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2017 Conf. - Expanding the construct of 'passive bilingualism' in a listening test for univ profs
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This paper reports on an attempt to develop a translanguaged French/English listening test task for professors in a bilingual Canadian university, as part of their “passive bilingualism” conditions of employment. Research on translanguaging—a widespread and dynamic process where resources from more than one language are employed in meaning making (Garcia, 2009)—suggests that fluid translanguaging is a sign of advanced bilingual ability. However, current construct definitions for assessment purposes never include the ability to function in a translanguaged environment and require the strict use of one language code only. Indeed, use of another code is often interpreted as evidence of lower ability. We attempt to address this contradiction by developing an indigenous listening task for university professors (a departmental meeting), as well as a related scoring rubric. Our goal was to explicitly expand our conceptualization of the construct of passive bilingualism for this context. In this presentation, we will discuss challenges in task development, such as resistance by various stakeholder groups and the operationalization of translanguaging for assessment purposes.
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