particular, we focus on how the researcher’s fluid multilingual approach enabled her to co-construct translanguaging spaces with LC participants as part of a methodology to study multilingual socialisation for and through the lived experience of those involved in the research. We aim to inspire researchers to make visible the multilingual, collaborative, and relational processes that shape their research, and to problematise and be reflexive about their choices of transcription of multilingual data. We argue that applying translanguaging as methodology to study multilingual environments can challenge the monolingual ideologies that still prevail in research, while enabling research participants to perform and develop their multilingual social selves.


Polo-Pérez, N., & Holmes, P. (2023). Translanguaging as methodology to study language cafés: implications for managing multilingual data. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 44(8), 737-750.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 24, 2023
Online Publication Date Aug 21, 2023
Publication Date 2023
Deposit Date Mar 16, 2023
Publicly Available Date Feb 22, 2025
Journal Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development
Print ISSN 0143-4632
Electronic ISSN 1747-7557
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 44
Issue 8
Pages 737-750
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Copyright Statement
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way. The terms on which this article has been published allow the posting of the Accepted Manuscript in a repository by the author(s) or with their consent.

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